Untrustworthy Organizations in the Healthfinder Database

December 15, 2003
® is a government-run site which claims to be “your guide to reliable health information.” The site states:
  • In the healthfinder selection process, each organization is reviewed to establish its general reliability and credibility, as well as its ability to respond to inquiries from the public. Once an organization is selected, its traditional contact information, direct Internet links (if available), and an abstract describing the organization and its information and referral services are entered into the healthfinder database.
  • Organizations should provide a substantial amount of consumer health information as part of their mission, and that information should be current, consistent with basic science and recommendations of recognized authorities, and well-designed.
  • Only after we carefully review an organization do we choose information from its Web site for our health library.
Unfortunately, the “careful review” does not seem to include sufficient willingness to confront quackery. The following organizations are listed in its database, even though, in most cases, I have notified the Healthfinder staff that they promote untrustworthy ideas. The most egregious inclusion is the American College for Advancement in Medicine, which is under an FTC cease-and-desist order not to misrepresent chelation therapy in advertising yet continues to do so on its Web site.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance
Alternative Medicine Foundation

American Academy of Environmental Medicine

American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

American Association of Oriental Medicine

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

American Chiropractic Association

American College for Advancement in Medicine

American Holistic Health Association

American Holistic Nurses’ Association
American Massage Therapy Association
American Meditation Institute
Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

Association for Integrative Medicine

Association of Chiropractic Colleges
Autism Society of America
CAM Research Center for Cardiovascular Diseases
Center for Addiction and Alternative Medicine Research
Center for the Study of Autism
Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Council for Naturopathic Medical Education

Council for Responsible Nutrition

Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Emory University Center for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Environmental Health Network
Flower Essence Society
HELP-Institute for Body Chemistry

International Chiropractors Association

National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

National Center for Homeopathy
National Certification Board for Therapeuic Massage and Bodywork

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Reflexology Association of America
White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy

Quackwatch Home Page

This page was posted on December 15, 2003.