Quack Miranda Warning

"These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."

This "Quack Miranda Warning" is on every just about every woo-meister's website. I see dozens of patients every day, and I never Mirandize them, so whats the deal?

There are three ways to look at this: the truthful way, the sinister way, and the bat-shit insane way.

  1. Truth: Anyone who wants to sell you something that's a load of crap must use this statement to cover themselves legally.
  2. Sinister: Variation of above--someone wants to sell you something that you are supposed to believe is medically useful, but at the same time they tell you in fine print that it is not medically useful. When it doesn't work, they don't get sued. I wonder why anyone would buy something with that disclaimer attatched to it? When I treat someone for a medical problem, I pretty much say that I intend to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent a disease. Why would I say otherwise? It would be a lie. Also, who would go to see a doctor that told you that they didn't intend to diagnose or treat disease. The whole thing is bizarre.
  3. Bat-shit insane: The FDA and Big Pharma are in cahoots with the AMA to keep you from learning all the simple ways to treat diseases. They want your money, and they'll do anything they can to get it from you, including suppressing the knowledge than anyone can learn to heal cancer.

I can't really help the people who believe #3, but people who are willing to suspend their paranoia should read #'s 1 and 2 a few times. Unless you're being arrested, no one should be reading you your rights. The Quack Miranda Statement is the red flag that should send you running.

11 responses so far

  • George W. says:

    I came to this site from your scienceblogs site, where this thread has a recent (July 10) post ranting about everything wrong with this argument.
    The major difference between the rambling warning at the end of drug commercials, the "black box warning" and the quack miranda warning is simple. The warnings on effective drugs are listing possible side effects of taking an effective drug to treat an illness. These drugs also clearly state that they are an effective treatment.
    The wooscriptions all have the miranda warning to warn that they have no scientifically provable effect in treating any illness.
    There appears to be a major difference, and to attempt to conflate the two is fundamentally dishonest.

  • Rob Del Monte says:

    I'm not saying that this isn't the disclaimer that con artists would use, but i think medicine doesn't have to be about disease. Afaik, 'heal' is related to an old word 'hael': 'to make whole', and arguably there could be a branch of medicine devoted to healing in the first instance irrespective of disease - you don't take it to prevent anything, you just take it to boost your health to enjoy the feeling of being healthy. That is when i'd see a doctor who isn't interested in diagnosing, preventing,

    • "you don't take it to prevent anything, you just take it to boost your health to enjoy the feeling of being healthy"

      Hmmm. To be fair, there *are* substances that do this, they are usually referred to as "controlled substances".

      Seriously, being perfectly healthy but taking unproven stuff to feel even better? More than 100% fit? Want to explain how we can travel faster than light as well?

      I feel a rhyme coming on:

      Healthier than healthy,
      Whiter than white;
      You must be so naive
      To swallow that shite.

  • Rob Del Monte says:

    Sorry, my mobile 'phone cut off the end of my message when it lost connection. Cont.: or treating. However, the types of advice i expect would be to like cycle to work and pick the autumn/fall berries on the way home - things without labels. Therefore, this does sound like the hallmark of a scammer, but not because the medicament's apathologic, but because the types of medicines are likely to not be industrially processed medicinal substances (medicaments), with industrial regulation; and without labels.

  • [...] card and can make almost whatever claims they want for supplements as long as they include a Quack Miranda warning and keep their claims vague enough, as in, for example, the ever-infamous “boosts the immune [...]

  • Lawrence says:

    This statement may be on every quack website but is on every legitamate website and label as well. Take vitamin C for example. Everyone knows that it can help treat & cure diseases. Vitamin C has been used for centuries to cure disease by eating various foods that are high in it. Even doctors tell you it is good to take when you are sick because it helps your body fight off the disease. So the fact that this statement is required to be on even the most obviously beneficial vitamins pretty much means that the FDA requires a companies to lie to the public and that they have failed in their one duty to encouraging truth in health. Once I realized this, it totally discredits everything the FDA says.

    Sure if something is not approved by a big organization whose existance is supposed to safeguard health it makes it easier for the little con artest to step in at every opportunity, but that doesn't mean that the big con artests arn't doing the same thing.

  • [...] excellent blog White Coat Underground have probably had occasion to read PalMD's explanation of the Quack Miranda Warning, the disclaimer found on various websites and advertisements that reads, "These statements have not [...]

  • Linda R says:

    This is an uninformed and deliberately misleading post!!! Of course supplements and websites include this statement, because it is REQUIRED by law! See http://www.fda.gov: "This statement or 'disclaimer' is required by law (DSHEA).... these claims; they are not approved by FDA.... The disclaimer must also state that this product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease," because only a drug can legally make such a claim.

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