Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Ben Goldacre takes on Mark and David Geier

Somehow, in all the blogging about dichloroacetate earlier this week, I somehow missed a mention of a truly annoying thing that the editors of Lancet Neurology did. In essence, they allowed ethically challenged mercury warrior Mark Geier a forum to review Richard Lathe’s book Autism, Brain, and Environment.

Egads! How desperate wer the editors of Lancet Neurology for reviewers, that they’d let the biggest mercury-autism crank of all sully its pages with a dubious review of a rather fringe book?

Fortunately, Ben Goldacre‘s on the case. Money quote:

As I say, I’m not hostile to people like Geier having a voice. And the idea that there might be a biological cause, or treatment, for autism is a seductive and interesting one. All I ask is that when you take someone as far out as Geier, and bung him in an academic journal reviewing a slightly maverick book, you owe your readers a tiny bit of a warning.

Indeed. Anything written by Mark Geier about autism, mercury, chelation therapy, or hormonal blockade as a “treatment” for autism should come with a disclaimer and warning.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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