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STOP PRESS UK Evidence Check on Homeopathy - URGENT

I met with my MP Ian Stewart yesterday who serves on the parliamentary Science and Technology Committee and has been part of the recent Evidence Check into homeopathy.

The Evidence Check has been written and is due to be published any day.

The remit of the Committee was to have been a short enquiry into the relevance of government funding and policy - in this case related to provision of homeopathy within the NHS. The Committee's remit was NOT to investigate whether homeopathy works or not.

Needless to say given membership of the Committee, including at least one with an association to Sense About Science, it was perhaps a foregone conclusion that this is exactly what the focus of the Evidence Check became.

From the Chairman's opening question to the representative from Boots the high street chemist: "You ....sell homeopathic remedies. Do they work beyond the placebo effect?" all the focus was on "does it work or not".

The panel invited to give oral submissions was seriously biased - only 3 of the 9 with training and experience in homeopathy (not counting Prof "closed mind" Ernst). MP Evan Harris (apparently) fed the Denialists their questions, they provided stock answers.

For much more about the Evidence Check and how it unfolded see:

Mr Stewart made a valiant attempt to to bring balance to the proceedings but was hopelessly outnumbered.

A question needs to be asked in parliament about the conduct of this Evidence Check and it's inherent bias.

How many on the Science and Technology Committee already had closed minds? How many of those invited to give oral submissions were specially selected FOR their closed minds. How many of those servicing the Committee with submitted paperwork had closed minds?

Before the Committee meetings I sent a letter to Mr Stewart advising him of this inherent bias and he circulated the letter to all members of the Committee. A similar letter was sent directly to the Committee members, put into 'background information' and I imagine was never read.

Since the report is yet to be published, Mr Stewart was unable to reveal its contents, but I can predict given the serious and obvious bias of the proceedings - when the report is published there may be headlines about government recommendations to stop funding NHS homeopathy because there is no evidence that it works. (This despite the avalanche of well written submissions from the homeopathic community detailing mountains of solid evidence.) This pronouncement will be hammered home by the latest anti-homeopathy campaign 10:23 which is launching / unleashing itself on the UK public this month to "educate the public about homeopathy" so that they can "make an informed choice". Their tag line is : " Homeopathy - there's nothing in it" and 10:23 refers of course to their continued obsession with Avogadro's number.

The same core group who are pushing this campaign - though they distance themselves just far enough to claim no connection - have already fired a warning shot into the US via Prof Ernst's article advocating "closed minds on homeopathy" published in JAMA at the end of 2009.

The homeopathic community EVERYWHERE needs to get very busy promoting the truth about homeopathy starting NOW.

Demand your professional organisations work together - take action and mobilise the base immediately.

Check out Alex Heffron's blog for an action you can do today.

Share this post with everyone in the homeopathic community right now.


Carol Boyce MCH, CCH, RSHom(NA)

Views: 122

Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on January 18, 2010 at 6:24am
Thanks for the information.
Comment by Carol Boyce on January 18, 2010 at 10:09pm
You are welcome. We each must do what we can where ever we are.
Comment by Jennifer Hautman on January 24, 2010 at 10:02pm
Dear all,

For the sake of constructive criticism, I offer these points.

Firstly I am very glad for Dr. Bhatia's contribution on youtube:
Dr. Bhatia exposes the absurdity of 10:23 anti-homeopathy campaign to be staged in front of Boots, London by taking large quantities of homeopathic remedies.

However, unfortunately, given the racism in this country, simply having an Indian homeopath try to explain homeopathy, however well renowned or experienced will not make much of difference to the denialists. What would be extremely helpful for all of us to have from India however is some of the mind blowingly impressive statistics regarding the number of homeopathic hospitals, homeopaths, clinics etc there are in India, and the number of patients treated each day or per hospital. Also some description of what it takes to become a homeopath in India (number of years, subjects, extent of integration with allopathy etc), as well as cases and published research about treating so called incurable in the west diseases like cancer, AIDS etc, as well as malaria. This is the kind of information that blasts away the myth that homeopathy is some small side show only for hayfever etc. Please would any HWC members from AYUSH or similar help provide these facts. It is what is desperately needed here in the UK just now.

Also, re Dr. Bhatia's video, the repetition of the phrase 'homeopathy does not work...' in various instances does not help. We understand what he means, but for the public here it won't make much sense. Something much clearer is needed.

I hope this helps,

Yours for investing in caring not killing,

Comment by Kavitha Kukunoor on January 25, 2010 at 10:27pm
Thanks Carol for updating HWC with above helpul Info. Yes we need to unite and do our best to save Homeopathy from skeptics.
Comment by Jennifer Hautman on January 27, 2010 at 5:13pm
Response of George Vithoulkas to 10.23 anti-homeopathy campaign (23.1.2010),en/
Comment by Jennifer Hautman on February 2, 2010 at 7:00pm
Hey Carol,

Dear Carol,
You've been uncharacteristically quiet for a while now. You haven't slipped off to Haiti have you? From the little I know of you it seems like the sort of thing you might do. If so, and you're able to read this, please let us know where abouts you are and what we can do to help. I work with a women's network that works with grassroots Haitian orgs that may be able to help. Yours sincerely, Jenny
Comment by dr.sadaf ulde on February 10, 2010 at 10:08am
its an awakening call for all of us
Comment by Carol Boyce on February 10, 2010 at 10:45am
Hi Everyone,
Apologies for absence - no not in Haiti but busy on the home front in the UK re the Evidence Check and taking care of my elderly father - and have been sick myself! Of course I shouldn't say that because we homeopaths are not meant to get sick since we have homeopathy!
Suffice to say I ended up with pneumonia but I am back now without the use of antibiotics - so let it at least be on record that I practice what I preach. :)
Thanks for all your comments - I will blog about the Evidence Check latest news this evening and there's a lot of news to tell.
Comment by Gina Tyler DHOM on February 15, 2010 at 2:02pm
Hi Carole
Just saw the PDF file your new article at hpathy Ezine for Feb 2010
Great information,well writen.
We must expose these skeptic groups behind all this homeopathic bashing;
1- Sense about science

3-The inst. for ideas

Keep up the great work
Comment by Carol Boyce on February 15, 2010 at 2:41pm
Hi Gina,
Thanks for your encouragement. Actually these groups cannot be called skeptics - their agenda is pro-corporate - they are equally anti-CAMs, pro-GM food, anti- organic farming, anything natural, pro-technology without exception and irrespective of danger to life or environment. They are powerful lobby groups with powerful friends and plenty of funding from the relevant industries.
Armies of bloggers have been recruited in the last couple of years - Voice of Young Science is a whole new generation of "skeptics" mostly just ill-informed - or should I say misinformed and whipped up into a frenzy, for example about the idea that homeopaths in the developing world are replacing pharmaceutical drugs with placebos and should therefore be banned.
Several more articles about the politics of who these people are can be found on the Articles page on this blog:



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