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Acupuncture: A Science-Based Assessment

Special Report

Robert Slack, Jr., Eugenie V. Mielczarek

June 10, 2010

CFI Position Paper on Acupuncture

Center for Inquiry position paper determines that acupuncture has become increasingly embedded within the American healthcare system, despite mounting empirical evidence against it.

In recent decades, public interest in acupuncture has grown dramatically. Proponents of acupuncture repeatedly make the unjustified claim that acupuncture is an efficacious and cost effective complement to conventional medicine. These claims rely on dubious and discredited research data. During the past ten years, however, an increasingly robust body of research has accumulated showing that acupuncture has no intrinsic clinical value. Despite mounting empirical evidence against it, however, acupuncture has become increasingly embedded within the American healthcare system, in part through government funding of integrative medical clinics. The Center for Inquiry's position paper on acupuncture, written by Robert Slack, Jr., offers compelling evidence that the uncritical adoption of acupuncture adds significant costs to the United States' already overburdened healthcare system, lowers standards of medical training and treatment, and lends dangerous and undue authority to pseudoscience, ultimately degrading respect for science in the public realm.

Robert Slack, Jr., Eugenie V. Mielczarek

CFI’s paper was authored by Robert Slack, Jr. a writer living and working in Maryland. Mr. Slack was assisted by biophysicist Eugenie V. Mielczarek, emeritus professor of physics at George Mason University.