Homeopathy, like sympathetic magic, operates upon the premise that “like affects like”. Its proposed mechanisms have been described as “physically impossible“, and the best available evidence from trials was found to be “compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects”. These are just some of the things that homeopaths may avoid mentioning when promoting “awareness” of homeopathy. Read the rest of this entry »
Freedom of Speech and the Internet
According to Boing Boing and Wikiquote, it was John Gilmore who once said that: “The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” Read the rest of this entry »
A company called Rodial have threatened a doctor with a lawsuit after she raised doubts about a “boob job cream”. While Rodial’s lawyers letter states that Rodial would have provided information on “clinical assessment and product ingredients” on request, they failed to do so when contacted by Ben Goldacre. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s Homeopathy Awareness Week. I’m not sure we can really trust the mainstream media to be fully aware of the nature of homeopathy. Perhaps we can trust bloggers though? Let’s see: the Daily Mail, having produced (predictably enough) an article headlined ‘Homeopathy works!’, is taken to task by a blogger in this, the beginning of Homeopathy Awareness Week (although I’m not clear on when the Mail article was first published#). Read the rest of this entry »
Alternative Medicine societies often claim to regulate their members, they also commonly have something that they refer to as a “Code of Ethics”. Frequently, however, Alt Med societies either have inadequate codes of ethics or fail to enforce them – making a mockery of their claims to regulate their members. They are often loath to criticise what others believe to be bad practice in their field. When others criticise particular fields of Alt Med, they are sometimes subject to legal complaints from these societies. It is unfortunate that societies choose to flex their legal muscle rather than show the evidence that supports their claims. Read the rest of this entry »
Here, I have some examples of the, fairly limited, debate between sceptics and proponents of Alternative Medicine – and a couple of examples of how scientists generally respond to criticism. The most recent example of a supporter of Alternative Medicine (anti-vaccinationism, with a smidge of homeopathy) responding to criticism is Jeni Barnett. She referred on her blog to incandescently stupid comments she made about MMR during a radio broadcast on LBC, and the fuss that followed the broadcast. The comments section soon included critics explaining why Jeni was so dangerously wrong. Jeni’s response to the criticism? To remove the blog post and the comments. Thankfully, it’s been preserved and is available at The Quackometer website. Further discussion at Holford Watch. LBC’s response to the original criticisms? Legal chill tactics – a pretty disgusting way to tackle legitimate criticism. Other examples of legal chill (and other threats) come from nutritionists, chiropractors, homeopaths, herbalists, and an American Christian organisation. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve recently witnessed some examples of slightly threatening behaviour on the internets and I was reminded of a few of the previous spats I’ve seen covered on the various blogs I read. There have been lawyer’s letters, accusations both of libel and of copyright breach, and comments posted or letters sent by angry nutritionists (in the main – there has been the odd homeopath too). Read the rest of this entry »
Just a very brief post pointing out what I think is the funniest part of the Society of Homeopaths’ press statement / response to Polly Toynbee’s rather wonderful CiF piece. Read the rest of this entry »
The SoH Controversy
The SoH (The Society of Homeopaths) has done something rather silly. They’ve made legal threats over a blog post that points out (quite truthfully) that they do not effectively regulate their members. This has been highlighted on many sites now, but blogger Gimpy has taken the ball and run with it. This page on the use of a House of Lords report in a SoH press release http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/2007/10/12/society-of-homeopaths-make-themselves-look-silly/ follows Gimpy’s recent post dealing with the Le Canard Noir / Society of Homoeopaths issue (see the third link in th ehuge list at the bottom of this page) and relates to a press release that was put out by the SoH last month. The House of Lords report has some revealing Q&A – look out for Q538 from Lord Broers. Now, Gimpy has a new post dealing with the SoH website and potential breaches of their own code of ethics. Link: http://gimpyblog.wordpress.com/2007/10/14/society-of-homeopaths-breach-own-code-of-ethics-on-website/. How embarrassing is that? To advertise your code of ethics and break it on the very same website!
The Quackometer blog about the Society of Homeopaths follows, with links to 40+ other bloggers covering this issue (links obtained from DC Science and Gimpy’s blog). UPDATE 18th October: JQH is the latest blog to be added. pvandck and homeopathiccomplaints are also new.
The quackometer blog has had this post taken down due to ludicrous legal threats from the Society of Homoeopaths (SoH):