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England’s chief medical officer tells Commons Science and Technology committee that homeopathy ‘is rubbish.’

Yesterday, Professor Dame Sally Davies suggested that there is no evidence to support the claim that homeopathic remedies have any medical impact beyond the placebo effect, and condemned the public funding the controversial treatment receives. She told the committee, ‘I am perpetually surprised that homeopathy is available on the NHS.’

Much scientific evidence has been put forward refuting the claims that homeopathy – a system which is based on treating the individual with highly diluted substances – can improve health and can be used to treat various illnesses. Nevertheless, the controversial treatment has received strong public backing from the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

Dame Sally expressed the fear that homeopathic remedies could have worrying consequences when attempting to treat serious illnesses: ‘I’m very concerned when homeopathic practitioners try to peddle this way of life to prevent malaria or other infectious diseases.’

BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal commented ‘We very much welcome the comments of Dame Sally Davies and have long campaigned in this area. Homeopathic treatments should not be funded by the NHS and no further public money should be spent researching such treatments when the evidence that they do not work  is overwhelming.’

‘Further, pharmacists who do sell homeopathic products have a duty to make clear that there is no scientific or clinical evidence base to support the efficacy of those products. We hope that the committee makes firm recommendations to stop public money being spent on what at best is a placebo treatment’.

Notes

For further comment or information contact Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs at pavan@humanism.org.uk or on 0773 843 5059.

Daily Telegraph news article – Homeopathy is ‘rubbish’, says chief medical officer: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9822744/Homeopathy-is-rubbish-says-chief-medical-officer.html

The BHA’s campaign on Homeopathy: http://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/ethical-and-scientific-issues/homeopathy/

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

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