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The uncritical acceptance of complementary and alternative medicine is damaging us all - it's time to let science, not superstition, guide us in our health choices.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is big business. Americans alone spend upwards of $83 billion a year on treatments and products that are lauded as natural, derived from ancient wisdom and free of side effects.

The extraordinary claims of alternative health practitioners are frequently reported uncritically in mainstream media, from glossy magazines to broadsheet health supplements. Yet, despite all this, these treatments have consistently failed to stand up to scientific scrutiny. And there ...