I was carrying out some fieldwork in northern Ontario last summer, which involved trips to Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie and North Bay. Each day while staying in Sault Ste Marie, we would drive past a small, squat building with a sign outside announcing the presence of a “Correactology Centre”. I had no idea what that was and made a mental note to look it up. I was surprised that when I googled “correactology” there wasn’t even a Wikipedia page! It didn’t bother me that much as I had assumed that it was some obscure form of alternative therapy. I was correct, but it is a little bit more interesting than that. Unlike many forms of complementary and alternative medicine, correactology (TM) is new. Not only that, but it is Canadian, with the headquarters based in Sudbury, Ontario, and there is also a branch in Ottawa, making this a local matter! Read More »
For those of you who have been following the past couple of posts, I am currently working my way through part of a shelf in Shoppers Drug Mart and critically evaluating some of their products. I’ve already covered Boiron’s “Stodal” cough syrup and found it to be a combination of folk remedies and wishful-thinking. However, their big product is the flu-remedy Oscillcoccinum. This is among the top ten over-the-counter medicines sold in France (not surprising given their love of homeopathy), so it isn’t a “fringe” alternative medicine by any means. Oscillococcinum (“Oscillo” for short) and Homeocoksinum (its Canadian cousin) are the same medicine marketed by two different companies, so I’m going to deal with them together. Read More »
I hadn’t heard of Stodal before. Apparently it “relieves all types of coughs”, which seems like a pretty bold (and evidence-based claim). This surprised me as it is produced by Boiron, a homeopathic manufacturer. Now there are lots of perfectly good cough medicines out there, even if some of them taste like you’re drinking the products of a high school chemistry experiment. So what does Boiron bring to the table?
The skeptical movement is all about consumer protection, especially when people are being ripped off with woo-related paraphernalia. I’ve mentioned balance bands being sold on group-buy websites twicenow. Well, it turns out that Groupon cancelled the deal because they realised that it was an absolute scam! Read More »
So I was in a well-known Canadian drug store a week or two ago, and I decided to take a skeptical wander down some of their aisles. Alongside copious cosmetic products (which require a post on their own), I came across what I suppose was the “seasonal remedies” section. This aisle contained remedies for ‘flu and hayfever. What interested me was the juxtaposition of the different treatments and the lack of information provided on the display about the nature of each of the products. Read More »
People who know about me within the skeptical community know that I am no friend of homeopathy. However, there are some cases where the sheer stupidity of an idea can limit the damage that it can cause.
I subscribe to Groupon which often has some fairly interesting and cheap deals. Companies offer discounts so long as a certain number of people order the deal. Often it features beauty treatments, yoga, massage, restaurant deals or shopping discounts. Today, however, they decided to go all-out woo…
I was at the CFI OttawaUnsermon this morning (which I highly recommend for brunch and intelligent conversation!) and got into a debate justifying the actions of CFI. The discussion was sparked by this sentiment: “There are big issues (health, environment, economy) that need to be solved. CFI takes on smaller projects that do not address those bigger issues and so is not worth investing in.” Read More »