Kitchener-Waterloo The Record - Sept 2, 1998
Just when I thought the Record's coverage of science and medicine couldn't get any worse, it printed a truly egregious and irresponsible endorsementof iridology on August 28, The Eyes Have It
This therapy - based on the belief that many illnesses can be diagnosed by examining patterns in the iris - is not science, but pure quackery. It has repeatedly failed scientific testing.
In 1979, the leading U.S. iridologist and two others failed a test in which they were asked to distinguish between 48 persons with kidney impairments and 95 without. One iridologist concluded 74 percent of the sick patients were normal. Another said 88 percent of the normal patients were sick.
The Quackwatch site - www.quackwatch.com contains valuable information on iridology and other therapies. It should be required reading for anyone interested in "alternative" medicine - not to mention for reporters.
Jeff Shallit is a professor of computer science at the University of Waterloo. He is one of the founders of Electronic Frontier Canada, an organization that defends human rights and free speech on the internet. He was recently featured in a technology supplement in the KW Record.