Last week I described electrodermal testing. I’m sure many readers thought, “There oughta be a law against that.” Well, there are laws. Unfortunately, having laws and enforcing them are two different things.
Some of these devices are not approved at all. Most have received 501(k) approval from the FDA as biofeedback devices so similar to previous devices that they do not require new approval — for biofeedback. It is illegal to use the devices for anything other than biofeedback. The FDA has prohibited their sale or importation for unapproved purposes like electrodermal testing; it has sent warnings to companies, raided clinics, and confiscated machines. States have prosecuted users for practicing medicine without a license. Medical boards have chastised licensed providers. The Quackwatch website lists these regulatory actions but points out that there has been no systematic effort to drive these devices from the marketplace.
One electrodermal testing website admits that what it is doing is illegal and tries to fight back with this specious disclaimer:
It is important to understand that the laws in the USA forbid me from being able to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent disease. The AMA has a patent on those words and only a licensed medical doctor can do that. And although it is legal for a licensed medical doctor to violate the Hippocratic oath and prescribe toxic drugs that cause harm and sometimes even kill patients, it is illegal for me to claim you can be cured using natural, nontoxic remedies, even though thousands of people can testify how they have been healed using natural remedies.