Ron Paul: Quackery enabler

OK I swear I’m going to lay off RP after this one last post:

Yes, Ron Paul is very popular among the quack-friendly set, particularly those tending to see a conspiracy between the FDA, FTC, and big pharma to keep them from selling their favorite nostrums. There’s good reason for that, given how staunch a supporter of “health freedom” he’s been over the years. What a wonderfully Orwellian term! After all, who could be against “health freedom”? If you are, you’re against freedom! It’s like being against free speech, mom, the flag, and apple pie. In actuality, “health freedom” is nothing more than a clever catch phrase that in effect describes measures that allow quacks the freedom to hawk their wares unfettered by pesky interference from the FDA or FTC.


The distribution of scientific articles is not prohibited. What is prohibited is cherry picking the literature for articles to use in advertisements to support unfounded claims that supplements can cure or prevent disease. But, his apparently dull facade notwithstanding, Dr. Paul is a master of spin, if nothing else. He’s quick to wrap his support for quackery in the mantle of the First Amendmen.


Right. Because the FTC and FDA are so effective in prosecuting manufacturers and supplement sellers for making exaggerated claims. That must be why Kevin Trudeau, after having been convicted of just such behavior, is now out there, happy as a pig in mud, hauling in money hand over fist selling books that make all sorts of exaggerated or false claims for dietary supplements and various “alternative” therapies. It’s probably why woo-meisters like Dr. Mercola and Mike Adams run popular and profitable websites hawking supplements and various other unscientific remedies with apparently no interference from the FDA.

Now, I support any adults freedom to eat whatever herbs, chemicals, or whatever they choose. And I support their right to sell whatever supplements, drugs, etc. they want. But I don’t think they should be able to make untrue claims – this isn’t “free speech” issue any more than telling someone you’ll sell them a working car and then selling them a car that won’t start is a “free speech” issue. That doesn’t mean there can’t be a fine print “gotcha” (“these claims not supported by the FDA”), which is the status quo.

Full Story: Respectful Insolence.


  1. And yet the FDA has effectively managed to stifle legitimate claims when the natural solution offers relief that is just as effective as something that big pharma paid for. Check out ehpredra and cherries, for starts.

    You want to perpetuate the system as is, ans the Paul supporters want competing systems, giving people freedom.

    Yeah, that’s real scary.

  2. PS:

    The protection from false claims should come through the courts, not political appointees protecting the interests of Wall Street firms.

  3. “But I don?t think they should be able to make untrue claims.” -techoccult

    Who is to determine the standard of evidence? I agree with Alexia, this decision should not be politicized. The only mechanism government has to determine the truth of claims is the courts.

  4. your homework.......

    January 1, 2008 at 12:13 am

    It angers me that the Paul supporters do not do their homework. Don’t get me wrong, I was all for him at the beginning. Until I did research on him and his record. This is NOT American Idol we’re voting for people, it’s the POTUS for the next 4 years! His creationist stance and connections to racist groups are enough to bother me. Guess some people are willing to overlook all that. He’s not going to win anything anyway, so I won’t ramble on anymore after this post. But for your entertainment here’s Hutton Gibson(racist Mel’s daddy) with his support for RP. Be sure to scroll on down on this link for the American National Socialist Workers Party’s endorsement of RP….

  5. your homework.......

    January 1, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Here’s the link:

  6. “You want to perpetuate the system as is.”

    Wrong. I would like to see the FDA become an NGO, regulated by people in the medical profession, not politicians
    (look-up David Hager and Lester Crawford for some reasons why).

    ” ans the Paul supporters want competing systems, giving people freedom”

    Wrong. Paul wants to allow snake-oil salesmen to lie to the public. His legislation doesn’t do a thing to reform the FDA, it gives his herb huckster donors the ability to claim that their herbs prevent or cure diseases.

    “Who is to determine the standard of evidence? I agree with Alexia, this decision should not be politicized. The only mechanism government has to determine the truth of claims is the courts.”

    The FDA, flawed as it is, determines the standard of evidence. Again, I would prefer to see the FDA run differently, but having an institution that evaluates the claims of drug sellers BEFORE it has the need to go to court (ie, after it’s killed someone) is preferable to having no such organization or, in this case, the pretense of having such an organization but crippling its ability to do its job

    And again, the matter at hand is legislation proposed by Paul to serve the interests of his donors rather than the public, against medical opinion.

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