Just bought New Statesman and it pains me I may have to write to the ASA about a homeopath ad: you may too


This month’s New Statesman (Oct 2010) carries a full page ad for the homeopathy propaganda group H:MC21. It was contained with a supplement about Social Care.

Christine Odone did not like the advert. She wrote about it in the Telegraph yesterday.

Naturally it is untruthful, irresponsible and misleading, and as such, and as a thoughtful member of society, I must forward on the advert to the Advertising Standards Authority. I am going to ask the ASA to make H:MC21 justify each of the statements they make with evidence. 

Here is the online complaints form.

If you wish to make a complaint to, you may find the full text handily given on the H:MC21 web site here.

And just in case they remove the page: here it is below.

Homeopathy Cares

Homeopathy has a history of success in chronic illness
At Bristol Homeopathic Hospital 70.7% of 6,500 patients with chronic conditions 
     benefited from homeopathic treatment and had reduced need for conventional 
     medication. [1] 
Other clinical outcome studies indicate similar levels of benefit, and more randomised controlled 
     trials are positive than negative. For more see www.britishhomeopathic.org.
In Cuba an integrated approach to healthcare has led to homeopathy being used to enable 2.3 
     million people, including the elderly, to be cheaply and effectively protected against endemic 
     Leptospirosis. [2]
About 6 million people in the UK choose homeopathy despite the fact that for the vast majority this 
     means that they have to pay for their treatment. [3]

Homeopathy offers a caring alternative
The NHS spends £11 billion annually on conventional drugs out of a budget of £100 billion, and this 
     cost keeps rising, as there is an increasing need to treat long-term conditions. [4]
Only 0.001% of the NHS drugs budget is spent on homeopathic medicines, but these are mainly 
     used to treat patients with chronic health problems who have not been helped, despite great cost, by 
     conventional means. [5,6]
The NHS also spends £2 billion annually on treating the adverse side effects of conventional drugs. 
     Homeopathy has no side effects. [7]
Even a small increase in spending on homeopathy could produce dramatic benefits, reducing care 
     needs and increasing patient quality of life. 

Opposition to homeopathy is based on propaganda
Homeopathy has a growing evidence base, but according to the British Medical Journal, of the 2,500 
     most commonly used treatments in the NHS, 51% have unknown effectiveness, and only 11% have 
     been shown to be beneficial.[8,9]
The leading so-called ‘expert’ and critic of homeopathy, Professor Edzard Ernst, has admitted that he 
     has no qualifications in homeopathy.[10]
The leading organisation opposing homeopathy, Sense About Science, is funded by pharmaceutical 
     companies and relies on a strategy of propaganda stunts rather than scientific research.[11,12]
The leading popular book critical of homeopathy (Trick or Treatment?) has been shown to be 
     scientifically unreliable. It was co-authored by Simon Singh (a trustee of Sense About Science) and 
     Professor Ernst.[13]
The recent Science and Technology Committee report on homeopathy was voted for by only three 
     MPs. Of these only one attended the hearings and he has strong links to Sense About Science (Dr 
     Evan Harris).[14,15,16]

A vision for an economic and effective medical future
H:MC21 believes that the NHS should increase the integration of homeopathic practitioners into front-line healthcare whilst monitoring both clinical and cost benefits.

H:MC21 believes that, by sharing clinical experience and skills in this way, homeopathic and conventional practitioners can provide the safest, most economic and most effective service to patients.

H:MC21 believes that this will allow the NHS to confirm the benefits of homeopathy in the real world of clinical practice. 

4 Comments on Just bought New Statesman and it pains me I may have to write to the ASA about a homeopath ad: you may too

  1. Hello Le Canard Blanc (What an odd name!?)I don’t think you homeopaths appreciate how delighted many people have been to see you make these claims in a regulated environment. We can now see what the regulator will make of them, but my bet is they will find this advert misleading, untruthful and irresponsible. The ASA are very good at assessing claims like these (you only have to look at their adjudications page to see).Members of the Society of Homeopaths are obliged to abide by the Code of Conduct for advertising in the UK. What would happen if the ASA said that this advert was in serious breach of those regulations?Only hilarity can ensue.My bet is that homeopaths will whine that (1) the regulator is in the pay of Big Pharma and (2) the Society will claim that the ASA got it wrong and that they are the experts (what other industry would do this?)All in all, it will just be one more thing to show how cult-like and absurd the homeopathic trade is.Bring it on.

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