The CAM wars
Does the alternative medicine industry try to silence its critics?
Anastasia Fugger has been taking sugar pills for her colds since she was a small child. When she starts to feel run down, she pops out to her local north London pharmacy to pick up a pack of oscillococcinium. These pills are derived from duck liver and heart extracts and Anastasia claims that they have stopped her from getting sick over the years. “If there was a cold going around at school, I would take this medication and not get ill,” she explains. “I would literally see all of the other children around me getting poorly and I would be ok.”
Five hundred miles away, in the Scottish city of Elgin, Mark Gavin has been receiving acupuncture treatment for back pain, after he was involved in a car incident over Christmas. “You wouldn’t think these tiny needles would make such a difference,” he says, “But they really do.”