The following commentary is a response by Dr. Joseph Mercola, one of alternative medicine's most vocal and controversial proponents, to this Q&A with Paul Offit.
Paul Offit’s book opens with this foretelling quote:
“Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.”
Industrial medical science appears to be Paul Offit’s religion, as he attacks beliefs in virtually all forms throughout his book. His desire is quite apparent to mandate treatment of individuals based on the ‘standard of care’ that has been ‘proven’ by science.
He defends Vioxx and supports it as an example that supplements should follow. Test it, prove that it may kill tens of thousands, and put a tiny disclaimer on the package insert in which he indicates we can weigh the risks against the benefits. It is quite ironic that, when doctors tried to publicize these warnings, Merck made serious threats to ‘neutralize’ them.
Should Paul Offit really question why people don't blindly accept his model? I fear for those that trust Paul Offit as he proclaims he is "science-based," suggesting he is without bias or personal agenda. He does not have the best history when it comes to providing truthful information.
Unfortunately, his faith in science is actually anti-science. Perhaps less than 20% of scientific studies can be replicated. It would appear quite reasonable to be concerned that the standard treatment of care is a fraud in itself.
Supplement users are much more likely to practice a healthier lifestyle. At a time when prevention has been largely ignored by our medical system, this is a powerful factor and one that should not be ignored by any short-sighted belief in industry science.