In a recent CBS 60 Minutes program, correspondent Scott Pelley (pictured, CBS News) covered the stories of several people who have been diagnosed and living with crippling and debilitating diseases for which there are no known cures. During his interviews he discovers due to their illnesses, how depressed, distressed, and vulnerable they and their family members have become.
Scientists and researchers in laboratories across the world continue to steadily work toward the goal of one day ridding the globe of diseases such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. In the mean time, desperate patients and families find themselves reaching out to hope--only to find it to be false.
Con men used to travel town to town hawking medical remedies said to be made of Chinese snakes. Snake oil was useless and dangerous. So the FDA was created to put a stop to it and other food and drug scams.
But, today, quack medicine has never been bigger. In the 21st century, snake oil has been replaced by bogus therapies using stem cells. Stem cells may offer cures one day, but medical charlatans on the Internet are making outrageous claims that they can reverse the incurable, from autism to multiple sclerosis to every kind of cancer.
Not only are patients potentially putting themselves in a worse medical state because of the phony treatments, desperate people are being bilked out of their life's savings.
Read more about and watch Mr. Pelley’s story below.
CBS 60 Minutes: 21st Century Snake Oil (04/18/10)
CBS 60 Minutes: 21st Century Snake Oil (video, part 1) (04/18/10)
CBS 60 Minutes: 21st Century Snake Oil (video, part 2) (04/18/10)