This blog has been continuously critical of UK homeopaths who fund and set up clinics in Africa that treat people with serious illnesses such as HIV, malaria and TB. These homeopaths are able to practice their healing fantasies in ways that it would be very difficult to get away with in the UK. Practice in the UK is constrained by such things advertising laws, the risk of bad publicity and the various homeopathic trade groups desire to be taken seriously.
Indian homeopaths feel no such constraints. And their own missionary zeal (and no doubt commercial zeal) often sees them making inroads into Europe. One such outfit, the Dr. Prasanta Banerji Homoeopathic Research Foundation, are to bring their homeopathic nonsense to London to lecture on how to treat cancer.
The two day ‘conference‘ in May is being hailed as the ‘first time ever’ for the Banerji Protocols in London. The topics are to include ‘evidence based management of cancer, renal failure and other serious illnesses’. Given that homeopathy is pure pseudoscience based on pre-scientific ideas of health and illness, anyone following the advice in these seminars would put lives at risk.
The Banerji Protocol appears to be the particular homeopathic method developed by four generations of Kolkata based homeopaths. Their activities now appear to focus on spreading their messages around the world with books and seminars. Bombastic claims abound, with a book on their treatment claiming that the father and son treated 300 patients a day. On their event website they claim to see 1000 cases every day. Very busy people. The Banerjis do not hide that they treat people with cancer with only homeopathic preparations. They claim interest in their treatments from various western medical institutions and to have published in scientific journals. They claim to receive standing ovations wherever they lecture. However, their list of publications appears to not be very convincing, constiting of mainly conference abstracts, lectures, case studies and essays.
The hastily constructed website for the London event is registered to a Nimisha Parekh, who would appear to be a South African pharmacologist who is now trained as a homeopath, and is a homeopathic event organiser and trustee of the absurd homeopathy lobbying organisation HMC21.
The London Seminars are being held at the UCL Institute of Neurology in Queen Square on the 28th and 29th of May. It is is staggering to think that UCL would have allowed these events to go on knowing about their content. Their premises are being used to bring respectability to a thoroughly disturbing business. Given how they speak about their other seminars at respectable institutions, the risk is that it may look as if UCL is endorsing their product.
UK homeopaths do not talk about treatment with cancer because there is a law that prevents advertising of treatments for cancer. Quite whether these seminars count as an advertisement I will leave to the more legally minded. However, that their protocols appear to be proprietary to themselves would suggest their business interests are closely aligned with what they will be speaking about. Trading Standards have shut down similar events before. At the very least I would hope UCL review their decision to host this event.
UPDATE 1st February
UCL have now tweeted as follows:
@lecanardnoir Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We can confirm that this event is not taking place at UCL.
— UCL News (@uclnews) February 1, 2016
Quite what this means in the context of the conference clearly stating that the venue is “UCL INSTITUTE OF NEUROLOGY, 33 QUEEN SQUARE, LONDON WCIN 3BG” is not clear. We shall see how this develops. But thanks to all with links to UCL for enquiring.
Tweeted by Prof Colquhoun gives a fuller picture. So it does indeed look like the Banerjis will need a new venue.
.@UCL wins Event cancelled. Booking made by junior sec unaware of issues. Lessons learnt process set up. https://t.co/TIkiykIYAO.
— David Colquhoun (@david_colquhoun) February 1, 2016
Time for the noble readers of Quackometer to launch a campaign against this utter, dangerous nonsense. First port of call, UCL. Quickly followed by Trading Standards and the Police
Are you sure the Bannerjis claim cures by homeopathy only? It is definitely the impression that they want to give but the only references I have seen quietly mention adjunctive therapy.
On two occasions their case histories with before and after serology have shown patients aging several years in a few days.
They may be sincere but they sure know how to play fast and loose with the facts.
Coincidentally, I submitted a complaint about their London conference on treating cancer to Trading Standards yesterday as a possible breach of the Cancer Act 1939… I also contacted Prof Hanna, the head of UCL’s Institute of Neurology, asking him his views on this.
IMHO, any follower of the Quackometer should also follow The Nightingale Collaboration where Alan delves more deeply!
“The National Cancer Institute of USA, invited us to see the effectiveness of our treatment and after stringent scrutiny they have accepted our treatment as a very effective one and certified the cures.”. Hugely stretching the truth.
I have also contacted UCL.
From the link;
“June 2004 by Dr. Sushil Vats in Delhi revealed an alarmingly grim picture of the classical homeopathic practice. Out of the total of 3500 homeopaths in the city area, only 50% are into active practice and of these 50% have another source of income and of the remaining, only 10% have income worthy to survive in metros like Delhi.”
As the critics of Big Pharma are wont to say, with appropriate regional currency adjustment, “Follow the rupees”. Pot, kettle, black.
Coincidences are indeed amazing.
Shocking if true. How do you know that UCL has decided to host the event, though? Looking at the hastily-constructed website, I’m not sure I would take everything it says (including the address) at face value…
I have come across fringe conferences before which are advertised as being hosted by a university who, when contacted, know nothing about it. The organisers at a late stage advise attendees that the event has been relocated to a nearby commercial function space.
it looks as if homeopaths believe in the efficacy of their then methods with as much zeal as the truly committed religious fundamentalist. As such, they are immune to reason, argument or debate. Those of us, who do not share their zeal, must do all we can to point out the and absurdity of their spiel and try to project the innocent.
That will be a hard task. Go to sleep
I have just been told
“Event cancelled. Booking made by junior sec unaware of issues. Lessons learnt process set up. New instructions on booking in IoN now in place.”
Great news! It’ll take Trading Standards a while to respond to my complaint, but hopefully I’ll get a reply from Prof Hanna shortly.
“UCL Cancels Homeopathy Event by Indian Docs After Complaints”
The Banerji conference website has just been changed to say:
pharmakia = witchcraft