My e-mail to the NCI
In my previous entry I railed against the NCI’s portrayal of acupuncture on their website. After blowing off some steam, I wrote a nice, polite, but direct e-mail to the folks at the NCI with the hopes that someone would forward it to the Director. Below I reproduce the e-mail. I will keep folks posted if I get a reply.
I am trying to reach Dr. Niederhuber, but was unable to find a direct contact e-mail address online. Please forward this message to his attention.
Dear Dr. Niederhuber,
I am writing to you to direct your attention, and to express my indignation, at the appallingly credulous portrayal of acupuncture in the NCI website’s Q&A section. The answers to the questions show complete disregard for the scientific evidence, and its verdict so far on acupuncture; that is performs no better than placebo when properly designed trials are conducted. Yet the NCI website leaves the reader with the impression that not only does acupuncture work when it comes to cancer, but that it is also endorsed/recommended by the NCI, which is quite a dangerous impression to leave your readers with.
I do not intend to take too much of your time with this e-mail, so I will direct you to my lengthier blog entry (http://tinyurl.com/nzgxos) on this, in the hopes that you can, and will be willing to, address this unforgivable oversight and correct the language in the website to align it with the best available scientific evidence. The NCI website is one of the first stops that people dealing with cancer go to, and I believe that NCI must hold itself to the highest standards and commit to distributing science based advice, and not lend credibility to discredited CAM modalities.
Being a doctor yourself, I am sure that you’ll agree with me that there is no such thing as “alternative” medicine. If it works it is medicine, if not it is myth and superstition. I believe the NCI has an obligation to embrace real medicine and science in its dealings with the public, and it needs to proudly express its devotion to the scientific method. Unfortunately, the above mentioned, Q&A section on acupuncture does exactly the opposite by endorsing acupuncture.
Thank you very much for your time.
I would like to invite all Skepfeeds enthusiasts to use a similar version and let the NCI know that their behavior is unacceptable.