WHO blasted for legitimizing non-evidence-based Chinese medicine

Posted 10 April 2019

The editors of Scientific American have harshly criticized the World Health Organization for including in the 11th edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) disorders described in ancient Chinese medicine (ICD-11).

Editors. The World Health Organization gives the nod to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Bad Idea. Scientific American. April 2019 https://www.who.int/health-topics/international-classification-of-diseases

Their key points include:

  • Including traditional Chinese medicine in the ICD is an egregious lapse in evidence-based thinking and practice. Data supporting the effectiveness of most traditional remedies are scant, at best.
  • In China, traditional medicines are unregulated, and they frequently make people sick rather than curing them.
  • Analyses of Chinese remedies have revealed hidden ingredients including banned Western drugs, toxic chemicals, and DNA from endangered species.
  • The proliferation of traditional medicines contributes to destruction of ecosystems and increases the illegal trade of wildlife.
  • Until they undergo rigorous testing for purity, efficacy, dosage and safety, the WHO should remove traditional medicines from its list. These remedies should be given the same scrutiny as other treatments before being included in standard care practices.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #19-14, April 6, 2019

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