Tagged With homeopathy
This is the season when we send our kids off to school with shiny new backpacks, and every year, they bring home the same thing: The first round of back-to-school colds. In our house, with a two-year-old intent on drooling on everyone he touches and a six-year-old still perfecting her personal hygiene practices, pathogens are passed out like hugs, and it's only a matter of time before the whole family is sick.
When you or your child is sick and all you care about is relief, you'll perk up at any promise a pill bottle makes. But some of those packages hold no medicine at all, just homeopathic "remedies." Australians spend around $1.2 billion per year on non-prescription vitamins, herbal remedies and natural medicines. Their makers are legally allowed to lie to you and say these products can improve your health or provide relief to ailments, even though they absolutely definitely do not.
We all swear by something that we know probably doesn't work. Maybe it's vitamin C when everyone at work has a cold, or #bootea while we diet, or compression socks while we run. "Even if it doesn't work, what's the harm?" we tell ourselves. The truth is, it's not harmless, and we're only fooling ourselves.
Yet another report has concluded there is no evidence homeopathy works, but how can we persuade at-risk people to stop using it (and the government to stop allowing it to be funded via health insurance)? Ian Musgrave from the University of Adelaide offers some suggestions.
Last year, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released a draft paper that suggested there was zero evidence that homeopathy -- which improbably claims that massively diluted substances are an effective treatment for practically anything -- had any scientific credibility whatsoever. The final paper is out, and it reaffirms that conclusion: Homeopathy is unproven, dangerous bollocks.
Companies claiming that homeopathy -- an approach to medical treatment which has zero scientific credibility -- is an acceptable alternative to vaccination put us all at risk. The Federal Court agrees, having found that claims made by an outfit known as Homeopathy Plus! are in violation of Australian consumer law.