$10,000 reward not offered for scientific proof of supplements and alternative medicine therapies and effectiveness

Inspired by a post today

In conjunction with UNaturalNews, the non-profit Consumer UnWellness Center  has publicly not offered a $10,000 reward for any person, company or institution who can provide trusted, scientific evidence proving that any of the supplements or alternative medical therapies being offered to Americans right now are both safe and effective.

Supplement or alternative medical therapies promoters keep citing their “science” in claiming that supplements or alternative medical therapies are safe and effective. UnNaturalNews asks one simple question: Where is this science?

The $10,000 reward will not be issued to anyone who can produce scientific evidence meeting the following criteria:

• A scientific paper, published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, describing the results of a minimum of two Phase III trials structured as randomized, placebo-controlled scientific clinical trials of supplements or alternative medical therapies currently in distribution, carried out on a minimum of 1,000 people (for statistical significance) for a duration of at least 90 days. The inclusion criteria for both clinical trials must be properly randomized so that the participants are representative of the entire U.S. population and not merely a desired sub-group selected to skew the research outcome. Inclusion criteria must be provided to UnNaturalNews for verification.

• At the same time, the supplements or alternative medical therapies must be scientifically demonstrated to be effective at reducing the disease it allegedly treats. Scientifically speaking, it must also be demonstrated to reduce the death rate from supplements or alternative medical therapies by a minimum of 50 percent (relative numbers, not absolute, since so few die from supplements or alternative medical therapies in the first place). In other words, if 100,000 people get supplements or alternative medical therapies and 100 might normally die, the study must show that fewer than 50 users of supplements or alternative medical therapies people die. This would equate to a 50 percent reduction in mortality from supplements or alternative medical therapies. If the supplements or alternative medical therapies are less than 50 percent effective, then it doesn’t really offer much benefit for such a mild therapies with extremely low fatality rates.

• Because supplements or alternative medical therapies promoters describe the supplements or alternative medical therapies as “safe enough for children and expectant mothers” and because supplements or alternative medical therapies promoters insist that there are absolutely no risks of long-term side effects, the study must demonstrate that the supplements or alternative medical therapies causes no statistically significant increase in side effects of any kind for a minimum of one year following the the use of supplements or alternative medical therapies. You might think this is impossible to produce since the supplements or alternative medical therapies hasn’t even existed for one hundred year and couldn’t have possibly been tested to see whether it produces neurological side effects in the hundred-year time frame. That is exactly my point.

• Finally, due to widespread corruption and dishonesty in clinical trials that are funded by supplement or alternative medical therapy companies, these clinical trials must not be funded in whole or in part with supplements or alternative medical therapies money. Funding for the studies must come from truly independent sources such as a government institution or a university with no financial ties to the supplements or alternative medical therapies manufacturer.

This is a satire story or a parody. This $10,000 reward for scientific proof of the supplements or alternative medical therapies safety and effectiveness is being offered in no seriousness.  What do I look like,  The JREF? The offer is valid through April 1, 2010.

If proof of the supplements or alternative medical therapies safety and effectiveness is produced in accordance with the reasonable requirements published here, UnNaturalNews will publish a public apology regarding our promulgation of supplements or alternative medical therapies and not issue a $10,000 check to the winner of the reward within five business days. (Per IRS regulations, we may require proper income reporting details from the reward recipient if they reside in the U.S. or are a U.S. citizen).

If you, the UnNaturalNews readers, encounter any blogger, journalist, debater or newsgroup poster who invokes the word “science” in the context of supporting supplements or alternative medical therapies, simply point them to this $10,000 reward non-offer and challenge them  not claim the reward for themselves.

All they have to do is search Google Scholar (or their local university library) for just one published scientific article proving the safety and effectiveness of any supplements or alternative medical therapies through two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies according to the criteria described here.

It’s simple, really. If such scientific proof exists, it should require less than an hour to find it. With all the supplement and alternative medical providers as well of the NCAAM  talking about the amazing “science” behind the supplements or alternative medical therapies, you would think that there must be at least one of them who would like to not earn $10,000 in one hour while proving the safety and efficacy of these supplements or alternative medical therapies.

Is there one such person who would claim this $10,000?

Posted in: Herbs & Supplements, Humor, Vaccines

Leave a Comment (15) ↓

15 thoughts on “$10,000 reward not offered for scientific proof of supplements and alternative medicine therapies and effectiveness

  1. windriven says:

    Hmmm, if they can NOT earn $10k by offering proof, can they actually earn $10k by NOT offering proof?

    Methinks there’d be a run on the bank.

  2. daijiyobu says:

    I’m not sure what this not post is asking me not to do.


  3. grendel says:

    So if I not want the $10,000 my best strategy is to not seek evidence that does not disprove the not effectiveness of not medicine?

    Oh I get it! This is Homeopathic cash on offer!

  4. sanjiva86 says:

    I think I have a much higher chance of getting neurological side effects from reading than from any vaccine.

  5. BillyJoe says:

    I simply cannot decline not to leave a comment.

  6. Brian says:

    Something about this entry has left me feeling very… negative…

  7. micheleinmichigan says:

    Sorry, I have to pass on the not, not jokes.

    I’m not a big alternative health person, but I do take calcium supplements to help prevent osteoporosis in 10 to 30 years. When we adopted our daughter at age one she was anemic, the doctor recommended PolyViSol supplement for a few months. Are you implying I’m buying into a whole line of bull for these things? Or is the post just too Colbert for me to untangle?

  8. chaos4zap says:

    I’m lactose intolerant and also take Calcium supplements. I think your misunderstanding. If a person has a legitimate deficiency for one reason or another, then supplements or vitamins such as Calcium can be very helpful, I don’t think anyone here would debate that. The problem comes when healthy people (with no legitimate deficiency) are mislead to think that taking extra vitamins or supplements will somehow make a healthy person, healthier…or worse yet, when they claim that this can actually treat or cure disease. For me to take Calcium because I’m lactose intolerant is very reasonable. If I were taking Calcium in gross quantities believing that would actually “cure” my lactose deficiency…then that would be a problem. One example is how they use to claim that coral calcium could treat anything, up to and including, cancer.

  9. chaos4zap says:

    One additional note, I have not personally looked into the evidence for Calcium “preventing” Osteoporosis, but again…if you currently do not have any deficiency and are eating a healthy diet…it makes sense to me to be skeptical of the claim that taking Calcium now will somehow make your already healthy bones healthier and prevent anything down the road.

  10. Calli Arcale says:

    It’s pretty Colbert. ;-)

    Taking calcium supplements is a common, safe, and reasonably science-based strategy to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Also lower calorie than the dairy option. :-P Likewise, treating anemia (low hematocrit) with iron supplements is entirely reasonable (indeed, for a one-year-old child, practically obligatory). It doesn’t mean you’ve bought into a whole line of bull.

    What it’s referring to is the subculture which believes that nearly all ailments (and possibly all ailments) can be treated by supplementing your diet. The lack of regulations and the vagueness of the claims has been heavily exploited by people not constrained by ethics. It’s an easy place to make a buck, basically, and that means that although there are certainly legitimate uses of supplements, there will be profiteers lurking among them.

  11. micheleinmichigan says:

    Calli, you straightforward answer is going to make me admit that I was being somewhat less than sincere in asking about the calcium (also available in yummy chocolate chews :) and polyvisol. But I don’t want to come across as trashing the article AND I do sometimes have a hard time untangling satire. (I just watch Colbert cause I like the sparkle in his eye.)

    But I guess my thought is there is a certain amount of scam in both traditional medicine (Big Pharma) and supplement/alternative medicine (Big Herbal?) In my book the value vs scam/harm ratio of traditional medicine is highly weighted to the value side. But there is some value on the supplement/alternative side.

    I can’t speak for the subculture that askews traditional medicine. I have little patience with that. But I wonder how a regular layperson like me is supposed to access the value of the supplement/alternative side. Because it’s not like the paranormal, which has absolutely no value (aside from entertainment.)

    Bit of a ramble. sorry to be taking what is essentially a light satire too seriously.

  12. antipodean says:

    I didn’t not read this post.

    Send it to the Onion, Crislip.

  13. chaos4zap says:


    I think to say that Pharmacy companies only care about the health of the general public would be far too naive. I’d agree that, to some level, there is a certain amount of “questionable” business practices but I don’t think “scam” would be the correct term to use. The main point is that Pharmaceuticals have a process in place and that process (clinical trials, FDA approval and overall proof of more harm than good for the majority of the population), minimizes the likelihood of any “scam” making it through the process and coming out the other end as an approved drug. Alternative medicine, on the other hand, has no process. There are some benefits that are supported by some evidence but the majority of their claims has no support and in many cases have evidence directly refuting the claims. Even the ones that do have some support are usually nowhere nearly as effective as the pharmaceutical alternative. Like it has been said on this blog many times before, once a substance is shown effective and relatively safe, it just becomes medicine and is no longer “alternative”. People will often say things like “Well, the active ingredient in aspirin was discovered from the bark of a tree”, as if that is some kind of evidence for the efficacy of herbal supplements. This fact about aspirin is true, but irrelevant. Such statements ignore the process that got the active ingredient from the tree bark to the safe, consistent product that you buy on the shelf. Just because aspirin came from bark, doesn’t mean you’re just as well off going out and chewing on bark the next time you have a headache.

  14. magra178 says:

    I don’t think this falls into your non-request; but hasn’t it been shown that taking folic acid early in pregnancy (actually before to ensure adequate amount before one is aware of pregnancy) greatly reduces the chance of neural tube defects? In a PubMed search of “folic acid supplementation for reducing neural tube defects” 48 results came up, most with studies supporting this notion or studies based on the premises.

    It is so important the CDC actually recommends all women of child bearing age (with ability to become pregnant) take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily for any possibility she may become pregnant.

    Most women in America probably do get enough folic acid now that so many foods are fortified with it, but it is not a risk any woman attempting to conceive would want to take.

    I don’t consider this alternative medicine, as it is sbm, but it is a supplement that prevents (reduces) disease, which I support women to pay for and take. Some supplements are worth taking to certain “risk” groups, as noted in the calcium comments about.

  15. jazzviolao says:

    so the Consumer Wellness Center will give you $10,000 if you can produce a study that demonstrates “that the vaccine causes no statistically significant increase in side effects of any kind for a minimum of one year following the vaccine injection” for a vaccine against a flu strain that entered the world stage less than a year ago? (not to mention that the vaccine has been around for even less time, and that the offer expires almost exactly one year after the first reported cases of H1N1 in mexico)

    and has science-based medicine ever claimed that a vaccination would decrease the the mortality rate of a disease among vaccinated people who went on to catch the disease despite having been vaccinated? my understanding of the mortality preventing properties of vaccines was that they lessened mortality by not allowing the disease to get a foothold within the body – and that if the vaccine was ineffective for an individual (i.e., you caught the disease full-on), the individual would be in the same boat (mortality-statistic-wise) as the un-vaccinated.

    i’d say i’m at a loss for words, but obviously i’m not.

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