MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

‘HOMEOPATHY360’ are fiercely decided to defend homeopathy, no matter what. They state that we promise to stand by your side always to fight against the critical attacks on Homeopathy… Therefore, I was not really surprised when, a couple of days ago, I received an email by them urging me to support US homeopaths against the threat by the FDA. Here is part of this correspondence:

… If you want to know more about the FDA’s proposed new rules for homeopathic medicines, here’s a summary of the most important points:

  • The new rules, if adopted, will allow the FDA to withdraw even properly manufactured and labeled homeopathic medicines from the marketplace. This is puzzling because these have never posed any sort of safety concern according to an initial review of public FDA records by Americans for Homeopathy Choice.
  • It is clear that the FDA intends to use this authority and has even mentioned specific medicines such as Belladonna, Nux vomica and Lachesis muta in its public statements regarding enforcement.
  • The authority for this kind of assault on homeopathy will result from the declaration by the FDA that all homeopathic medicines are “new drugs.” We all know this is nonsense. Homeopathic medicines have been around for 200 years.
  • But this nonsense declaration means that under U.S. law all homeopathic remedies will become technically “illegal” and subject to withdrawal from the marketplace. If the FDA just thinks there is a problem with a homeopathic medicine, it can withdraw it forever without conducting any sort of investigation.
  • Since the agency has already said that it thinks that Belladonna, Nux vomica, Lachesis muta and several other remedies are dangerous, we can anticipate that it will try to remove them from the marketplace as soon as its new rules are adopted.
  • But, it won’t be possible for Americans to get remedies that are banned sent to them from abroad. The FDA will simply stop these remedies at the border.

I could tell you more, but what I’ve told you so far should convince you that we ought to help the American homeopathy community defeat these unreasonable and misinformed rules. The rules simply do not reflect the realities of homeopathic medicines, namely, that they are nontoxic, mild, effective and have few, if any, side-effects. And, homeopaths use them in ways that individualize treatment. That this is the best way to treat patients was discovered by Samuel Hahnemann 200 years ago.

The enemies of homeopathy are everywhere and they appear to be stepping up their attacks. That’s why the world homeopathy community must work together to stand up to them…

_________________________________________________________________

I have reported about the FDA initiatives on homeopathy before. In 2015, they started it with a public hearing. Since then, the FDA also issued several warnings to manufacturers who were putting consumers at risk (see, for instance, here, here, and here).

What the FDA seem to be trying to do is nothing else but meeting their ethical, moral and legal responsibility vis a vis consumer safety. Homeopathy has had a free ride for far too long. It is high time that this sector joins the 21st century.

The above quote, with its bonanza of bogus claims and falsehoods, shows the urgency of this task. The defenders of homeopathy seem to live on a different planet where rationality, facts and evidence can easily be over-ruled by creed, dogma and wishful thinking. If homeopaths want their trade to join the realm of real medicine they need, at the very minimum, to show with sound evidence:

  1. that their remedies generate more good than harm,
  2. that they adhere to acceptable quality standards.

Failing this – and so far, homeopaths not only failed at this task but continue bombarding us with an incessant flow of bogus and dangerous claims – homeopathics cannot be considered to be medicines, and homeopaths cannot be called responsible healthcare professionals. It is high time to stop turning a blind eye to the double standards that have been applied for 200 years.

28 Responses to Homeopathy: it’s time to stop the double standards

  • these have never posed any sort of safety concern according to an initial review of public FDA records by Americans for Homeopathy Choice.

    Looks like their ability to review FDA records is every bit as good as their ability to understand science and evidence.

    • The FDA inspected a big British homeoremedy producer some years ago and found several severe quality issues such as the shaken water not wetting the sugar pills in every sixth glass and then only the uppermost pills. I wonder if the overdoses caused severe issues?

      https://www.casewatch.net/fdawarning/prod/2012/nelson.shtml

      • How big does the overdose have to be to cause harm here? Is failing to take the sugar pills better or worse than ingesting the ones which never touched the diluted remedy? And indeed how does non-compliance compare with not consulting a homeopath at all?

        One can speculate to what extent all of our ills (at least over the past 200 years) are due to everything we eat, drink and breathe being essentially contaminated by over-potentiated remedies leaking into the environment, which perhaps would be safer locked away in a level 5 containment lab in Porton Down.

      • @Bjorn

        Let’s hope the FDA is watching the actual drug manufactures as closely, where the opportunity of “overdose” is real.

  • This has been going on for some time. I wrote about it here back in 2018.

    Homeopathy 360 seems to be repeating misinformation that has been around for a while. It’s scaremongering. The FDA is extremely unlikely to act against the majority of products that make very minor claims or indeed no claims at all, as long as the products are cGMP compliant, the remedies appear in the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoiea of the United States etc. The threshold for FDA to take action is very high. Access to inert sugar pills is not being taken away.

  • I am in need of a mathematician and/or Statistician to use “dr” Isaac Goldens data in his thesis to prove that he has falsified/manipulated his results. Check out : https://www.smh.com.au/topic/anti-vaxxer-movement-1mnk

    • I got curious, googled the name Isaac Golden and found that it is a homeopath in Australia who for decades has been selling homeopathic substitutes for vaccines.

      I looked for his doctoral thesis and found it here:
      https://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/file/9bef3d6a-e756-4ff4-b3d8-54effe3c80cd/1/Isaac%20Golden%20Thesis.pdf

      I have spent a considerable part of the evening reading in this incredible opus.

      There is only one term necessary to describe it: a JOKE.

      No control, no blinding, no randomisation are the least surprising mistakes in this charade of science.
      The “thesis” starts with a cavalcade of historical cherry picking, motivated reasoning and fantasies. He admits in so many words that no one understands how or why remedies work but the author hopes that someday the understanding will surface, just like the revelation of how aspirin works was discovered, as he reasons.

      This credulous composition continues as a prime example of how not to perform and present research.
      The author bases his whole “research” on the self reported replies to questionnaires that he gave to parents who purchased[sic] his own invention, a complicated mixture of homeoprophylactic remedies intended to replace vaccinations. He calls it proudly “Golden’s HP Program” and describes it in Appendix 1.
      He asks the parents if they child was exposed to infection, counts parent reported sickness in presumably exposed vs. unexposed and bases his whole analysis on this comparison!!

      Mr. Golden knows (or at least he copy-pasted?) all the sciency words, phrases and principles that are used in epidemiology and similar sciences, but makes just about every conceivable mistake and error possible in their application. Even if the author lists a sh-load of evident biases, confounding factors and weaknesses in his discussion ( one suspects he copied their descriptions from a textbook?) he misunderstands, ignores and misinterprets their importance using motivated reasoning and sheer ignorance like a bull in a glassware store. His use of statistics is best described as criminally incompetent misuse. The presentation is amateurish, to say the least. There is no reason to reanalyse his data, it is collected using totally inappropriate methods. His data need not be analysed for possible forgery as they are produced by incompetence.
      One may apply Hanlon’s razor here:

      You need not attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained as a result of simple stupidity.

      What I find most abhorrent though, is that through the cracks in this outcome of unparalleled incompetence shine the abject sentiments of an unmistakeable antivaccinationist.
      It is truly astonishing that a peddler of pretend-vaccines can have survived for so long without being subjected to judicial scrutiny in a modern society such as Australia? I guess it is only recently that regulatory authorities have realised the perils of antivaccinationist activities.

      To illustrate this spectacularly inept attempt at scientific research, I have pasted below a letter (from p. 274) the author sent to parents who had failed to respond to his request for filling in and sending the original questionnaire that followed the purchase of his product.

      Dear Parents,
      Some years ago you purchased a homoeopathic disease prevention Kit from me.
      I have been researching the safety and effectiveness of the program for 16 years, and
      am completing this research through a formal study at the Graduate School of
      Integrative Medicine at Swinburne University, Melbourne.
      Part of this research involves contacting parents who purchased the Kit, but who have
      not returned the Questionnaire, to ask a few simple questions.
      As you can see, the following page has only 6 questions, and there are no identifying
      marks if you wish to remain anonymous.
      Your reply would be sincerely appreciated, even if you did not use the Kit at all, or
      even if your experience was negative or positive.
      Every reply is valuable, and adds to the reliance we can place on the existing
      research.
      Thanking you,
      Isaac Golden

      The questionnaire can of course be perused in the following pages if anyone should be interested.
      I was about to shut the computer and forget about the time spent on this joke, but I thought it would be a waste of wasted hours not to record some thoughts on it. This “thesis” is definitely not worth more of my time and I would not encourage anyone to spend effort on a more thorough systematic analysis and formal report.

      • Thank you so much for your time and effort, you have made my day… and now you feel my pain. Isaac Golden is the unofficial father of the antivax movement in Australia, by taking his doctorate from him (formally retracting it) would have a huge (positive) impact of the antivax movement in australia, he is literally the reason the measles have found a way back into australia after australia was officially declared measle free in the 90’s. I know it’s a challenging project but I think if we have his thesis retracted we would potentially save many people.

        • @VICTORIA

          Perhaps you might care to apply a similar standard to Edzard Ernst.

          “An interview with Edzard Ernst has been published in the German journal “Homoeopatische Nachrichten”. Ernst is the first Professor of Complementary Medicine in the United Kingdom at the University of Exeter.

          The interview is quite revealing. Ernst states: “I never completed any courses in homeopathy.” Isn’t that extraordinary? Imagine a professor in physics never having completed any course in physics; that would be impossible, he would never get appointed. In physics and other sciences, the professional body decides who can join them. Physicists generally know who is the best one to represent them.”

          So if the professors formal training is in SBM, why does he beat the drum daily to condemn CAM and Homeopathy ?

        • @VICTORIA on Saturday 18 January 2020 at 14:19

          I think if we have his thesis retracted we would potentially save many people.

          A doctorate is awarded by an academical institution and if I am not mistaken, can only be retracted by the same institution?
          It needs little effort to determine that the work upon which Mr. Golden’s doctorate is based is embarassing crap. That means the institution (the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, Swinburne
          University of Technology.) that awarded the doctorate must have been of the same subterranian level of academic standard since they were totally unable to teach him how to perform research and unable to moderate the muddle that he produced. No wonder the “school” was discontinued in 2005. Swinburn University must have been protecting their reputation?

          I think, without having any insight into the laws and regulatory system in Australia, that the only way of pulling this fool down from his dry-rot infested flagpole is to make a well researched case against him in public media, with emphasis of now publicly known hazards of vaccine omission?
          Swinburne University, even if it appears to be a bona-fide big and honorable academy, is unlikely to initialise an inquisition into the origins of this skeleton in their own, now closed and forgotten, cupboard.
          BUT… I think it should be attempted. Perhaps you can find someone to help you compose a letter of concern to the University? It should be an Australian with a vested interest, at least as a member of the Austalian (local?) public. Give them hell 🙂

          Another, perhaps a little less questionable doctorate, was recently awarded by the University of Wolongong to an Australian antivaccinationist pundit, Ms. Judith Wyliman. I believe this doctorate has not been withdrawn despite severe public (even global) criticism. This doctorate was awarded by a non-medical institution at said University and purported to be a study in sociology or something to that effect. They defended it mainly on grounds of academci freedom, if I recall correctly.

          Ripping the honorifics from the chests of figures like Mr. Golden or Ms. Wilyman who do not seem publicly very active themselves, if I am not mistaken, will do little to overturn the tsunami of antivaccine advocacy that is mainly carried by discomposed social media users. Anyone can nowadays broadcast their opinion to the world (even I 🙂 ). The only requirement is to know a widespread language like English.
          The problem lies not in the potty homeopath who sells fake vaccines, even if he has produced misinformation others use. It lies in the access the gullible and the deluded have gained to public opinion through social media, sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt among parents and the public. Public education is the main key to fight this folly – I think.
          Every rational user of social media should ardently and bravely promote rational information and strike down with courteous, informative emphasis on any promotion or online re-posting of antivaccine misinformation of any kind. I have tried my best and I am proud of all the block I have been awarded from irritated antivaccinationists and apologists of useless medicine. Our friend D.Ullmann is one notable example 🙂

          Regulatory and educational authorities should be poked and prodded to provide public education and information to the main target pipulation, e,.g. expectant parents etcetera. Youtube, Facebook and other media should be kept vigilant by reports and complaints.

          Mr. Golden should be a sitting target for public ridicule, seeing that he is a missionary of what can be simply and readily explained to the public as make-believe medicine, containing nothing but the fantasies of a 200 year old German gentleman who went off to save medicine and ended up initiating a cargo cult while real modern medicine was born by science.

          • I think you hit the nail on the head with “cargo cult”, amongst other things in your comment, thank you 🙏. I’m reading A Science in Wonderland at the moment. Again thank you for your input, much appreciated. P.s golden has used SEO profoundly affect the google search rankings, this means the recent article written by Chris Johnston in December 2019 (Investigative Journalist @ The Age Newspaper, Melbourne Australia) is next to impossible to find on a simple google search!

          • have fun

      • This is an interesting article on Issac Golden: Cult member, homeopath, Senate candidate: The bizarre past of Isaac Golden

        A leading Australian vaccine sceptic and Senate candidate has a secret past as a key member of a bizarre quasi-religious cult whose leader was jailed for sex crimes against the children of cult members.

        Dr Isaac Golden, a homeopath from Gisborne, Victoria, has confirmed he was heavily involved in the organisation but denied encouraging or being involved in any abuse. The cult was unnamed but dubbed ‘The Seaside Sect” in early media reports. It was active in the 1970s and ’80s after forming in Goulburn, NSW and then Sydney.

  • The problem with quality standards is that even manufacturers that should adhere GMP have problems with quality standards.

    I just want to remind of the huge Valsartan scandal in which many unwanted byproducts were found in the tablets.
    I know, Valsartan at least has effects beyond placebo, but surveillance should be expandes to all pharmaceutical manufacturers, not just homeopathic ones.

    • that goes without saying!

    • Is anyone here qualified and/or skilled enough to use goldens Phd thesis data and compare it against abs public data?

      • Victoria
        The link doesn’t work. Is there another?
        Which institution gave this fraud a PhD?

        • THESIS TITLE : The Potential Value of Homoeoprophylaxis in the Long- Term Prevention of Infectious Diseases, and the Maintenance of General Health in Recipients. Graduate School of Integrative Medicine at Swinburne University of Technology. Isaac Golden. September 2004. DOCTORATE AWARDED!! Unbelievable!

  • Yes! Its critical that the FDA focus its resources on stopping the dangerous homeopathy products from killing hundreds of thousands of people each year in the USA alone! And the FDA is doing such a good job protecting us from hazardous generics made in China and home-grown patented killers.

    Oops! My mistake. Its actually conventional medicine that is killing hundreds of thousands of people every year with not much response from the FDA, AMA, CDC etc. Maybe they should focus on CON-MED and have it live up to its ideal of “first do no harm”.

    I have to wonder why there is so much concern about homeopathy. You dont believe it works. Fine. Millions of people do and apparently get good results because satisfied patients return. And the number of people harmed is just a rounding error on the slaughter by CON-MED. Why should we, who want to use homeopathy, have to bow to your wishes?

    • I have to wonder why there is so much concern about homeopathy. You dont believe it works. Fine

      Belief has nothing to do with it, Roger. It doesn’t work. No good evidence to demonstrate its effectiveness has been shown. Deal with it.

      Millions of people do and apparently get good results because satisfied patients return

      Look up the “Ad Populum” logical fallacy, Roger. Although logic isn’t a strong point with homeopaths, as we know. And “apparently” is the entirely appropriate word to use.

      You want to use homeopathy, Roger? Fine. Knock yourself out. You want to tell others that it is a safe and effective therapy? Not fine. Don’t inflict your delusional nostrums on others.

    • @Roger

      Excellent post Roger, I couldn’t agree more.

  • @Lenny

    “That planes sometimes crash does not validate a belief in magic carpets”

    Wow, you folks here really love that line. I think you wore it out…lets move on to something more mature.

    BTW – You folks hat hold SBM is such high regard keep bringing us conventional medicine as much as anybody.

    • @RG

      We have to keep using that line in response to the repeated inanities you trot out. Hence the words “as ever” preceding it.

      Some people never seem to learn from their repeated errors. A recurring feature of SCAM and its proponents, I find. Whereas learning from errors and subsequently correcting them is a cornerstone of science and SBM.

      Curious, that.

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