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June 2003

ACA, WCA blast media for ‘biased’
coverage of journal report

Both the American Chiropractic Association and the World Chiropractic Alliance combated the blitz in the popular press concerning the dangers of chiropractic neck adjustment. The two organizations reacted quickly to the news reports, which were stimulated by the release in the journal Neurology. Both organizations chastised the media for its treatment of the report.

The ACA news release stressed that the Neurology study was “fraught with design flaws” and said “it provides little new and useful information and needlessly alarms the public about a safe and effective form of treatment for neck pain and headaches.”

The WCA news release charged media and the medical bias against chiropractic, stating, “The media feeding frenzy following a May 13 study in the journal Neurology is a glaring example of how the news media is manipulated by the medical industry to help destroy chiropractic.” It referred to the landmark Wilk vs. American Medical Association case as evidence that the medical community conspires to eliminate chiropractic as a competitor.

Wall Street Journal article refutes chiropractic benefits. Click here.

The ACA press release emphasized the safety of chiropractic adjustment and stated that the type of stroke studied by the researchers has also been associated with “many other types of commonplace activities, such as talking on the telephone, swimming, stargazing, overhead work, hair shampooing and even sleeping.”

The ACA stressed that “the best estimates of the odds of suffering a serious complication from a chiropractic neck treatment are about one incident out of every two million treatments — the same odds that you will die in a commercial airline crash.”

The WCA quoted Timothy Feuling, president of Chiropractic Benefit Services, a malpractice insurer, as saying that his company “hasn’t had a single claim involving a stroke in years.”

It also stated, “The media’s double standard was made obvious by the unwarranted publicity given to the study. Medical treatment and drug errors account for more than 100,000 deaths each year, according to the report in the April 1998 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Another 350,000 adverse drug reactions occur in U.S. nursing homes each year, many of which are fatal.”

According to Terry Rondberg, DC, president of WCA, “the media practically ignores these statistics in its rush to promote medical treatment and drugs.”

Rondberg reasoned, “Money may also be a prime reason why the media is such a willing partner in the campaign against chiropractic. Drug companies and other medical firms spend more than $3 billion yearly to fill newspaper and magazine pages, saturate radio and television airwaves and blanket the Internet with ads.

“When you depend on the medical and drug trades for much of your income, it’s easy to fall into the trap of being their lackeys and using their propaganda without asking hard questions,” he said. “The WCA challenges the news media to do some real investigative reporting and tell the truth about the ongoing campaign against chiropractic by the medical and drug industries.”

Sources: The American Chiropractic Association (800-986-4636) and World Chiropractic Alliance (800-347-1011)

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