The UK ‘Society of Homeopaths’ just proudly made this announcement: “From today, patients will be able to choose a homeopath belonging to a register vetted and approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA). The Society of Homeopaths’ voluntary register has been accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, accountable to Parliament.”
No, it is not April fools day, but it is clearly time to rejoice and to start believing in homeopathy. Not an easy task, you might say; perhaps this new and equally amazing article outlining 10 reasons to love homeopathy will make it a little more feasible (as it is pure comedy gold, I have only shortened it very slightly)?
1. For Love: Love your family, love thy neighbor, love your homeopath. Even if you don’t need a homeopath, your aunt, your grandmother, or grandchild might…
2. For money. Homeopathic medicines are generally less expensive than patent medicines, which have prices driven by profit, not by cost nor benefit…
3. For your bodies, minds, spirits, and communities. Homeopathy works… How is it possible that everyone can find instances where a homeopathic doctor was able to solve a problem…?
4. Because you are royalty. Kings and queens have used homeopathy – with positive effects. The Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II has a personal physician – a homeopath. She has used homeopathic medicines for her pets as well. If it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for you.
5. Because someday you might need a chiropractor, a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Acupuncturist, an Osteopathic Doctor, an Ayurvedic practitioner, or even a midwife. …Attacking homeopathy, suggesting it be banned, is a first step in the wrong direction. Many medical disciplines are attacked independently, with a goal to remove them all from your market, your freedom to choose. If we ban homeopaths, ask yourself – who’s next?
6. For Your Freedoms: Freedom to choose Homeopathy. Freedom to choose your medicines and treatments. There are many who might prefer that you have fewer freedoms, especially those with something to sell. There are many nonsense restrictions on your freedom to choose, and freedoms avoid, specific medical treatments. It’s your body, your mind, your spirit, and your life. You have the right to choose…
7. For your symptoms. The medical model classifies all symptoms as indications of illness. It does not recognize that symptoms can be indications of healthiness, and seldom recognizes that symptoms can be indications of healing or fighting illness. Homeopathy looks at symptoms from a completely different viewpoint…
8. For your health. Today, it’s illegal to market a product that claims to ‘improves your health’, without reference to illness. All ‘health claims’ must reference ‘a disease or health related condition’. It is illegal to sell a ‘health product’ without a reference to scientific studies of ‘illness’. Medicine, is blind to health. Homeopathy challenges many medical dogmas, opening a door open to a more comprehensive, broader, more clear view of healthiness – not just illness.
9. For your Doctor. Whether your doctor is a homeopath or not, she might need access to homeopathic ideas and medicines. Homeopathy is practiced by many doctors, dentists, naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, physician assistants, nurses, even veterinarians, and more. If homeopathy is banned, these medical professionals will be limited, or forced to hide their beliefs and activities.
10. For science. Some argue that homeopathy cannot pass the tests of science. These are people who do not understand science. Science does not find truths, it asks questions and seeks answers. The answers it finds, if they are useful, raise higher, more important questions. When science is stifled, when science becomes illegal, we all lose.
This is all so very sweet that I almost hesitate to bring you back to reality. But I have to, this is no blog for dreamers!
Here is a reminder what level-headed, independent and thorough experts have to say about homeopathy; I am sorry, if their statement comes a bit like a cold shower to the irrationalists: “the evidence from research in humans does not show that homeopathy is effective for treating the range of health conditions considered.”
So, what should we make of the UK government’s decision to register homeopaths? Personally, I now look forward to the day when parliament starts discussing the new London airport for flying carpets – but, as always, I look forward to your answers.
Every point is pure garbage… I mean, even if I wanted to I couldn’t do a piece like this. It’s like a Poe law : I cannot see if it’s extrem stupidy or extrem self-derision.
Ah… I’m happy that in France we cut the head of all kings and queens.
It’s all the most hilarious cobblers, but number 10 is an absolute joy! If only it were harmless to peddle such tripe, we could just have a good laugh.
(Sorry Tripe, I believe you have nutritional value, I shouldn’t put you in the same bracket as homeopathy.)
Glad you enjoyed the post. It was not intended to be comedy, but I can see that it might give rise to confusion as I, and the post, looks at the world of health from a completely different viewpoint than most people. I write the view of healthicine. You can learn more where the post was originally published, at http://healthicine.org/
Thanks for the LOLs, Tracy.
Can you say how much profit the Standard Homeopathic Company and Laboratoires Boiron make?
My interests are health and freedom to choose. I don’t study how much any medical organization makes and have no interest.
YOU FORGOT TO MENTION THAT YOU ALSO PUBLISH INDEFENSIBLE AND DANGEROUS NONSENSE
Not sure about Standard, but Labotoires Boiron have a market capitalisation value of some €1.22billion and gross profits of €350million on a revenue of €600million. Seems pretty profitable to me.
Anyway, you say you’re interested in ‘freedom to choose’. Do you think the public should have the freedom to make a fully informed choice?
Here is a very simple question for Tracy.
But first some background information.
Despite having a small setback after being forced to cough up a $12 million in a class-action lawsuit settlement in 2012 (because they were unable to show that their remedies worked) the Boiron stocks have since tripled in value!
Boiron’s total revenues in 2013 were 618 million Euros, the net profit 350 million Euros.They spent 209 million Euros on marketing and administration but a meager 1.05 per cent or 6.5 million Euros on R&D. To put this into perspective against a “Big Pharma” producer, MSD used more than 16% of their total revenue for R&D. Despite such meager research efforts, Boirons chief pharmacist made 1,174,051 Euros (USD 1.5 million) last year.
I wonder what they pay for the single Muscovy duck they sacrifice once per year to take a small piece of its heart and its liver for their annual batch of Oscillococcinum? The small pieces of liver and heart are homogenised and then Korsakov-diluted with highly purified water to the order of 1/200000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
This is a figure with 400 zeros. It is not astronomical. It is way-way beyond astronomical. The entire universe is thought to contain a number of molecules that contains only eighty zeros This figure contains five times more zeros. Oh, and I almost forgot, they shake the container vigorously between every two zeros to “potentise” the healing power of the duck-offal. Healing power that no one knows what is or how works, least of all the Boiron people.
The resulting water is then dropped into containers of small sugar pills and allowed to evaporate. How they can know that the effect is magnified (“potentised”) instead of diluted during this process and then spread in the pills and retained when the water drop evaporates, not even the Boiron “experts” can explain that.
These pills are bought and used the world over for the treatment of flu symptoms.
We have no idea about the manufacturing quality of this golden goose of French Boiron. We don’t even know whether they bother to obtain the duck in the first place.
An indication of the manufacturing standards of homeopathic Big-alt pharma was revealed during an inspection of another well known homeopathic remedy producer. At this inspection the FDA found broken glass in many containers and the machines missed the pill container altogether in at least one out of six. No customers had complained either of too little or too much effect despite the missing vital[sic] ingredient in almost 17% of the pill boxes.
Sales of Oscillococcinum are estimated to be around $20m in the US. It is sold in at least 60 other countries worldwide and constitutes Boirons main product.
And now for the question:
Perhaps Tracy can be so kind as to explain why Boiron was unable to save themselves the 12 million dollars by proving that their star product (oscillococcinum) really works?
“Glad you enjoyed the post. It was not intended to be comedy, but I can see that it might give rise to confusion as I, and the post, looks at the world of health from a completely different viewpoint than most people.”
No you don’t. You aren’t talking about “world of health” but about money making. Your medical ethic is equal to none, as your scientific knowledge. The only thing that you are mastering is sophistic.
Quark. You clearly don’t know me.
…but we know your writing
“Quark. You clearly don’t know me.”
I don’t need to know you to read what you are writing and see that is utter nonsense. So there is only two possibilities : either you are genuinely … herm I will say “misinformed” to be polite, or you have interest in selling snake oil. Now let you be honest and choose : admit that you understand nothing of science (then, please, stop talking about it on your blog and learn the basics, it’s never too late) or admit that you are a quack.
Many people don’t realize that the major cause of modern dis-ease is the blockage of love given to charlatans and fraudsters. Think about it for a moment: When you receive a call from a stranger trying to sell you something, how do you react? Do you feel slightly irritated by the intruder and quickly end the communication? If so then your love is blocked and the underlying dis-ease temporarily emerges into your awareness. A homeopath can help you overcome this blockage. Imagine your life without dis-ease, constantly full of love, peace and happiness. Instead of despising charlatans and fraudsters you will love them and willingly help them along their pathway to also having a wonderful life.
Scientists don’t understand these concepts and many of them want you to be afraid of charlatans and fraudsters. The British government has taken a bold step towards eradicating this problem. I’m looking forward to its next bold step: Nobody can see a GP or a specialist without a referral from a homeopath.
Pete, give me some of the thing you take, I want to feel the cosmic love.
That was my diluted version of the truly efficacious remedy known as British satire 🙂
Complementary and Alternative Medicine weaselled its way into calling itself Integrative Medicine. It is currently insisting that some of its practitioners should be primary care physicians. Yeah, let’s bring it on — especially in Accident & Emergency clinics. The new love affair with homeopaths would be very short-lived, as would be the life of their patients.
But what R&D did Boiron conduct to spend even 6.5 million euros? Anyone know?
Methods relating to the optimal selection of Cairina moschata and preparation of heart and entrails thereof for Oscillococcinum™
Or maybe not.
Too bad all the homeopaths haven’t run off to fight ebola.
No, but they are petitioning the World Health Organisation: WHO: End the suffering of those in the Ebola crisis by distributing homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks.
Boiron don’t add water on to sucrose pills. There is a bit more to it than that. Check out the Ph Eur.
Surely they don’t add some active ingredients to the sugar pellets as well, do they?
Maybe Grumpycat would be so kind as to give us a short description of Boirons manufacturing process and how that information may impact on our understanding of why on earth the remedies should have any effect? I neither have time nor interest to dig up more information on demonstrable nonsense.
I dont give a flying whotsit if the pills are is 100% sucrose containing zero duck. I think it works and that can be your problem and not mine if you insist.
Thank you, Grumpycat, for so clearly demonstrating the keystone that underpins the whole of alt-med practice and advocacy.
Alan Henness sends his huge dossier to the PSA and again gets caught out writing spin by an accountable organisation . History repeats itself. Remember your 2012 MHRA disaster Alan?
Bet you aint laughing now. x
LOL! Utter nonsense – there was no ‘2012 MHRA disaster’, of course.
Ok Alan if you say so. No Medicines Act disaster for you in July 2012. Everything went as planned of course.
So it is just the 2014 PSA disaster then.
Another LOL! We had great fun watching homeopaths run around like headless chickens…
Grumpycat, having demonstrated his inability to mount a reasoned defence of homeopathy, resorts to trying to smear Alan instead. “[Alan] gets caught out writing spin”? What are you wittering on about Grumpycat? There was no “disaster” in 2012 and there is no disaster now – unless you think bitter conflict between homeopaths over regulation and articles in national broadsheets and newsmags condemning homeopathy for the quackery it is are disastrous. We certainly don’t!
Consider the the status of UK homeopathy – and the morale of homeopaths – five years ago and compare them to how things are now and you’ll see we do, in fact, have a lot more to laugh about than you do.
By his own admission Alan submitted a detailed response to the PSA full of all sorts of allegations. He has said he did! Now the PSA ignored his submission which was full of allegations about homeopaths. I am sorry but Alan’s considerable efforts were ignored. It is not a smear pointing this out.
As for 2012! Come on Malleus-Peter-Warhelmet, tell us about the huge failure which Alan played a major part in.
Or are you all going to get delusional on me? Pretend it never happened.
I look at the situation of worldwide homeopathy and all I can say is that you haven’t got a chance.
Grumpycat you are so deep in the bullshit that i’ve hard time to hear you : can you repeat the part about the scientific proof of homeopathic mecanism ?
“I look at the situation of worldwide homeopathy and all I can say is that you haven’t got a chance.”
Well it’s not like it prove anything. People believing lies… Wow scoop.
The scientific situation of homeopathy is clear : utter nonsense.
Quack position from the dawn of humanity : selling utter nonsense.
Draw the picture yourself and you may got the epiphany (never too late !)
If we could just keep the goalposts still for a moment, grumpycat, your original allegation was that “[Alan] again gets caught out writing spin..” This is a fabrication and a smear.
Of course the Nightingale Collaboration responded to the PSA’s public call for information about the Society of Homeopaths. That the PSA chose to accredit the Society of Homeopaths regardless of our objections is neither surprising nor a disaster. The PSA happily accredits all kinds of quacks. The Society of Homeopaths is now in a situation where it can no longer ignore complaints about the false claims its members make because if it does so it will lose its PSA accreditation. That’s why it’s already losing members. What’s not to like?
I’ve no idea why you think “the situation of worldwide homeopathy” makes any difference to anything.
If we could just keep the goalposts still for a moment, grumpycat, your original allegation was that “[Alan] again gets caught out writing spin..” This is a fabrication and a smear.’
Let me show you where you smeared homeopaths and homeopathy with no justification.
Please let me know a link to Alan’s submission to the PSA and I will point out the areas of spin that cannot be justified and have no factual basis.
Sounds fair enough. Or are you now going to run?
Have you read Alan’s submission to the PSA?
For crying out loud, grumpycat, the submission isn’t online but if you’ve read it, feel free to specify what you think is “spin” in a document in which every objection is fully supported and referenced – unlike the claims made by countless members of the Society of Homeopaths.
That a homeopathy believer whose defence of a pre-science cult therapy amounts to “I thinks it works” should be accusing critics of “spin” and criticisms as having “no factual basis” is exquisitely ironic, especially when SoH members are claiming that “there is growing scientific research evidence demonstrating its effectiveness”, “any condition you would see a GP for can be treated homeopathically”, “homeopathy can help the health of an HIV positive patient”, etc, etc. Calling those claims “spin” would be charitable – they are unsupportable lies that homeopaths will no longer be able to make if they want to keep their accreditation. That is why the spectacle of the SoH paying the £12,000 joining fee (+£9,000 for every year hereafter) in order to be controlled by the PSA and have to keep their members in line can only gladden our hearts. How is it for you?
Ah, but remember: Grumpycat doesn’t accept what homoeopaths write about homoeopathy on their websites as evidence of what they claim about homoeopathy. See his performance here.
One thing at a time Skepticat. Post up Alan’s submission to the PSA and I will be able to point out comments that cannot be justified. Such is the passion of Alan against homeopathy that I know will have at least several juicy pieces that are not supported by reference or justification.
I am glad that the PSA controlling homeopaths now gladdens your hearts. At least now you can see just how daft it was to oppose the PSA application in the first place.
Let us see shall we?
Here’s a concise summary of the submission.
And highly accurate!
It’s a very simple question: have you or have you not read our submission?
LMAO! So you haven’t read the submission then? You just “know” what’s in it based on Alan’s passion against homeopathy. Thank you for this illustration of how your mind works. I’m beginning to understand how you became a quack in the first place.
As for opposing the application – of course we are going to oppose every attempt by quacks of all breeds to gain what they presumably think is a hallmark of respectability because it’s a win-win situation for us. Either they fall at the first hurdle or they gift us with the means to make sure they clean up their act and stop their members lying to consumers, which is actually all we are interested in.
Thanks for the links Mojo and Björn – most entertaining. 🙂
Alan I am stating on here that you supplied some misinformation to the PSA. Please post your submission and I will prove this to you. What is the problem?
Skepicat ‘Win win?’ Of course you are right but it is ‘win win’ for everyone and you should have seen this ages ago.
If homeopaths are all ‘lying to consumers’ as you say then the SoH won’t be members of the PSA for long will they?
You will find that the vast majority of homeopaths will comply with the PSA regulations so you have every right to be happy.
Do you really think most won’t comply?
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
i’ll tell you: you make an allegation, so YOU must provide the evidence [or be disclosed once and for all as the disreputable person that you may be]
Indeed. I’m afraid I’m coming to the conclusion that Grumpycat has not read our submission after all. As you say, he made the allegations and it’s up to him to substantiate them – or withdraw them if he can’t.
Grumpycat, It’s not about whether the majority of homeopaths will comply with the PSA, it is about how the SoH itself behaves, e.g. how it will deal with complaints about those of its members whose websites are clearly in breach of both the ASA Codes of Advertising Practice and in breach of the SoH’s own Code of Ethics and Practice. It’s not hard to find examples – I quoted from a couple of them in an earlier comment. Those websites have been sitting there for years containing blatantly false claims and the SoH hasn’t given a stuff.
Have you read Alan’s submission to the PSA?
Skeptikat- You have the time to trawl through all the websites and now you have an accountable organisation that is respected by all parties. Therefore you should be rejoicing. We are in agreement- sort of.
Alan- You gave the PSA who are subject to FOI requests the following misinformation.
We believe that:
3. Supply of unlicensed medicines by manufacturers to lay homeopaths or other members
of the public is prohibited.
This is rubbish. The government and MHRA confirmed in writing in the summer of 2012 to the homeopathic community that the supply of unlicensed medicines was to continue according to section 10 of the Medicines Act.
Supply has continued since then with no issues for 2 years now.
This is absolute proof that Alan gave misinformation to the pSA who would have checked this critical allegation and found it to be false.
I only said you gave misinformation Alan. I didn’t call you a liar. I truly believe that you think that you are right and that the MHRA and Government are wrong.
The law though is there to protect the public against people like you.
You didn’t answer the question you were asked, did you?
But if you do have our submission, perhaps you’d like to quote the sentence just before those points?
Thanks for posting this Edzard. Over and out.
Sounds like grumpycat has cut and run but in case you’re still reading, grumpycat, I see that you have now backtracked from your original accusation that Alan was “caught writing spin…that cannot be justified and [has] no factual basis”, which implies deliberate deception. You now reckon Alan has only given “misinformation” but that he did so in good faith. Well it’s my turn to accuse you of writing spin. Alan suggests you quote the sentence just before the point you’ve highlighted – can you do that?
I assure you I certainly don’t have time to trawl through all the websites and I don’t need to since it takes all of 30 seconds to find websites of SoH members making false claims. I’m not sure what you think we’re in agreement over and the PSA is far from “respected by all parties”. On the contrary, by accrediting a pseudo-medical cargo cult, the PSA has demonstrated that it’s not fit for purpose.