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  • erickrieg@verizon.net
    here is a great news story From: chair@skeptics.org.nz To: chair@skeptics.org.nz Sent: 1/29/2010 10:42:22 P.M. Eastern Standard Time Subj: Homeopaths admit to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30, 2010

      here is a great news story

      From: chair@...
      To: chair@...
      Sent: 1/29/2010 10:42:22 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
      Subj: Homeopaths admit to selling water
      Our thanks to all who participated in the homeopathic overdose in
      Chrsitchurch today. We had film crews from TV3 and TVNZ filming us
      popping pills and spritzing ourselves with overdoses and underdoses
      so check out tonight´s (Saturday's) news programmes.

      Best thing was the admission from the NZ Council of Homeopaths that
      their products have no material substance to them - that´ll be news
      to the 94% of users who think they are getting the ingredients listed
      on the label. For our response to that and a report on the event
      itself, see the press release appended below.

      Vicki Hyde

      Homeopaths Admit Expensive Concoctions Just Water

      A public mass overdose of homeopathic remedies has forced the New
      Zealand Council of Homeopaths to admit openly that their products do
      not contain any "material substances". Council spokeswoman Mary
      Glaisyer admitted publicly that "there´s not one molecule of the
      original substance remaining" in the diluted remedies that form the
      basis of this multi-million-dollar industry.

      The NZ Skeptics, in conjunction with 10:23, Skeptics in the Pub and
      other groups nationally and around the world, held the mass overdose
      in Christchurch on Saturday to highlight the fact that homeopathic
      products are simply very expensive water drops or sugar/lactose
      pills. A further aim was to question the ethical issues of
      pharmacies, in particular, stocking and promoting sham products and

      "You´re paying $10 for a teaspoon of water that even the homeopaths
      say has no material substance in it," says Skeptics Chair Vicki Hyde.
      "Yet a recent survey showed that 94% of New Zealanders using
      homeopathic products aren´t aware of this basic fact - their
      homeopath or health professional hasn´t disclosed this. The customers
      believe they are paying for the substances listed on the box, but
      those were only in the water once upon a time before the massive
      dilution process began - along with everything else that the water
      once had in it -- the chlorine, the beer, the urine...."

      Hyde notes that one of the homeopathic products downed by the 40 or
      so people in the mass overdose had a label saying it contained
      chamomilia, humulus lupulus, ignatia, kali brom, nux vomica and zinc
      val. But those substances were actually in homeopathic dilutions,
      meaning that the kali brom, for example, was present in a proportion
      comparable to 1 pinch of sugar in the Atlantic Ocean - that is, not
      actually present at all.

      "People don´t know that they are paying through the nose for just
      water - they believe the label implies there are active ingredients
      in there, just like you´d expect from a reputable health product. And
      you have to ask, at what point does it shift from being an issue of
      informed consent to become an issue of fraud?"

      The UK-based 10:23 campaign is concerned about the ethical issue of
      pharmacies - touted as "the health professional you see most often" -
      supporting these products and giving them a spurious and unwarranted

      "Does this mean pharmacists don't know that homeopathic products are
      just water, or they do know and don't care because people will buy it
      not realising the massive mark-up? Either way, that should be a big
      concern for the health consumer. Here´s a huge industry with
      virtually no regulatory oversight or consumer protection or come-
      back, and even its keen customers aren´t aware of the highly dubious
      practices involved."

      The alternative health industry has built a multi-million-dollar
      business exploiting the natural healing powers of the human body, as
      many conditions will get better within two to three days regardless
      of whether conventional or alternative treatments are used, or even
      if nothing is done at all. Independent testing has shown that
      homeopathic preparations take full advantage of this and homeopaths
      quickly take the credit for any improvement in their clients.

      The Christchurch "overdose" included an "underdose" - homeopaths
      believe that the more dilute things are, the more potent they become,
      so the skeptics were careful to try that approach. There are also
      claims by product manufacturers that, in fact, dosage doesn´t matter
      at all - whether you take 1 pill or 100 - but the important thing is
      the frequency of dosage, and the skeptics covered that base too. No
      ill effects were reported, apart from a distinct drop in the level of
      cash in various wallets. For the demonstration, Hyde reluctantly
      purchased two small boxes of tablets and a 25ml spray from a Unichem
      pharmacy, costing $51.95.

      "That´s a lot to pay for less than 2 tablespoons of water and not
      much more than that in lactose milk sugar."

      Homeopaths claim all sorts of amazing results, from treating the 1918
      influenza to AIDS. More dangerously, at least one New Zealand
      pharmacy has been known to push homeopathic water labelled as
      "vaccines" for meningitis and Hepatitis B. Perhaps not surprisingly,
      the most supportive test results are those which come out of the
      homeopathic industry, product manufacturers and other vested
      interests. Any completely independent evaluation, such as the highly
      respected Cochrane Collaboration, tends to find the results much more
      underwhelming, citing no convincing evidence in many claimed areas of

      "We´d recommend that if your local pharmacy stocks homeopathic
      products, take your business somewhere more ethical."


      1023: Homeopathy, there´s nothing in it (UK-based campaign)

      NZ Skeptics Homeopathy flyer:

      Plea for pharmacists to ditch stock
      Christchurch Press: Jan 30

      Survey of homeopathy customers reveals they don´t know it´s just
      Pharmacy Today (26 May 2009):

      More than 90% of people who use homoeopathic remedies think the
      products work according to a survey published in the latest edition
      of the New Zealand Medical Journal. But only 6% of those surveyed
      knew that homoeopathic remedies did not contain any active ingredient
      and most thought that homoeopathic remedies were either moderately or
      very concentrated.

      NZ Skeptics Inc
      Box 29-492, Christchurch http://www.skeptics.org.nz
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