Advertising Standards Authority puts an end to homeopaths Double Standards

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The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered online homeopathy advertisers to stop making claims that their treatments work.

In letters sent to advertisers of homeopathic products over the last three months, the ASA said it had not seen reliable or objective evidence to substantiate their claims.

Read more at Research: Advertising authority clampdown on homeopathy

Deadly Nightshade .. in Lollipops

Belladonna

Nightshade - The only "active" ingredient

At the chemist today there was a box of lollipops that claimed to be an “All Natural” kids throat relief remedy. I had my suspicions, and they were confirmed: A homeopathic “remedy”. I’ve heard of these lollipops before, but had never noticed them in person. I initially thought someone was taking the piss and they didn’t actually exist.

Unfortunately, they do.

Concerning, is that the implied “active” ingredients list contains 4 times and of these, three items can be demonstrated not be be present in the “remedy”.

The fourth, Belladonna is a different story. The dilution used for Belladonna in this product is 3C, which is not typical of a homeopathic belladonna preparation (usually 30C), as such, Belladonna is the only ingredient listed in this “remedy” that has not gone past Avogadro’s Constant and is thus still present.

Wikipedia describes Avogadro’s Constant here:

In chemistry and physics, the Avogadro constant (symbols: L, NA) is defined as the ratio of the number of constituent particles (usually atoms or molecules) N in a sample to the amount of substance n (unit mole) through the relationship NA = N/n.[1] Thus, it is the proportionality factor that relates the molar mass of an entity, i.e. the mass per amount of substance, to the mass of said entity.[2] The Avogadro constant expresses the number of elementary entities per mole of substance and it has the value 6.02214179(30)×1023 mol-1.[2][3][4]

 Essentially, this means that prepartions of over 12C DO NOT include a SINGLE MOLECULE of the ingredient. Indeed, Homeopaths will agree that this is the case – they contend that water “remembers” what was initially in it, and this “memory” is transferred through shaking the water – Homeopaths call this “succession”.

If this still sound like a “medicine”, then I have a fantastic bottle of homeopathic whiskey for you!

An Open Letter to Coles Supermarkets regarding the sale of Homeopathy

To whom it may concern,

It is with shock and disappointment that I came across the sale of Homeopathic products at your Warringah Mall Store in Brookvale on the 10th of June 2011.

So-Called Complementary Medicine

I would hope that the decision to sell Homoeopathic products was not one of “consumer choice” as most customers do not know what a Homoeopathic Product is – often believing that homoeopathy uses “natural” or “herbal” ingredients. This is in contrary to the use of such homoeopathic ingredients as the Berlin Wall,

Mobile Phone, Dolphin Song, and The Colour Purple – all carrying the same claims of efficacy.

Customers are also generally uninformed of how ingredients are listed on packets of Homoeopathic Products, often mistaking X or C as the potency of an ingredient, as opposed to its actual indication of dilution.

Proponents of Homoeopathy will attest that they believe that serial dilutions of an ingredient will leave a “vibrational energy” – essentially, they believe that the water they shake it in will have a memory – This belief is deluded and has no basis in reality.

It is with shock and disappointment that Coles Supermarkets would sell homoeopathic products because:

  1. The proposed mechanism is scientifically implausible and unsubstantiated.
  2. The claimed efficacy is not substantiated by any robust study of homoeopathy.
  3. Systematic Reviews of Systematic Reviews of the evidence for Homoeopathy consistently find it is a product with no effect beyond placebo.

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2002 December; 54(6): 577–582
doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.2002.01699.x
Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1874503/

Homoeopathy has recently been in the news because of deaths attributed to it. In both instances Homoeopathy was used to treat an ailment for which a conventional treatment exists.

Customers may be attempting to self-medicate a potentially serious ailment or disease with deadly consequences by using these products.

Insomnia and Snoring problems are conditions that can lead to anxiety and depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and sufferers are categorically at higher risk of being in an automotive accident because of their conditions; of which the use of Homoeopathic Medicines may increase their risk factors to them.

In late 2010 the UK Science and Technology Committee:

  • Recommended no further clinical trials of homeopathy.
  • Stipulated that the evidence shows homeopathy doesn’t work.
  • That the explanations for why homeopathy works are “scientifically implausible.”
  • And that the Committee views homeopathy as placebo.

Brauer, the particular manufacturer from which Coles Supermarkets purchases homoeopathy was recently featured on Today Tonight in Adelaide. You may have not seen the segment, but you may watch it at this link:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bYAgR71NBY

Damning of all, is that the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released a draft statement about Homoeopathy stating..

“it is unethical for health practitioners to treat patients using homeopathy, for the reason that homeopathy – as a medicine or procedure – has been shown not to be efficacious.”

The desired outcome is simple – that Coles Supermarkets, in its’ endeavour to sell products to its customers that are effective, reverses its decision to sell homoeopathic products.

 

Kind regards,

Bayani Mills

What’s the problem, TGA?

Earlier this week I submitted a complaint about the EKEN PowerBand, a product that is reported to give its users increased Endurance, Balance, Strength, and Flexibility.

To my surprise, I got a reply from the TGACRP that essentially meant that they had no control over them – because the product was not on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

Oddly enough, they were able to take action against PowerBalance late last year.
So, I responded with some clarification of what was in my complaint (as it appeared the referenced legislation was not investigated sufficiently).

Thank you for your response.

I refer to your E-Mail response to my complaint about the EKEN PowerBand, and the finding that because the product is not on the ARTG it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the CRP.

I refer back to the legislation specified within the complaint, Section 42DL(1)(g) of the Act that prohibits the publications of advertisements for therapeutic goods that are not included in the register.

Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 – Sect 42DL
(1) A person must not publish or broadcast an advertisement about therapeutic goods:
(g) that are not entered in the Register; or

Therefore, according to the Therapeutic Goods Act, does indeed fall within the jurisdiction of the TGACRP.

If you feel I am incorrect in my interpretation of the 42DL(1)(g), please advise on what grounds the TGACRP acknowledged the legitimacy of the complaint about PowerBalance (a similar product in design, claimed mechanism, and claimed benefit) for my reference.

For clear precedence of this legislation in practice, I refer to the recent findings of the TGACRP:
http://www.tgacrp.com.au/index.cfm?pageID=13&special=complaint_single&complaintID=1650

32. Section 42DL(1)(g) of the Act prohibits the publication of advertisements for therapeutic goods that are not included in the Register. The advertiser acknowledged that the wrist band product is not included in the Register and the Panel was of the view that the product was promoted for therapeutic use. The advertisements therefore breached section 42DL(1)(g) of the Act and the Panel found this aspect of the complaint justified.

Please advise me on the outcome of any further inquiry you may make.

Sincerely,

Bayani Mills

So, hopefully this time we’ll make some headway on having this product removed.

I eagerly await.

NSW Government supporting “integrated” Medicine

Today’s Post was going to be about Aspartame, but not any more.

I am so cheesed off this morning.

I checked Twitter to find that Meryl-Fucking-Dorey’s Australian Vaccination Network (Yes, the same Science-Denying, Bullshit artists that brought the misinformation about the MMR Vaccines to Australia) CONGRATULATE the NSW Government on its decision to fund a Chinese Medical Clinic.

“Kudos to the NSW government. It’s a start. http://fb.me/QVtefyuY” – Australian (Anti) Vaccination Network

Government funds Sydney Chinese medicine centre

You can view the story stub here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/18/3115581.htm

Essentially, the Chinese and NSW Government have partnered to create a $75-million dollar Medical Centre, where “Willoughby Council mayor Pat Reilly says visiting Chinese doctors will work with local researchers to provide treatment integrating the two traditions.”

Perhaps Mayor Pat Reilly doesn’t understand what medicine is – there should only ever be evidence-based medicine.
If the medical practices they use are supported by evidence, awesome. Bring it on and use it.

The clinic proposed may be educating Chinese Medical Practitioners, and that’s a good thing, but given that the Chinese Government has embarked on overhauling their National Health System, perhaps less of the apologist direction of “integration” should be taken; rather it should consist of the uptake of modern medicine being taught throughout their own health system.

Any positive clinical findings of effectiveness and possible incorporation into the Medical field can always be done through Research, Trials, Replication, Reviews, and Testing.

That’s why evidence-based medicine work and bullshit doesn’t.

You don’t make good medicines by making an Integrated Health Clinic and drizzling some herbal tea over it to improve its “Jing”

The Bullshit Health Foods

Now, you may think I’m being a little hasty about this.
After all, if it works, it’s OK, right? Sure! If it works – but it doesn’t.

Here are some of the products they sell (http://www.healthpac.com.au/en/health_foods.asp):

Ten Flavour Great Tonic Pills $8.90

This products assists conditions related to the deficiency of both vital energy (Qi) and blood, marked by pale looks, tiredness, shortness of breath, palpitation, dizziness, sweating, cold extremities or excessive menstruation.

Not withstanding the fact there is no evidence of a “vital energy” – and the word “energy” is used erroneously, the product is a “cure-all” type of snake-oil – or tablet which I am sure has no credible, well-controlled, clinical evidence that supports its efficacy beyond that of placebo – Which at the end of the day means it is NOT effective.

Six Flavour Tonic $12.90

Beijing TongRen Tang’s Six Flavour Tonic Pills nourishes and enriches Liver and Kidney yin. It can relieve symptoms including weakness and soreness of the lower back and knees, dizziness, tinnitus, dry mouth, night sweats, seminal emission, and general weakness due to the deficiency of Liver and Kidney yin.

And here’s another, trying to sell the concept that the Liver and Kidney have a magical, all-powerful “yin” that can cured with a nondescript tonic.

And this one, I think is especially heinous.

Five Seeds Eugenic Supporter $15.90

Five Seeds Eugenic Supporter not only enhances fertility, but improves sperm count by replenishing the Kidney and strengthening ‘Jing’, which in traditional Chinese medical thought is the essence of life, and is one of the basic materials for the formation of the human body. This product can be used for (1) Impotence, premature ejaculation and emission, (2) Lower back pain, dribbling urination (3) Male infertility (4) Female infertility (5) Repeated miscarriage (6) reoccurring mouth ulcers.

Repeated Miscarriage?! Do they have credible clinical trials supporting this? Again, a shotgun load of symptoms with a “cure-all” remedy brought to you by a mythical, unsubstantiated claim of “Jing”.

So, what else does this Medical Clinic do?

Colonic Hydrotherapy

Absurdly enough the NSW Government is quite happy to also assist in the funding of Colonic Hydrotherapy.

What’s that, you ask? Here’s a quick video that walks you through the nitty-gritty.

A red flag goes up when someone tells me they can cure my Acne by sticking water up my arsehole and running water around in my colon; but that doesn’t stop them from making the claims – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4wA-LfeNsw

Whoever the woman is, I couldn’t be stuffed playing it again, says that it a RECOMMENDED way to fix skin problems. Oddly I’m not aware of too many Doctors recommending this, nor have I heard anyone mention this. Did they miss the Memo?

I especially love when she awkwardly tells you that you will..  “release a lot more emotionally” .. “Built up emotional toxins”..”by massaging your abdomen”…. Ouch!

And.. then she goes on to make the colon a Homunculus, stating that there are points in our colon that represents parts of our body. With things like acupuncture, palmistry, reflexology, it’s any wonder the body can keep up with all these “pressure points”!

Anyway, for some sensible information, go see Dr. David Gorski’s article “Colon Cleanses”: A Load of You Know What…

Colon “cleanses”: A load of you know what…

Oh! Something good!

About the only thing that made me think “At least there’s that!” was the WorkCover section that recommended vaccination.