Skeptic News: Suzanne Somers to speak at ACAM conference

From: Yahoo!

American College for Advancement in Medicine regrets to report that Dr. Tony Lamas will be unable to participate at its Fall 2012 Conference and Tradeshow in Las Vegas.
He was originally set to discuss the findings of the NIH Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) on Friday, November 16th.

“In his place, ACAM is pleased to be joined by wellness advocate Suzanne Somers to discuss her life altering experiences related to integrative and alternative therapies,” said Megan Marburger, Executive Director for ACAM.

Ms. Somers’ speaking engagement will be hosted at ACAM’s Friday luncheon which is complimentary to all guests of its ‘New Developments in Gut Health and its Relationship to Systemic Illness’ Scientific Session.

The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is a not-for-profit Organization dedicated to educating physicians and other health care professionals on the safe and effective application of integrative medicine.

Suzanne Somers is the author of “Knockout” in which she interviews “Doctors” who claim to be able to cure or are curing cancer. The Doctors interviewed included one Dr Stalnislaw Burzynski who regular readers of the 21st Floor will be very familiar with. Somers is criticized for her views on some medical subjects and her advocacy of the Wiley Protocol, which has been labelled as “scientifically unproven and dangerous”. Her promotion of alternative cancer treatments has received criticism from the American Cancer Society. Dr. Otis Brawley, the organization’s chief medical officer, has been quoted as saying:

“I am very afraid that people are going to listen to her message and follow what she says and be harmed by it, we use current treatments because they’ve been proven to prolong life. They’ve gone through a logical, scientific method of evaluation. I don’t know if Suzanne Somers even knows there IS a logical, scientific method.”

Somers is one of many celebrities and self appointed health gurus who seemingly regurgitate any claim made by alternative or integrative medicine practitioners as gospel without recourse to check the scientific or medical evidence. She uses her fame to promote unevidenced and potentially dangerous treatments as well as denigrate the work being done by clinicians and researchers to actually treat and cure cancer. But will she be out of place at the ACAM conference? Sadly it seems not.

She will be appearing alongside all manner of quacks and cranks

Such as Jean Drisko, signatory of the Discovery institutes statement of skepticism about evolution, who has advocated the use of chelation therapy for cardiac disease and is also listed as research director of its affiliated Olive W. Garvey Center for Healing Arts.  The center’s laboratory offers hair analysis (a cardinal sign of quackery), cytotoxic food sensitivity testing (banned by the FDA), and several other nonstandard tests. The center’s store sells such notable products as Aller-Bee-Gone (a bee pollen product for allergies); blue-green algae; colloidal silver (risk without benefit) ; kava (FDA warning issued); thymic protein; and Alacer’s “Miracle Water.” The center also offers to teach others about auriculotherapy (acupuncture variant in which needling points on the ear is claimed to influence organs throughout the body), Kirlian photography (which has no useful medical applications), and “specific cancer cell culture techniques used to determine optimum vitamin C rates of intravenous infusions.” (High-dose vitamin C is not effective against cancer.).

Also appearing are: Dr. Rita Ellithorpe who claims that she participated in cancer investigations with Dr. Stanislaw Bruzynski at his research institute in Houston, Texas and was later published as a co-author in literature describing his unique therapy, Dr Dennis Harper a chiropractor who also offers Ozone and vitamin Treatment protocols and a host of other herbalists, acupuncturists and other fans of non-evidence based practice.

Regrettably it seems Suzanne will fit right in!


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