The unfortunate rise of medical myths (part 1)

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The unfortunate rise of medical myths (part 1)

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Last month, everyone was talking about a famous rapper's outlandish claim that the Earth was flat. But, it's just the symptom of a great trend-- one in which people move further and further away from science and start to embrace some rather bizarre theories. As an organization advocating for greater public funding for necessary health care coverage, education for both our representatives and their constituents is key. That is why we become alarmed when bizarre theories surrounding traditional health care start to gain traction—if the public will give credence to these messages, they may disregard the messages we bring. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association chronicled some of the more common medical conspiracy theories. Here are a few that were featured: Big Pharma holds back the cure for cancer The theory goes that pharmaceutical companies found the cure for cancer but have kept it hushed up because it wouldn’t be profitable for them. Or, they’ve found that homeopathic medicine can cure it, but again, that will destroy their profits, so they pay to keep it off the markets. Fluoride is evil From suppressing your Third Eye to acting as a government mind-control technique to infecting the environment with the dangerous by-products of phosphate mines, public water fluoridation is the subject of many conspiracy theories. Indeed, fluoride in public water has been controversial since it was first started in the 1940’s; back then, some people believed it was a communist plot to undermine the public health of America. Monsanto practices population control This theory goes that the seed company Monsanto has been spreading genetically modified food in order to shrink the world’s population. This theory also pins the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations as co-conspirators. These are just a few of the conspiracy theories that are becoming more common with the American people. While some of these conspiracy theories seem laughable, the underlying cause behind people’s belief in them is not, as it represent an erosion in traditional medicine and science. That is why advocacy—and education—are so important to us.