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.
— David Colquhoun (@david_colquhoun) February 1, 2016