On February 3, 2012 I read this article, http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/02/01/herbal-education-for-doctors-and-more/#content, on the Fox News site written by Chris Kilham who bills himself as the “Medicine Hunter”, and an ethnobotanist who researches “natural remedies all over the world” and teaches at the University of Massachusetts.
“If you’re a doctor, pharmacist or other health care practitioner, you know that many people who walk into your office are using supplements, such as herbs. But school did not teach you about these remedies, and unless you have studied the topic of herbal medicine on your own, you have more questions than answers.
So where do you go to learn more?
The American Botanical Council of Austin Texas is your answer."
I posted this comment right after reading the article:
ABC is a trade organization that promotes the sale of botanical "dietary supplements" and, I suspect, also makes a fortune selling "information" about its products. Suggesting that one go there for accurate information about medicinal herbs is like suggesting that one go to the Tobacco Institute for information about cigarettes although I suspect that due to changes in cultural attitudes that the pitch you get from ABC is far subtler, more sophisticated and discreet than the propaganda put out by the now defunct Tobacco Institute.
My comment appeared on the site under one other in which the author said something like, “Kilham didn’t go to med school or pharmacy school. So how does he know what is taught there?” What the commenter did not point out, perhaps he didn’t know, was that there is a special branch of pharmacy called pharmacognosy that specializes in the study of pharmacologically active ingredients found in natural products including those in plants. Without checking, I believe that there are still pharmacy schools offering degrees in Pharmacognosy and suspect that many more cover it in courses on the history of pharmacy.
But later in the day when I went back to check to see if more comments had been added, I was surprised to find that both my comment and the other one had disappeared and that there no longer was a spot to post a comment.
When I had originally posted mine there were two photos of Kilham. Under the small one you saw: Print; Email; Share; Comments (1); Like... When I returned, “Comments (1)” had been deleted. I looked and couldn’t find any place to add one much less find the one that I had previously posted.
I don’t know a lot about computers and I’m not aging well. If I missed the comments, please let me know. (I have saved the piece twice, once showing the comment link and once without it.)
Fox News has a logo above Kilham’s article that says, “FOXNEWS.com Fair & Balanced”, and since I believe that the article as well as the failure to post my comment shows that the piece is exactly the opposite of that, I think this is something Fox would want to know about. I will try contacting them and report the results, if any, here on my blog.
Chris Kilham, Fox News, American Botanical Council, ABC; University of Massachusetts; ethnobotany; The Medicine Hunter; dietary supplements; botanical drugs