A pro-homeopathy site (to be taken with a pinch of salt) claims that today 300 homeopathic MDs belong to the “Unio Homoeopathica Belgica” and 4,000 MDs (about 10% of all doctors) are prescribing homeopathics at least occasionally.

See the source image

One-fourth of the Belgian population uses homeopathy. As of 1998, only MDs can legally practice homeopathy. But now it seems that the free ride for Belgian homeopathy is coming to an end. Belgium has joined the long list of countries (e.g. UK, US, Spain, France, Sweden, Russia) where the usefulness of homeopathy is being questioned.

‘Test Achats’ is a Belgian not-for-profit organization which promotes consumer protection. It was founded in 1957 and publishes research in a subscription magazine. It has been reported that this organiation has issued a crushing report on homoeopathy, describing it as “unacceptable” that homeopathic remedies are allowed to be described by practitioners as medication.

Il est inacceptable que des médicaments homéopathiques et des médicaments traditionnels à base de plantes puissent être vendus en tant que “médicament” en pharmacie sans que leur efficacité n’ait été démontrée. Il en va de même pour un certain nombre de médicaments classiques et de médicaments ordinaires à base de plantes, pour lesquels nous avons également de gros doutes quant à leur efficacité et/ou leur sécurité. Le statut de “médicament” leur confère une aura de crédibilité qu’ils ne méritent absolument pas. Notre banque de données de médicaments met un terme à cette tromperie et distingue les médicaments utiles de ceux qui ne le sont pas…

Pour les 55 médicaments homéopathiques avec indication, ces pourcentages sont … 84 % à “utilité contestable” et 16 % “à déconseiller”.

“The requirements of effectiveness, safety and quality to bring a product to market and be allowed to use the name of medication are sadly not the same for all products,” commented a spokesperson for Test-Achats. “Homeopathic products are required to be accompanied by a minimum of documentation, and the effectiveness of the product barely has to be proven.”

‘Test-Achats’ describes homoeopathy as “quack medicine,” and states that “there are conditions where the patient really has no time to lose on products whose effectiveness has not been demonstrated. People who are suffering from very real heart and vascular conditions should immediately seek treatment by a doctor, and with truly effective medication.”

This is all very good news, I think.
It almost reads as though ‘Test Achat’ have discovered my blog.

35 Responses to And now Belgium: ‘It is unacceptable that homeopathic products are sold as medicines’

  • You have contributed in some way to the release of the medical stranglehold over homeopathy in some countries but there is still some way to go so carry on.

    Classical homeopaths may, in years to come, be able to freely practice their ‘religion’ without harassment from the state and people like you.

    You can try to now shift your focus from reviews of clinical homeopathic trials, which only has applicability in the realm of low potency homeopathic remedies and complexes of micro quantities of homeopathic substances but has no relevance whatsoever to classical homeopathy.

    Good luck with your attempt.

    • I read this post and thought: what inane rhetoric will “Greg” the nonsensical-homeopathetic apologist contrive in answer to it? Thank you for not making me wait long or having to take it seriously.

      • Interesting that you should put “Greg” in quotation marks, Michael.

        When I see someone who is so over-the-top with bizarre and nonsensical comments like those, I start to question not their sanity, but their legitimacy. I think Greg is simply a troll. He just loves to get a reaction. If he really believed half the stuff he says, he would step forward with a real name and identity and stand behind he beliefs.

        Keep up the good work, Greg (or Vlad or Sarah or Chuckie or whoever you are)!

        • Ron Jette

          1. Does your ‘rule’ also apply to ‘James’, ‘DC, ‘Sarah’, ‘Lenny’; need I add more?

          2. Edzard Ernst does not even have a ‘mickey mouse’ qualification in homeopathy but at least he is a doctor of medicine.

          I don’t troll, my comments are mostly direct responses to Edzard.

          You, on the other hand, appear regularly on this site, and all over Twitter arguing with Dr. Paul Theriault, BSc, ND, VMNI

          Goodbye Ron.

          • … and I thought ALL qualifications in homeopathy are ‘mickey mouse’ – even the most rigorous education in nonsense is nonsense.

          • “Greg”: “Does your ‘rule’ also apply to ‘James’, ‘DC, ‘Sarah’, ‘Lenny’; need I add more?”

            Me: That’s a bizarre argument. Are you using some sort of rhetorical device I’ve yet to learn about? And it’s not a rule, “Greg,” it’s my belief. If you want to be taken seriously, step up. Stop hiding behind a fake name.

            “Greg”: “Edzard Ernst does not even have a ‘mickey mouse’ qualification in homeopathy but at least he is a doctor of medicine.”

            Me: Not sure why this is addressed to me. Whatever.

            “Greg”: I don’t troll, my comments are mostly direct responses to Edzard.

            Me: Your comments, as it were, are nonsense. And you know this is directed at me, right? Do you see where I’m going here?

            “Greg”: You, on the other hand, appear regularly on this site, and all over Twitter arguing with Dr. Paul Theriault, BSc, ND, VMNI.”

            Me: Speaking of nonsense, yes, I called out Paul Theriault, ND (Not Doctor). He, too, sells nonsense. I don’t argue with him anymore. He blocked me. Couldn’t take the heat. And what does VMNI mean, anyway? Actually, I don’t care.

            Sorry, “Greg,” but I don’t know the purpose of your retort. Did you have something to actually say?

          • It just occurred to me, “Greg.” You brought up Paul Theriault out of the blue. That was quite some time ago and my conversations with him seem to have struck a chord with you.

            Also, I noticed you two share a similar, uh, logic. Maybe, just maybe, you run a woo woo shop in Calgary. Maybe, just maybe, you ARE Paul Theriault!

            Come on. Admit it, “Greg.”

          • Sorry, “Greg.” One more thing. If you want to read more about Paul Theriault, ND (Not Doctor), check out David Gorski’s blog post:

            Warning: It does not go well for Paul.



  • “… and I thought ALL qualifications in homeopathy are ‘mickey mouse’ – even the most rigorous education in nonsense is nonsense.”

    There really should be a ‘like’ button on this site!

  • Ron: Is it an evidence based rumour that Greg is Paul Theriault.
    My research concluded that Greg is Spartacus.
    Maybe UK Homeopathy Regulations could confirm this?

  • Dear Professor Odds

    The purpose of posting material online using a pseudonym to retain anonymity is to share views on a topic without injecting promotion of oneself, and also to maintain personal privacy. If commenters to to use this site for self promotion that is their choice.

    Bjorn Geir thought that he had discovered me as being Mr Greg Cope from Australia, Edzard seemed to suggest that I was Mr Greg white from UK, and third time lucky you nailed it via my blog: GMH Archive.

    Wow, what an impressive investigator you are given that you had the link I provided to the site to commence with.

    After reading Edzard’s blog for years, enough evidence exists, in my view, to support the contention that you, Dr Rawlins, Edzard, Bjorn, etc have an axe to grind. against homeopathy. Why this is the case, is anyone’s guess.

    Bottom line remains as always: you don’t have a clue about homeopathy which is perhaps why you spend your time as an investigator of anonymous posters?

    • Strange how you you start clutching your pearls when your name gets revealed on this blog, Mr Hessenauer.

      You seemed to have no moral problems in broadcasting mine but, hey. You’re a homeopath. We shouldn’t really expect coherency or consistency from the likes of you.

      • So says Dr Martin Lenny Law of Portchester, Hampshire, Dental Surgery.

        You state: ‘You seemed to have no moral problems in broadcasting mine’: Is ‘Dr M.L.L’ is broadcasting yours?

        You wrote in a previous comment ‘am I Greg’, are you trying to be funny? After what happened between you and Sandra Courtney, I wonder about that. You seem to have no moral problems associating yourself with Edzard Ernst and this website.

        Given that Professor Odds and Bjorn Geir seem to be the main ‘private investigators’ for finding out who anonymous posters are, why not just be open and state your name as does Dr Richard Rawlins?

        In all the years of discussion, you, Lenny, have contributed the least to the discussion of homeopathy, and you are still here.

        Do you do your futile commenting on this site for fun, or for a living?

        • Ooh deary me, Greggy. Toys AND crayons flying out of the pram there! Have I touched a nerve?

          Your memory is as defective as Dana’s. Seems to be a problem with homeopaths. You’ve used my name and not just my initials previously on this blog. The phrase “Sherlock Greggy” was used by me in response.

          There isn’t a discussion of homeopathy on this blog, Greg. There’s a dismissing of it. We continue to be amused at the logical and rhetorical knots you and others tie yourselves in so that you can convince yourselves of the effectiveness of shaken water and sugar pills.

          “After what happened between you and Sandra Courtney…”

          My refusal to respond further to the demented ramblings of an embittered and unpleasant old woman from New Mexico adds precisely what to the debate?

    • Dear Greg

      Pot calling kettle black?! I never sought to compromise your anonymity, while you clearly searched the web for my details the minute I first took issue with one of your comments, years ago. I have never myself referred to my title of ‘Professor’ but you sought it out and have never ceased to use it, often in a sarcastic manner. On this blog you have also copy-and-pasted into your comments material I published elsewhere, and which was of no relevance to the topic under discussion.

      Over a year ago, in the course of a discussion about homeopathic dilutions and ‘contact volumes’, you referred me to a blog called ‘Homeopathy of Hahnemann’ for information on ‘contact volume’. When I linked to the blog a search found no hits for ‘contact volume’: but it became apparent that the author of the blog was almost certainly yourself. You have now anonymized the blog, but you recently linked to it in a comment.

      I have to mention that your blog now consists almost entirely of huge tracts of material copied and pasted from this blog in an obsessive manner.

      With other recent comments speculating about your identity, I saw no reason not to remind readers this issue was in fact solved long ago.

      I do indeed have an axe to grind about homeopathy — and all other forms of ‘medicine’ based on concepts that have near-zero prior probability and are devoid of credible supportive evidence for clinical efficacy. My concerns are based mainly on consumer protection (away from medicine nobody seems to object when people point out they’re paying good money for something that doesn’t do what it claims) and partly on fascination with the way otherwise bright people can delude themselves to believe in magic and superstition.

      • Dear Professor Odds

        1. Do I need to point out that EDZARD’S blog has copied so many sources verbatim that it would be a long task to list them all?

        2. What is written one my blog is directly relevant to me.

        3. ‘I saw no reason not to remind readers’ ‘Google ‘Gregory Hessenauer’ to discover more.’?

        4. Save you the trouble of retracing your interest in bloggers identities:

        • I will admit that a small part of me wants to troll you because I find it quite funny—laugh-out-loud funny—when you try to explain your nutty ideas. However, in all seriousness, you need to take a deep breath before you blow out all the veins in your brains. (Hey, you docs out there, we have veins in our brains, don’t we?)

          Nobody cares about your blog or what you think might have happened in whatever scenario is going on in your mind. You just need to chill.

          Take the energy you are wasting on this nonsense and use it to learn about science and logic and common sense. Once you’ve been enlightened, come back. You will find a lot friendlier crowd here when you return. Guaranteed.

          Yes, there will still be nutbars who think crazy thoughts like naturopaths and chiropractors are real doctors, homeopathy helps people and that God (your choice) exists but, at least, you won’t be one of them and you won’t be nearly as contemptible.

          Just give it some thought, okay?

  • My understanding is that the wider Homeopathic community refer to homeopathic products as remedies and not as medicines.

    • Dendra

      The legislation in the UK – based as it is on EU Directives – refers to homeopathic products as ‘medicines’. That’s unfortunate, but it is equally erroneous and misleading to call them remedies.

  • Professor Odds

    I don’t have time right now to read your comment properly and respond.

    But, I can say that I was not interested in researching who you were prior to you joining in the Greg search with Edzard and Bjorn. If you think otherwise then provide the evidence for this or shut up.

    • “the Greg search with Edzard”
      are you even more deluded than I thought?

      • Edzard on Monday 01 May 2017 at 14:33
        “Greg is a licensed professional member of the Australian Register of Homeopaths, Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Assocation, and the Australian Homeopathic Assocation.”
        I for one am impressed – if he now learns to use auto-correction on his computer, he would be a well-rounded professional.

    • Greg, you are in way over your head. You are making meaningless comments and arguments that I struggle to even understand.

      Save yourself the embarrassment—and the grief—and take a break. As hilarious as I find you, I also worry about you. I hope you are okay. Seriously.

    • Good grief!

      • Good grief what Professor Odds?

        If you visit my Facebook Page, you will probably be able to infer that I have reached a summation of Edzard Ernst and his ‘critique’ of homeopathy. The extracts from comments made here only appear towards the later part of the blog, and this is the evidence is present. The essential posts are saved and key pieces of comment extracted in order to allow readers to assess the bias level of Edzard Ernst and his commenters in regard to their commentary on homeopathy.

        Did you expect to write against homeopathy and just be left in peace to do so?

        Finally, GMH was set up as a blog in 2008 for a specific purpose and when Edzard Ernst came along I created a new blog rather than creating a new site. If you had of focused on the topic rather than the person, perhaps you would not have got yourself tied up in knots about this?

    • Yes, I’ve noticed that is common with you.

      Before you do anything else, you really should read the comments carefully, think about what you are going to write and then make yourself a cup of tea and put the idea of responding behind you. We’ll all be better off.

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