What alternative health

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Ask for evidence

 

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Keep Libel out of Science

 

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“Critics of homeopathy have been known to swallow entire bottles of homeopathic pills to make the point they contain nothing but sugar. But homeopaths are not disturbed by this demonstration because, according to the tenets of homeopathy, increasing the dosage actually reduces the effect. So, the critics would face danger not by taking more pills, but by just licking one. Or, perhaps, they could overdose by staying away from the pills altogether. We can safely say that homeopathic remedies pose no risk of side effects or of toxicity. Just try calling a poison control centre to say that you accidentally took too many homeopathic pills. You'll get a response along the lines of "forget it," or "bogus product." But does this mean that homeopathy presents no risks? Not at all. There are several concerns. Some homeopathic remedies may not actually be homeopathic. More seriously, some homeopaths offer pills for protection against malaria or radiation exposure. Others claim that they can treat cancer, with the most outrageous ones urging their victims to give up conventional treatment. Finally, there is the matter of Health Canada issuing a DIN-HM (Drug Identification Number-Homeopathic) to homeopathic products, implying to the consumer that these remedies have been shown to be safe and effective. Safe, yes. Effective, no…If you think there's something more to homeopathy, consider the following: How come different homeopaths prescribe different remedies to the same person for the same condition? How come drugs, other than homeopathic remedies, do not increase in potency when they are diluted? How come the trace impurities in the sugar used to make the tablets, or in the water or alcohol used for dilution, which are present at higher concentration than the supposed active ingredient, have no effect? How can remedies that are chemically indistinguishable from each other have different effects? And how come a producer of homeopathic remedies given an unidentified pill cannot determine the original substance used to make the dilution? Finally, how come there are no homeopathic pills for diabetes, hypertension or birth control?” Joe Schwarcz, Director, McGill University Office for Science and Society, Canada (7th August 2012)