Mistletoe and Cancer

December 24, 2008 2

Merry Christmas! Last Christmas, we looked at the quackery surrounding myrrh. This year, it is time for me to have little whine about mistletoe. Christmas would not be the same without a little cheeky kiss under this herb – usually with someone you really ought not to. But, its role at Christmas undoubtedly stretches back in time to more paganistic practices. According to Pliny the Elder, it was central to [read more…]

An Academic Responds to the Homeopathy Challenge

December 23, 2008 2

After two weeks of silence from ten UK academic homeopaths, I get a response to my recent challenge. The challenge was simple: can any of the Universities offering a BSc in Homeopathy tell six different homeopathic pills apart if they do not know which is which to start with. Several emails to them and not a single response from any of the academics. However, last week I got an email [read more…]

The Society of Homeopaths: The Failure of Self Regulation

October 14, 2008 73

The Adverting Standards Authority has today found that a homeopath advertised their asthma clinic for kids by making untruthful, unsubstantiated and irresponsible claims. Archway House Natural Health Centre holds an Asthma and Eczema clinic for children, run by Julia Wilson, a member of the Society of Homeopaths. Inasmuch, this is not news. The ASA make judgments like this every week. Their weekly published list today contains all sorts of findings [read more…]

Julian Graves: Not Just Nuts – Dangerously Irresponsible

October 8, 2008 35

So. Today. I had a quite jaw dropping conversation in my local branch of Julian Graves. For my American readers, Julian Graves is a shop that sells large bags of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, food ingredients and confectionery. I quite like them. Low on packaging, low on branding, and excellent value for money for kitchen basics. And they are not too puritanical in their outlook. You can buy enough liquorice [read more…]

Neutrahealth in Trouble

October 5, 2008 8

In the last few days, vitamin pill company Neutrahealth (NUT.L), has seen a precipitous drop in its share price. Its investors look like they believe the company is going to have a difficult time weathering the credit crunch. Neutrahealth is known to us through its involvement with Patrick Holford. He sold his online pill company to them for £464,000. He then joined their team as Head of Science and Education [read more…]

How Can You Criticise Homeopathy When You Have Never Studied It?

October 3, 2008 6

Anyone who has ever entered into a debate with a homeopathy about the nature of their trade will have sooner or later bumped into this objection to their arguments. At one level, it is a simple deflection away from whatever point you were trying to make and an attempt to turn the conversation to your apparent lack of credentials and authority to question the subject. Without doubt, the homeopath will [read more…]

Kaloba Cold Cure: How the MHRA condones quackery

September 30, 2008 30

The newspapers today were delighting in reporting that a new cold treatment was being made available to us in Britian. Kaloba is an extract of the geranium Pelargonium sidoides, and has been “used by Zulus for hundreds of years”. The Telegraph tells us that “extracts are particularly good at reducing the amount of phlegm.” Remarkably, the paper tells us that, Research by the Cochrane Review showed it to be “effective [read more…]

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Malaria?

September 23, 2008 3

Dr* T on his Thinking is Dangerous blog reports that Helios appear to have stopped selling their Malaria nosodes for the homeopathic prevention of Malaria. This is good news. A quick check also reveals that Ainsworths also appear to have stopped selling it too. Is this the end of this dispicable practice in the UK? It is difficult to know, although it will make it much more difficult for casual [read more…]

The Epiphenomena of Quackery

September 21, 2008 11

Sometimes it can be hard to tell science from pseudoscience. On the surface, both can look the same. What is remarkable is how deep this mimicry goes. It is not enough to have a magic sugar pill that can cure all, you also have to have pharmacies, letters after your name, registration and regulatory bodies, brass plaques, published papers, white coats, diagrams, scientific jargon and conferences. This diverse and magnificent [read more…]

Write to Your MP about our Libel Laws

September 17, 2008 6

George Monbiot writes in today’s Guardian about the shame of our libel laws in the UK. The Rath case highlights the basic injustice of such laws, Rath, a German doctor, appears to have encouraged South Africans with HIV to stop using anti-retroviral drugs, and take his vitamin pills instead. Several of them died. It’s an important story, which shows journalists are of some use after all. But the Guardian stood [read more…]

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