For Immediate Release: June 21, 2019
Contact: Center for Inquiry
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Jennifer Beahan, executive director of CFI Michigan, the state branch of the Center for Inquiry, urged the legislature Thursday to reject legislation that would license the practice of acupuncture and a host of other useless pseudoscientific treatments. Beahan testified before the Michigan House Committee on Health Policy about the danger of legitimizing these discredited and potentially unsafe practices.
In her testimony (posted below), Beahan explained that acupuncture originates from pre-scientific notions about mysterious “meridians” and “chi,” which are supposedly manipulated by techniques with no basis in physics or chemistry and that have never been detected or characterized. The totality of evidence presented in peer-reviewed scientific journals shows that acupuncture is a form of “theatrical placebo”; in other words, it is not an effective treatment for any medical condition.
Worse still, a little-noticed provision defines the practice of acupuncture to include “East Asian Medicine Techniques,” a misleading umbrella term that encompasses pseudosciences such as homeopathy, a theory that originated in 1700s Germany. It also includes moxibustion, cupping, “manual therapy,” and other baseless treatments well outside the domain of acupuncture.
Beahan warned the Committee that this legislation would expose the public to dubious and potentially dangerous practices, and that approval from the State of Michigan would bestow undeserved legitimacy to useless, sham treatments, increasing the potential for harm in unsuspecting patients.
CFI will continue to monitor this legislation and work toward its defeat.
Read Jen’s written testimony here: