I haven’t written anything recently, in fact, quite a while, about homeopathy. I think this is one of the subjects that as skeptics, we could come to agreement on: it’s all based on zero scientific evidence. We should be working to have these ineffective and sometimes dangerous products, removed from being able to be sold or even promoted.
When I say dangerous, I really mean it. Remember the Zicam incident from 2009? They sold a cold remedy in which people would swab the inside of their noses to prevent or lessen the effects of the cold virus. People lost their sense of smell, Some permanently.
The Federal Trade Commission has, over the years, fined several of these companies for making false claims about their products. Yet they, at least most of them, are still in business.
We, the taxpayer, even fund research into what is known as CAM (Complementary Alternative Medicine). Medicine. But yes, under the National Institute of Health, there is the National Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NICAM) which is funded by you and me to the amount of around $200 million per year. Of course, their research into these homeopathic remedies have produced zero positive results.
None of this prevents people from purchasing any of these fake remedies though. Just walk into your local pharmacy and you’ll see shelves of this junk. Yes, at the pharmacy. Of course they wouldn’t have it on their shelves if people didn’t buy it but I tend to think that they should be a bit more responsible towards their customers. Several years ago, these same companies stopped selling cigarettes, and that was the right thing to do, but they still have on their shelves these products that do nothing at best, and can be harmful, even cause death, at worst.
I just saw a post over at Skeptic Review that caught my eye about a treatment being sold for believe it or not, autism. It’s known as Miracle Medical Solution and is being sold pretty much everywhere. Please read the post carefully. This is a very dangerous chemical that has been known to have caused several deaths. The FDA began warning about it some 8 years ago. Other countries have warned consumers about it also, yet it’s still being sold in many commercial venues. It should be a banned substance, throughout the world.
Many of these same companies that produce CAM claim that they have clinical studies showing their products effectiveness. If that were true, then why haven’t we seen the studies and if their product is truly as effective as claimed, why not submit these remedies to the FDA for approval? Could it be that these studies are a sham?
Skeptics around the world need to place pressure on their governments to ban these products. That most of them do no actual, direct harm, is not a good reason for letting them be sold to ill informed consumers. That someone’s condition may become worse because they are taking an ineffective treatment should be cause enough. We need to end this snake oil industry. The sooner, the better.