You don’t REALLY need to know the TRUTH about homeopathy, says NHS

Foundation for Integrated Medicine persuaded officials to neuter advice about homeopathy on the NHS (National Health Service, U.K.) Choices patient website.

Prince’s charity lobbied government to water down homeopathy criticism | Life and style | The Guardian.

Draft guidance for the website NHS Choices warning that there is no evidence that homeopathy works was suppressed by officials following lobbying by a charity set up by the Prince of Wales.

A draft page that spelled out the scientific implausibility of homeopathic remedies was neutered by Department of Health officials. It is now uncritical, with just links to reports on the lack of evidence.

Oh please! How pathetic. Homeopathy is what it is – nonsense. It’s awful that the facts are not out there.  Not only is this basic information about homeopathy been hidden but also the plentiful data that show it DOESN’T work.

It is said that the Prince had no direct roll in this, but putting him in there makes this more dramatic since he has advocated for homeopathy.  It just looks bad.

Go here for much more. David Colquhoun finds a direct statement by the Department of Health that policy dictates evidence.

NHS Choices is meant to provide evidence, but what they say has to be checked by DH to make sure they “don’t clash with any policy messages”.

He concludes:

The Department of Health has not just ignored evidence but actively opposed it.

Go there to see the evidence to back up this claim. I’m glad this is exposed.

So is the Neurologica blog.

The current page on homeopathy is a neutral and worthless bag of evasion. It contains many of the typical weasel phrases like, “practitioners believe,” “the central principle,” and “homeopathy is based on a series of ideas.” The word “evidence” is not even used until the very end, and then only to provide links to pro and con external sites. The page itself makes no comment about the evidence or the science of homeopathy.

In other words – it completely fails to honestly and accurately inform the public about the fact that the evidence overwhelming indicates that homeopathy does not work, and that homeopathy violates numerous basic laws of science.

Want to know how completely unscientific homeopathy is? You may be surprised at the silliness they sell.

  15 comments for “You don’t REALLY need to know the TRUTH about homeopathy, says NHS

  1. Chris Howard
    February 14, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Sounds glaringly political.
    I don’t get it? I realize that I don’t understand the whole monarchy thing, (being a U.S. citizen) but why would anyone lend credence to a woo believing prince, and his “school of sorcery” institute?

    Shouldn’t Great Britian be following the advice of their doctors, and medical researchers? (the reals ones, not the ones who teach at Hogwarts)

  2. February 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    The US government did a similar thing with the “dangers” of abortion and environmental conclusions during the Bush, Jr. years. Completely manipulated the science to fit a political agenda. It’s inevitable. The liberals do it too.

  3. Peter Roinson
    February 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    It may help you understand better to know that our ‘esteemed’ Health Secretary, one Jeremy Hunt, is a supporter of homeopathy, as are a number of other politicians. Sad, but true.

    However, given the recent comments by the Chief Medical Officer that it is “rubbish” we might hope for some change soon, or possibly her sacking?

  4. Chris Howard
    February 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Oh, I dig.

    My favorite was Nixons rejection of the government findings on pornography. He didn’t like the conclusion, so he had the report buried away.

    I guess this all boils down to influence over evidence?

    So much of this nonsense would be cleared up if people were willing to commit to evidence based policy, rather than faith/ideology based policy.

  5. Mr. Shreck
    February 14, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Why people should expect not to find things tainted by politics when they put governments in charge of things is utterly beyond me.

  6. Chris Howard
    February 14, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Ah, thank you for that.

    I didn’t mean to come off as snarky, I hope you didn’t take offense.

    I’m not nearly as salty as my posts make me out to be. 😉


  7. Chris Howard
    February 14, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Strictly speaking politics would happen, regardless of government involvement.

    Government is nothing more than the institutionaling of politics, but there are political aspects to all human endeavors. Office politics, religious politics, etc.

    I think the real issue is people believing what they want to believe, rather than having the courage, and humility to believe the truth.

  8. Mr. Shreck
    February 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Of course politics happens in all human interaction in the most basic sense of who-gets-what-from-who. Your assessment about believing what they want to believe is exactly right. My point was just that when you institutionalize it, it applies to everyone, so people who believe what they want to believe are now in a position to make their misinformation public policy.

  9. Chris Howard
    February 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Ah! Fair enough.

    I’ve been toying around with the idea that, from an ethical perspective, one does not have the right to an opinion, which impacts others lives, that is based on ignorance, or conjecture.

    Evidence based policy, as mentioned above. It’s amazing how many people are against basing policy on facts, and good evidence rather than their pet ideological agendas.

  10. Mr. Shreck
    February 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    It’s pretty straightforward really. People are not against basing policy on facts. They just think the facts suit their ideology and reject facts that do not. Confirmation bias.

    Your ethical idea is an interesting one, but has some practical difficulties. I’d say people have a right to any opinion because you can’t stop opinion. Do you mean to say they don’t have a right to impact others because of their opinion? Where is the ultimate arbiter of ignorance and conjecture? We routinely show ourselves not to be good at drawing that line. Almost all government action would be precluded by that philosophy. Hey, wait a minute. I’m starting to like this more… 🙂

  11. Chris Howard
    February 14, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    “(1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) thet when they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert; and (3) that when they all hold that no sufficient grounds for a positive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgment.”-Bertrand Russell.

    So, with regard to homeopathy, the learned opinion is pretty straight forward. Gov. officials need not reinterpret on this particular issue. They simply need to say “Sorry, homeopathy doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Therefore you receive no gov. endorsement, and we will not waste tax payers money on this.”

    So while its true that there would be those in gov., or even corporations, or NGO’s for that matter, they would do the ethical thing and put their personal ideologies aside and enact a policy based upon evidence, rather than what they want to believe.

  12. Chris Howard
    February 14, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    There may even be legal grounds under liability, via “willful ignorance.”

  13. Mr. Shreck
    February 14, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Again, it’s intriguing, but I find the idea that politicians would put their ideologies aside somewhat laughable. Once we get to Scott Adam’s robot future, this might have a chance at working.

  14. Chris Howard
    February 14, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Here’s the “ironical” thing, Great Britian has a proud history of attempts at evidence based policy:

    Maybe Ministery of Health didn’t get the memo? 😉

  15. garethl
    February 15, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Believe me a huge proportion of British Citizens don’t get the concept of monarchy either, those who do though are perhaps the ones who are likely to be persuaded to believe in things by other equally spurious arguments, such as those in favour of homeopathy.

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