Via The Globe and Mail, André Picard writes: We’re aiding and abetting homeopathic quackery. Excerpt:
On April 1, the Ontario Homeopathy Act comes into force. Sadly, this is not an April Fool’s joke.
There is no scientific case for homeopathy. It is undiluted quackery.
Edzard Ernst, an emeritus professor at the University of Exeter, who has published more than 100 papers on the subject, describes it as follows: “Homeopathy is based on the belief that ‘like cures like’ and that the dilution of medicine – homeopaths call the process ‘potentiation’ – renders it not weaker but stronger.”
Homeopaths believe that the water molecules retain a “memory” of the original substance, allowing nano-doses to trigger a healing response in the body.
None of these concepts have any basis in biology, physiology or medicine. They are vestiges of centuries-ago practice, when homeopathy was an attractive alternative to bleedings, leeches and other snake-oil potions.
This does not stop practitioners from making sweeping claims about “medicines that respect the wisdom of the body.” It is even stated repeatedly, as fact, that there are numerous studies demonstrating homeopathy’s effectiveness.
In fact, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council has just published what is probably the most thorough and detailed investigation of homeopathy since it was conceived by Samuel Hahnemann in the late 18th century.
The conclusion of that blue-ribbon panel is as definitive as it is damning: “There are no conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.” None. The effect homeopathic remedies have, if any, is that of a placebo.