Honest Universe

Chiropractors struggle to drop testimonials

Mark Hanna Jul 01, 2018

The latest newsletter from the regulator of chiropractors offers an insight into the industry’s culture problems. In their June newsletter, the chair of the Chiropractic Board has admonished chiropractors for a discussion on how to circumvent consumer protection regulations: At a recent chiropractic function, a presentation was given on advertising, chiropractors’ responsibilities and the Advertising Standards Authority … Read More

NZ Police pursuits keep killing people

Mark Hanna May 28, 2018

Despite a repeated cycle of calls for change, people keep dying in police pursuits in New Zealand. Just today, a teenager and a child died as the result of a police pursuit in Palmerston North. News stories like these keep appearing. In February this year I asked NZ Police to release a number of statistics regarding police … Read More

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Personalised Supplements

Mark Hanna May 08, 2018

Can an online quiz give good recommendations for taking supplements? Stuff today published an article about two New Zealand companies that launched recently, Vitally and Wondermins, which each use online quizzes to sell “personalised vitamins”. Unfortunately, Stuff chose to focus on the question “What’s the point?” rather than “What’s the evidence?”. I thought it would be an … Read More

What we owe our pets

Mark Hanna Mar 22, 2018

I recently complained about a vet promoting quackery in the Bay of Plenty Times. In response to my complaint, the editor agreed to publish a response I wrote, regarding what we owe our pets. Now that it’s been up for a little while, I’m also publishing it here on my blog. The Bay of Plenty Times recently … Read More

New Rules for Pharmacists

Mark Hanna Mar 07, 2018

The Pharmacy Council has (finally) published their new Code of Ethics 2018. I’ve written several times on the ongoing saga of the Pharmacy Council’s Code of Ethics. In late 2014 we put together a complaint at the Society for Science Based Healthcare arguing that their Code of Ethics 2011 had been violated by … Read More

Can you trust Band-Aids?

Mark Hanna Nov 29, 2017

Band-Aid is a household name, but can you trust the way they’re promoted? For years Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of Band-Aid adhesive bandages, have been making a simple claim about them. If you put a Band-Aid on a cut, it will heal faster than it would have if left uncovered. Specifically, they say it will heal twice … Read More

Asking the government for information

Mark Hanna Oct 31, 2017

You have the right to ask the government for information. Because of a law called the Official Information Act (OIA), they’re obliged to give it to you unless there is a good reason not to. You’ve likely seen the OIA mentioned in the news. Phrases like “Documents released to [news outlet] under the Official Information Act” can often be found … Read More

NZ political parties’ transgender health plans

Mark Hanna Aug 31, 2017

Access to gender affirmation surgery in New Zealand is abysmal, with waiting lists that are decades long. I’ve asked our major political parties what they will do about it if elected. On the 27th of July, I sent emails to four political parties outlining the issue of access to gender affirmation surgery*. I contacted the healthcare spokespersons for the Green, … Read More

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New Zealand should not regulate naturopaths

Mark Hanna Aug 28, 2017

Naturopaths can kill, but regulating them is not the answer. Over the weekend, the Sunday Star Times published an article by Simon Maude on an unnamed naturopath whose inept attempts at cancer treatment led to the death of an Auckland woman last year: Naturopathy under microscope after cancer sufferers speak from under shadow of death At … Read More

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