Quack Miranda Warning

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The Quack Miranda Warning is a phrase coined by PalMD[1] (sometime RationalWiki editor and current well known blogger) to describe phrases such as the following:

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Legal standing

Statements such as these are required by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for certain products in the United States, most often alternative medicines, and help protect manufacturers from liability.[2]

The phrase is a reference to the "Miranda warning", the statement of rights recited by police officers when making an arrest under United States law.

Reasoning

There are three ways to look at this requirement: the truthful way, the sinister way, and the bat-shit insane way.

  1. Truth: Anyone who wants to sell you something that's a load of crap must use this statement to cover themselves legally.
  2. Sinister: Variation of above—someone wants to sell you something that you are supposed to believe is medically useful, but at the same time they tell you in fine print that it is not medically useful. When it doesn't work, they don't get sued. Why would anyone buy something with that disclaimer attached to it? When a real doctor treats someone for a medical problem, they pretty much say that they intend to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent a disease. Why would they say otherwise? It would be a lie. Also, who would go to see a doctor that told you that they didn't intend to diagnose or treat disease. The whole thing is bizarre.
  3. Bat-shit insane: The FDA and Big Pharma are in cahoots with the AMA to keep you from learning all the simple ways to treat diseases. They want your money, and they'll do anything they can to get it from you, including suppressing the knowledge that anyone can learn to heal cancer.

People who believe #3 are probably beyond help. People who are willing to suspend their paranoia should read #'s 1 and 2 a few times. Unless you're being arrested, no one should be reading you your rights. The Quack Miranda Warning is the red flag that should send you running.

Similar disclaimers appear on Scientologists' "E-Meters", identifying them as religious artifacts with no medical application.

Footnotes

  1. White Coat Underground - Quack Miranda Warning
  2. Overview of Dietary Supplements at the FDA website. See the part about disclaimers.
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