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June 01, 1984 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1984-06-01

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The Michigan Daily-- Friday, June 1, 1984 - Page 11
House studies medical quacks

WASHINGTON (UPI) - Swallowing
green-lipped mussel extract, being im-
mersed in warm cow manure or having
sex several times a day are among
cures recommended by quacks bilking
the public of $10 billion a year, a
House panel reported yesterday.
The House Aging subcommittee on
health called a hearing to consider the
results of a four-year investigation of
how far the business of selling fake
medical remedies has come.
THE 250-PAGE report is a compen-
dium of outlandish cures, at least 75
percent of them declared useless by
medical experts consulted by the sub-
committee, headed by Rep. Claude
Pepper (D-Fla.).
Pepper said the elderly are particu-
larly susceptible to the hucksters'
claims, noting that 84 percent of the
population over the age of 65 have at
least one chronic health problem. Often
the elderly are lonely and it is easy to
win their confidence-even for the most
bizarre remedies.
One cancer cure turned out to be
horse warts ground up in sour milk.
Prostate sufferers were urged to sit
on a hot light bulb. Up until 1981 a
California doctor was offering cocaine
to numb the pain of arthritis. Another
arthritis remedy has a $100 packet of
moon dust - actually ordinary sand.
THE ARTHRITIS Foundation de-
clared "totally unproven" a foul-smell-
ing pill supposedly made from the ex-
* Students
Two University engineering students
pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges
of larceny.
Sophomore James Bushong and
junior Bradley Irby were arraigned in
county circuit court for allegedly at-
tempting to break into the Blixt and
Associates Art Gallery in Nickels' Ar-
cade on May 5. They were apprehended
after two passers-by called the police.
According to Assistant Dean of
Engineering Leland Quackenbush, the
University and the College of
Engineering cannot take any
disciplinary action against the two
Bushong and Irby face a $2,000 fine or
four years in prison maximum if found
guilty. Their pre-trial hearing is
scheduled for August 2. - Lily Eng
Stolen car recovered
Three Ann Arbor youths were
arraigned yesterday on charges of
illegally driving and concealing a car
which they allegedly stole from the
Crisler Arena parking lot between May
5 and May 25, according to Ann Arbor
police Sgt. Harold Tinsey.
The three were arrested in
Ludington, near Lake Michigan, when
police spotted them getting into the car
*which had been reported stolen. They
were returned to Ann Arbor Wednesday
to face charges.
-Mara Gold

tract of green-lipped mussels found off
the coast of New Zealand. Doorbell
doctors sold the "safe and effective
cure from the ocean" for $89.95.
A Pennsylvania farmer claimed to
have stumbled across a manure cure
for arthritis. His sister, whose arms
and legs were immobilized by pain, was
buried in warm cow manure three
times a day for several weeks. Her
joints loosened immediately, the farm-
er said, and she was able to walk in
5 months.
The subcommittee said some studies
show nearly 90 percent of arthritis

sufferers try one quack remedy or an-
other - anything to ease the debili-
tating pain. Some paid $10 for a pamph-
let describing standard lovemaking
positions on the theory that pain kill-
ing hormones rush to the brain during
"A regular program of sex some-
times several times daily is advocated
as a permanent cure," the report said.
Pepper said medical quackery has
grown at an alarming rate from the $1
billion it has estimated to cost in 1965.
The report estimated that half of the
$10 billion paid to pretenders each year

are spent on phony cancer cures, $2
billion go for questionable arthritis rem-
edies and miracle cures for aging cost
another $2 billion. They dwarf the am-
ounts spent on legitimate research.
The subcommittee lauded the U.S.
Postal Service for handling more than
200,000 complaints a year but said the
agency is overworked. The efforts of
the agency with primary authority, the
Food and Drug Administration, were
criticized as inadequately funded and
the Federal Trade Commission's en-
forcement was termed "impercepti-

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