Homeopathy, Quantum Woo and Danger Sold at Target

Homeopathy

Target has recently taken to selling homeopathic remedies including a so called “asthma remedy” in the form of a homeopathy inhaler. The decision by Target to carry such dangerous and unproven “cures” has prompted outrage in the scientific community.  A Change. Org petition has been started to demand Target pull the potentially life-threatening “remedy” from its shelves. Homeopathy has been labeled as being quackery and “quantum woo” by those in the medical and scientific communities.

Two physicians, Dr. David Gorski and Dr. Steven Novella, have published numerous articles about the asthma remedy on their blog, Science Based Pharmacy.  The doctors state that there is no medicine present in the asthma inhaler, and that the sale of such an item could represent a grave danger to anyone with asthma who tries to use it to control their symptoms.

In a post entitled Looking for the Medicine in Target’s Asthma Remedy, the doctors state, “the best evidence demonstrates that homeopathy is exactly what we expect – an inert placebo with no therapeutic effects.” The doctors say the asthma remedy sold at Target is dangerous because it contains no medicine, is basically the same composition as plain water, and could cause life-threatening complications should someone suffer an asthma attack and attempt to use the inhaler for relief.

It’s not just the homeopathic asthma remedy the physicians are concerned about. Homeopathy in general, they say, is nothing but nonsense and quackery. In an earlier post on homeopathy, the doctors write:

If homeopathy actually worked as claimed, it would mean that all we know about biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology was wrong. Not a little wrong, but completely wrong. Which would then mean that all we know about science-based medicine is wrong.

They also state that homeopathy has already been soundly debunked and disproven, and that the medical and scientific community is finished debating the question of whether or not there is any value in homeopathic remedies because the answer is definitely no.

In fact, it does seem that the debate over such remedies has been settled. The last meta-analysis on these “quantum woo” medicines was performed eight years ago, and no new large scale studies on homeopathy have taken place since then. That meta-analysis showed that homeopathy has no more effect than placebos in curing or controlling illness.

Drs. Gorski and Novella call upon Target to cease the distribution of the asthma inhaler immediately and they state that both the store and the pharmacists who work there have an ethical responsibility to do so. They also say that Target is “taking advantage of consumers” by selling the product.

Over the years there have been many deaths attributed to homeopathy, including numerous people who have died from using homeopathic asthma medicines. A study published on the U.S. government’s health website entitled Death by Homeopathy: issues for civil, criminal and coronial law and for health service policy states that homeopathy should not be considered a legitimate practice: “the profession is not suitable for formal registration and regulation lest such a status lend to it a legitimacy that it does not warrant,” the study authors write.

A simple Google search on “homeopathy deaths” turns up hundreds of results including newspaper articles, studies and court cases both in the U.S. and abroad detailing incidences in which people lost their lives because of the use of homeopathic remedies.

The scientific and medical communities have called on Target to stop selling homeopathy, quantum woo and danger to its customers, but with the homeopathy industry bringing in 336 million dollars since 2009, it may be difficult if not impossible to get Target to comply.

An Editorial By: Rebecca Savastio

Sources:

US National Library of Medicine

The Lancet

Change.org

Science Based Pharmacy

Live Science

Sydney Morning Herald

IBIS World

13 Responses to "Homeopathy, Quantum Woo and Danger Sold at Target"

  1. Dr. Nancy Malik   January 19, 2014 at 8:47 am

    A. Statistically Significant human studies upto the end of year 2010
    1. 309 studies published in 120 journals including 11 meta-analysis and 82 DBRPCT.
    2. 8 out of approx. 20 systematic reviews are in favour of homeopathy i.e. 40%
    3. 91 (82 DBRPCT + 7 DBRCT + 2 RCT) out of approx 225 RCT are in evidence of homeopathy i.e. 40.45%

    B. Out of 164 high quality papers published between 1950-2011 (inclusive) on RCT in 89 medical conditions
    1. 137 are placebo-controlled & 27 other-than-placebo controlled studies
    2. 71 (43%) papers reported +ve findings, 9 (6%) were negative; 80 (49%) were non-conclusive; 4 (2%) contained non-extractable data.
    3. Out of 137 placebo-controlled studies, 41 are on individualised homeopathy and 96 on non-individualised homeopathy
    4. In 32 out of 89 disease conditions, there has been replicated research (2 or more RCT).
    5. In 22 out of 32 disease conditions, the results of replicated research were statistically significant.

    Check for details at http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/article/scientific-research-in-homeopathy/

    Reply
    • Roger Bird   January 19, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Nancy, I am sure that the skeptopaths won’t let the scientific method or reasoned discourse get in the way of their religious fixation on materialism.

      Reply
    • ScienceAdmirer   January 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Scientists examine the evidence, homeopaths have so little they have to talk about ‘high quality’. Yet when examined scientifically, these papers mainly involve lack of controls, poor technique and very dodgy manipulation of results, they are certainly not high quality to anybody except a homeopathy promoter who claims a medical title she is not entitled to use in the UK. The highest quality trials show no difference between placebo and homeopathic water. So Malik wants people to believe her low quality trials and ignore the high quality work.

      Reply
      • Roger Bird   January 19, 2014 at 2:19 pm

        Homeopathy works for me and my family and has been for the past 44 years, so I don’t really care that you think that double blind, crossover, randomized tests have a monopoly on all knowing and all truth. Furthermore, you attitude is an insult to my intelligence and good sense, and the sciencism attitude diminishes the inner life so that people are left with no meaning in their lives.

        Reply
        • ScienceAdmirer   January 20, 2014 at 12:49 am

          As my comment was addressed to Nancy and not yourself then you are insulted by her ‘facts’ not me. Try looking at real evidence, not your own anecdotes and argue with the data. Complaining about materialism is not productive and is clearly an attempt to smear the huge advances that the scientific method has made in saving lives and improving health while homeopathy has done neither.

          Reply
  2. Nancy Herman   January 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    What a biased blog. Homeopathy works, that’s why people use it. Wake up!

    Reply
    • Roger Bird   January 19, 2014 at 6:32 am

      The skeptopaths can try to stomp homeopathy out until they are blue in the face and it won’t do any good, BECAUSE IT WORKS. (:->)

      Reply
  3. A. Homeopath   January 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I am not familiar with this particular medicine and the supply of homeopathic medicines without a consultation is not true homeopathy. There is however some evidence for the use of homeopathy in Asthma should anyone have the desire to actually look into it.

    Castellsagu API (1992). Evolution of 26 cases of bronchial asthma with homœopathic treatment. British Homoeopathic Journal; 81(4): 168-172.

    Castellsagu API (1992). Evolution of 26 cases of bronchial asthma with homœopathic treatment. British Homoeopathic Journal; 81(4): 168-172.

    Colin P (2006). Homeopathy and respiratory allergies: a series of 147 cases. Homeopathy; 95(2): 68-72.

    Gariboldi S, Palazzo M, Zanobbio L, Dusio GF, Mauro V, Solimene U, Cardani D, Mantovani M, Rumio C (2009). Low dose oral administration of cytokines for treatment of allergic asthma. Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics; 22(6): 497-510.

    Lewith GT, Watkins AD, Hyland ME, Shaw S, Broomfield JA, Dolan G, Holgate ST (2002). Use of ultramolecular potencies of allergen to treat asthmatic people allergic to house dust mite: double blind randomised controlled clinical trial. British Medical Journal; 324(7336): 520.

    Matusiewicz R (1997). The homeopathic treatment of corticosteroid-dependent asthma. A double-blind placebo-controlled study. Biomedical Therapy; 15(4): 177-122.

    Mohan GR (2007). Efficacy of homeopathy in childhood asthmas. Homeopathic Links; 20(2): 104-107.

    Riveron-Garrote M (1998). Ensayo clinico aleatorizado controlado del tratamiento homepatico del asma bronquial. Boletin Mexicano de Homeopatía; 31(2): 54-61.

    Shafei HF, AbdelDayem SM, Mohamed NH (2012). Individualized homeopathy in a group of Egyptian asthmatic children. Homeopathy; 101(4): 224-230.

    Reply
  4. Roger Bird   January 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Homeopathy has been working regularly and successfully for me and my family for the past 44 years.

    Reply
  5. Lstemmer   January 18, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Target sells what sells. People buy what works. If I want to try it, that’s my right. You don’t have to buy it. I live in America and love that we are different and allow ‘to each his own’ as long as I’m not harming you. I don’t want anyone protecting me from myself, we all have the power, ability and freedom to make our own choices in this country. That’s what makes us great.

    Reply
  6. Corie   January 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    I am reminded of a comment by H. L. Mencken back in the era when chiropractors were banned from practice in most of the country. People were arguing how these practitioners were dangerous to the welfare of society. To paraphrase, he said if people are stupid enough to seek the services of chiropractors, then society should be happy: if the patients died as a result of treatment it would be a matter of natural selection that weeds out the stupid.

    Reply
    • Nancy Herman   January 18, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      And chiropractors are everywhere, so what is the point? That many people die from going to chiropractors? I don’t think so.

      Reply
    • ScienceAdmirer   January 20, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      While the idea of letting those less educated die may have attractions to certain people, it doesn’t with me. Caveat emptor has long been debunked leading to the regulations we have now. Many homeopathy promoters cry ‘freedom of choice’ as some sort of justification for selling their inactive nostrums but there is no freedom of choice without freedom of information, a commodity which homeopaths are very reluctant to supply. In general I have found that merely explaining that homeopaths throw away 100.0% of any active material is sufficient for most to realise that it is nonsense. Homeopaths spent many months trying to prevent that simple fact from being clearly stated in the Wiki article on homeopathy.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.