Consumers in Cardiff stage homeopathic ‘overdose’

Consumer rights activists across Cardiff have today announced their intention to take a mass homeopathic ‘overdose’ next month, as part of a major global protest against the alternative remedies.

Protesters in Cardiff will swallow entire bottles of homeopathic pills on February 5th 2011, in a bid to raise public awareness of the fact that homeopathic ‘remedies’ are ineffective – putting pressure on pharmacists and healthcare providers to ensure that products sold as medical treatments actually work. They will also be demonstrating the homeopathic dilution process.

Dean Burnett, co-founder of Cardiff Skeptics said “Consumer choice is all well and good, but the public deserves to know that what they’re buying isn’t genuine medicine but expensive bits of sugar that have probably come into contact with a trace amount of water that’s been hit with a book”

Jane Goldman added “I wholeheartedly support the 10:23 campaign. People deserve to be given reliable, impartial information with which they can make informed decisions about how they wish to spend their money and tackle illness, and I applaud the commitment of the campaigners to making that information widely available.”

Stephen Fry, who also supports The 10:23 Campaign, said “Homeopathy is wonderful for those who enjoy water. Which I do. Nothing nicer than a glass! Boots selling homeopathic pills is fine, but only if they have a sign saying “Contains no active ingredients” or “Proven to be Pointless””

The demonstration is being organised by Rhys Morgan of Cardiff Skeptics as part of the 10:23 Campaign [1] – a global protest against the homeopathic remedies originating in the United Kingdom. Similar events will be taking place in dozens of countries around the world, with protests announced in Germany, Hungary, Australia and Canada.

Michael Marshall, co-ordinator of the international campaign, said: “We intend to show that there is a growing feeling around the world that enough time and money has been wasted on homeopathic remedies.

In the two hundred years these treatments have existed, there has never been anything to suggest they work – and because they’re nothing but sugar and water, they couldn’t possibly do the things homeopaths claim they can do.

Tens of billions of pounds are spent every year around the world on these ineffective remedies, and when told what they really are, and how they’re made, most people are shocked these useless treatments are still able to be sold to an unsuspecting public”.

The 10:23 Campaign launched a year ago in the UK, with almost 400 protestors taking part in ‘overdose’ events across the country following an admission by Britain’s leading pharmacy that the pills are only sold because consumers will buy them, not because they are effective[2].  The campaign is named after ‘Avogadro’s Number’ [3] – a scientific constant which can be used to show homeopathic potions contain no active ingredients.

Though some would argue dispensing sugar pills may seem harmless, the endorsement of homeopathic potions by pharmacists and healthcare providers has grave consequences.  As well as undermining public trust in medicine and medical advice, patients with serious conditions can avoid seeking medical attention in the belief that homeopathy can treat their condition. An investigation by the BBC in January 2011 revealed that homeopaths were willing to give travellers ineffective homeopathic ‘preparations’ to use in place of real anti-malarial drugs [4], as well as ineffective homeopathic alternatives to vaccinations [5].

The 10:23 Campaign is organising protests in more than twenty three cities across ten counties on February 5th, 2011.

Notes for editors:

[1] The 10:23 Campaign is a network of skeptical groups which aims to raise awareness of the reality of homeopathy – how we know it doesn’t work and why it is important that patients should be given the right information to allow them to make an informed decision about their health.  http://www.1023.org.uk/
[2] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1230925/Boots-sells-homeopathic-remedies-theyre-popular-work.html
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avogadro_constant
[4] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/9341713.stm
[5] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11280578

Local contact: Rhys Morgan / thewelshboyo@gmail.com / +44 7765 429 450
International contact: Michael Marshall / contact@1023.org.uk / +44 7841 134 309

23 Responses to “Consumers in Cardiff stage homeopathic ‘overdose’”

  1. San Diego Natural Medicine February 19, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    Wonderful post. Thanks so much 🙂

  2. Timothy (TRiG) August 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    You have to be careful with homoeopathy. Some medicines (that’s not the right word, some … substances, perhaps?) … some substances which claim to be homoeopathic remedies do in fact contain actual active ingredients. This means that (a) they may have real effects, and (b) they aren’t actually homoeopathy.

    From what I recall reading, zinc is the most common substance to find in actual active amounts in “homoeopathic” remedies. That means that unless you read the packaging carefully, you might actually really overdose.

    (My information may come from the US, which is not as stringent as most EU countries about proper labelling on medicines, food supplements, and non-medical remedies which don’t actually cure anything. I’m Irish myself, but I read a lot of US media.)

    TRiG.

  3. Himanshu Singh May 9, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Me and my family has been using homeopathy for many years, and have seen its benefits. As with any practice, its important to get the right doctor who is able to correct diagnose and provide proper medicine.
    To give an example, My newborn son suffered from chest congestion for two months, regularly taking allopathic drugs, until we found a good Homeopathic doctor. This doctor was able to cure my son within a week!
    I have many more examples from my immediate family to prove that Homeopathy works.

  4. Judge Judy February 1, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    Luc Montagnier, Nobel Prize Winner, Takes Homeopathy Seriously

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-ullman/luc-montagnier-homeopathy-taken-seriously_b_814619.html

    Haven’t been here in ages but couldn’t resist when I saw this. 😛

    • Rhys Morgan February 1, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      *sigh*
      Argument from authority, much?
      If you expect me to take a single word that Dana Ullman says seriously, you’ve got an uphill battle.

      • Judge Judy February 1, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

        Have you won a Nobel Prize? If not, why not?

        • Urban February 2, 2011 at 12:24 am #

          If you can’t demonstrate your claims, why would it matter which prizes you’ve won?

  5. Andrew January 31, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    “Oh and in response to the first question – I have been tested for celiac disease. I do not have it. Eliminating wheat would be pointless. I have it regularly to no ill effect. I am in remission for my Crohn’s.”

    i am not actually offering any advice or suggesting you do anything

    except this

    just keep and open mind and let the pieces fall in place over a while

    you don’t want to look at this process, which is really a process of discovery, having to translate into making big changes in your life like removing wheat until you understand all the different sides, like grains are an important scource of strontium and if you eliminate grains
    you need to supplement strontium

    there’s al ot of reading and thinking and your “skepticism” publicity projects while interesting take more time than you can afford

    just my thirty cents (from experience !)

    (74 line rant removed)

    • Rhys Morgan February 1, 2011 at 12:30 am #

      Any more one-word-per-line rants like that and I’ll unleash the banhammer.
      I will do as my GE doctors tell me to. They have not told me to cut out wheat and take strontium supplements.

      • Andrew February 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

        well it’s up on my poetry page so it ain’t lost ! you can’t or won’t reply to my challenge and you shall we say lack a certain graciousness in dealing with what is beyond you so i guess it’s goodbye !

        you have been an interesting illumination into the limitations of skepticism and what it really is thanx !

        • Rhys Morgan February 1, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

          HAH.
          You expect me, in one day, to have to the time to read up on something you’ve decided I should know?
          Y’know, around school? Around homework? Around trying to socialise? Really?

          • Andrew February 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

            why am i taking the time to reply to you ? like you i have had gut issues and having lived through quite a few more years have come to understand being injured and how life is

            the

            problem is survival and it doesn’t understand anything except results and doesn’t give a fig for convention or what other people think or the normal activties and joys of life !

            the

            first step is

            to

            accept

            one

            is

            injured !

          • Rhys Morgan February 2, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

            If you’d read my comment, you’d realised I had asked if you had expected me to have read something you told me to in just one day.
            Also, me blogging about my Crohn’s, the whole bleachgate campaign starting on Crohn’s forum etc. means that I’m accepting I have Crohn’s, is it?
            Believe me, I have accepted that I have Crohn’s. I have also accepted that I am currently in remission too. Yes, my Crohn’s is under control. No annoying diet changes, just infliximab induced remission.
            Also, would you care to explain why you persist in your stupidly random one word per line comments?

          • Andrew February 3, 2011 at 11:14 am #

            it’s a different use of language, more is conveyed by the spaced style in conjunction with the words, poetic/rap in fact

            this

            rhys

            now

            he’s

            schizophrenic ?

            i

            think

            i

            give

            up !

  6. Andrew January 31, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    the biofilm carbohydrate diet which i have developed is very scientific and based on theory about biofilms

    the nature of dietary theories is they are syntheses and not studies themselves for various practical reasons, one being there’s never any money available for a study

    it’s not alternative and one day will be accepted as scientific fact, it’s just really ahead of medicine and dietary science at this point

    science simply means correct knowledge, the weakness of skepticism is it takes studies, usually in the form of blinded or double blinded medical studies as the only correct knowledge about health which is far from the case

    relativity was always a correct scientific theory, but the actual confirmation by observation took many many years and is still not 100% so this issue of correct knowledge in fact versus studies (tho you seem not to want to read the chrons/celiac link STUDY ) is central

    if you in fact were truely interested in wether or not my writings were true or not you would say why specifically in detail and not just diss with the blanket statements characteristic of the skepticism belief system

    i

    challenge

    you

    not

    to

    waffle

    and

    come

    up

    with

    something

    specific !

  7. Andrew January 30, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    i’m not into CAM at all ! naturopaths are dangerously nutty

    but medicine in some areas like endocrinology and gastorentrology is actually worse than nauturopathy

    not scientific at all

    i think you are covering up for the fact that you can’t or won’t read a scientific paper

    skepticism like homeopathy is a belief system

    • Rhys Morgan January 30, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      Ahem…
      I direct you to your own website.
      You are an apologist for some form of alternative medicine.
      I have read some scientific papers, but given that I am in secondary school studying for my GCSEs and planning events like these, doesn’t really give me much chance to study medicine in its entirety at the same time.
      Finally, skepticism is not a belief system.
      Skepticism is reliant on good, credible evidence. That is not a belief system.

  8. Andrew January 30, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    i don’t know wether you regard eliminating wheat from the diet as homeopathy?

    its not titration but part of the homeopathic milieu

    but this REAL scientific study says that crohns and celiac share some gene loci !

    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1001283

    cutting back on wheat consumption would be a logical inference as agood idea for crohns !

    • Rhys Morgan January 30, 2011 at 3:05 am #

      Andrew,
      Are you becoming my resident CAM peddler?

    • Rhys Morgan January 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      Oh and in response to the first question – I have been tested for celiac disease. I do not have it. Eliminating wheat would be pointless. I have it regularly to no ill effect. I am in remission for my Crohn’s.

    • Judge Judy February 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

      How could the elimination of wheat be homeopathy? “Homeopathic” has become an adjective that can modify most anything these days it seems …

      Actually there is solid research to back up the claim that many people would be better off not eating grains and beans.

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