As parts of Australia are going back into lock-down because of the increasingly high COVID-19 infection rates, the Chiropractic Board of Australia (CBA) has issued a statement on chiropractors’ claims regarding immunity:
The Board is particularly concerned that during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic there are claims in advertising that suggest spinal adjustments and/or manipulation can boost or improve general immunity or the immune system.
There is insufficient acceptable evidence to support such claims in advertising. Acceptable evidence mostly encompasses empirical data from formal research or systematic studies, in the form of peer-reviewed publications. Information about what constitutes acceptable evidence for advertising can be found in the Advertising resources section of the Ahpra website.
Advertising that there is a relationship between manual therapy (e.g. spinal adjustments and/or manipulation) and achieving general wellness or boosting or improving immunity contravenes the National Law and the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services.
Although many claims do not directly reference spinal adjustments and/or manipulation preventing or protecting from COVID-19, there is currently greater awareness of immunity issues and the public is seeking information on ways to prevent or protect themselves from the disease. Consequently, there is a greater risk that claims about spinal adjustments and/or manipulation boosting or improving general immunity may be interpreted to be claims about boosting or improving immunity to COVID-19.
Making claims in advertising that spinal adjustments and/or manipulation can boost or improve general immunity or the immune system is likely to result in regulatory action being taken by the Board.
“… IS LIKELY TO RESULT IN REGULATORY ACTION …”???
Come on, pull the other one!
Bogus claims have been made by chiropractors since ages.
Bogus claims are what chiropractors thrive on.
Without them, they would go bust.
Every now and then some regulator makes some noises reminding chiropractors that bogus claims are bogus. But have they EVER taken any action?
Have they ever even INTENDED to take action?
I doubt it.
In fact, statements of this nature seem to be the chiropractic way of sanctioning false claims. The somewhat paradoxical way this works is as follows: chiropractors make bogus claims all the time; we all got so much used to them that hardly anyone bats an eyelash. But every now and then the bogus nature of the claims become noticeable to the wider public – like now with COVID-19 – and some people or organisations take offence. This is clearly not good for the chiro-business or image. Therefore, the professional chiro organisations step in by issuing a statement – like the one above – condemning the claims and threatening action. All the chiros know, of course, what this is about and change absolutely nothing. The desired effect is guaranteed: chiros can carry on as before, but the image is saved and the business can continue.
I very much doubt that, in the coming weeks, the CBA will do much about the many Australian chiropractors who will continue to mislead the public about COVID-19 or any other issues.
Nice window dressing perhaps, but no substance at all.
If you disagree with my view, please send me the details of any decisive regulatory action which the CBA took regarding immunity claims, and I will delete this post.