On the issue of homeopathy EDMs..

The letter what I wrote to my MP regarding the mass of homeopathy related EDMs

(“Names have been removed to protect the innocent”)

I am writing to you to ask you to consider signing the following Early Day motions regarding the support of Homeopathy:

EDM 387, proposed by Peter Bottomley, MP.
EDM amendments 284A1, 285A1, 286A1 & 287A1 proposed by Julian Huppert, MP

To be clear on my point of view (and indeed, the scientific consensus) – Homeopathy does not and cannot possibly work.

It is pseudoscience and quackery of the highest order.

Homeopathic remedies are diluted to such an extent that not a single molecule of the “remedy” (which is often completely untested, unlike conventional pharmaceuticals) remains. Compare this with say, Paracetamol, where a standard 1000mg dose contains a touch under 1 million million milllion million (1 with 24 ‘0’s) molecules of paracetamol. Repeated clinical trials and meta-analyses have demonstrated repeatedly that homeopathic remedies perform no better than a placebo. Homeopaths however, have built up a ~£40 million industry (in the UK alone) that pushes these pills without a jot evidence for their efficacy.

For more background information – please see the science and technology committee evidence check report: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/45.pdf

Whilst it is true to say that homeopathic remedies rarely have any side effects, a side effect of the lack of critical thinking that leads one to use homeopathy can be a failure to visit a GP to diagnose a potentially fatal disease. Recent examples of this include the tragic case of Pen Dingle in Australia, who died after she refused surgery to treat a case of stomach cancer which she would have had a very good chance of survival. Instead, she chose homeopathy and needlessly died, and in great pain. http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/nurse-tells-how-cancer-patient-penelope-dingle-was-writhing-in-pain/story-e6frg12c-1225880033776

Continued support and funding of homeopathy by the UK government and it’s agencies demonstrates a severe lack of critical thinking, and is most certainly NOT “evidence based policy”. It is an anachronism that the UK cannot afford to fund in the current climate – if people wish to use homeopathy and other alternative, unproven healthcare modalities, they should pay for it from their own pocket.

I have kept this message deliberately short — however, if you wished to discuss it in more detail please do not hesitate to e-mail or telephone me. I would be most happy to talk to you in person about this should your schedule allow it.

Kind regards…

There we go  – I decided not to address Tredinnick’s original EDMs one by one, for fear of going “tl:dr”, and because Julian Huppert has already done that in his amendments.

Updates will be posted as and when I get a reply.

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