Homeopath rejected as expert by ASA

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Wandapec (February 10, 2011, 23:24:35 PM):
Reading through some news articles trying to fall asleep, I came across this article - Homeopath rejected as expert. The articles starts off by saying that A Vogel's advert for Neuroforce had to be 'canned' (I had to read that part a couple of times to make sure it said what I was reading!).
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The ad, run in the Weekend Argus last year, claimed Neuroforce was "excellent" for people who were depressed, insecure, angry, confused, nervous or tired.
This guy deserves a medal! Well done Sydney.
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The ASA said in a ruling released on Thursday that a member of the public, Sydney Kaye, had complained the ad represented the product as medically useful when there was no actual evidence of this.
Then comes the good part, although I find their reasoning very strange, you don't have to be a cardiovascular specialist, for example to show through drug trials whether a certain blood pressure lowering drug actually works or not, but I do like the fact that they told the clinical director to get knotted.
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In support of its claims, it submitted a letter from Dr David Naudé, clinical director of the department of homeopathy at Durban University of Technology. The ASA said, however, it was not satisfied that Naudé qualified as an expert in the field of anxiety, depression, emotionality and other mood disorders.
This part should be right at the forefront of the case and the article, what it is doing as an 'addition' I have no idea! I jusT wish they would look at all the claims made by all homeopathic 'medicines' - I am sure the same would apply across the board!
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"In addition to this, it is worth noting that nothing before the [ASA] suggests that the respondent’s product as a whole has ever been tested to confirm that it can deliver the claimed effects."
Wandapec (February 10, 2011, 23:27:22 PM):
I forgot to give credit to the ASA, well done to them too!
AntiOxidant (February 21, 2011, 10:51:51 AM):
What are homoeopaths experts in?

Because all registered homoeopaths in SA carry the courtesy tile 'doctor', by virtue of being registered under the Allied Health Professions Council does not mean they are practising science-based medicine or have a doctorate (PhD).

Chapter 6 (Section 44) of the Regulations under the Allied Health Profession Act of 1982, states all homoeopaths shall be registered after completing a five year Masters Degree in Homoeopathy that has been obtained from an educational institution followed by an internship contemplated in regulations 25 and 26. Training is only offered at the Durban University of Technology and the University of Johannesburg.

Homoeopaths are only allowed to prescribe homoeopathic medicines. According to the Allied Health Professions Act, 1982 (Act 63 of 1982):

* A registered Homoeopathic practitioner may diagnose, and treat or prevent, physical and mental disease, illness or deficiencies in humans;
* Administer, prescribe, dispense or compound homoeopathic medicine; or
* Provide or prescribe treatment for such disease illness or deficiencies in humans.

Homoeopaths use every opportunity to qualify their professional expertise as practitioners in South Africa by stating they are trained to the same standard as conventional Medical Practitioners and that their course curriculum is based upon the medical curriculum.

This to an extent is true. They do all the pre-med subjects as do family medical probationers, so they can tell an ass from an elbow BUT that is where science stops.

The clinical component of homoeopathic straining (last two years) is 100% homoeopathy pseudo-science, where they essentially learn about 'NOTHING'. Nothing, being the immeasurable infinitesimal and placebo medicines they compound and prescribe.

In South Africa today, homoeopathy enjoys the benefits of taxpayer's money by means of grants to it's pseudo-science training faculties, generous government Medical Aid (GEMS) payments for homoeopathic consultations and the prescribing of their placebo medicines, in spite of homoeopathy being the least scientific of all the complementary and medical modalities taught in SA universities.

Homoeopaths make extraordinary claims for the effectiveness of their treatment protocols and efficacy and safety of their prescribed medicines, but provide no extraordinary evidence to support either.

At university, homoeopathic students are taught about the 'science of homoeopathy' as if it was real medicine. They brainwash their students into blind belief of the effectiveness of homoeopathy from day one and actively discourage any critical thinking or anyone challenging the scientific basis of the modality.

They drum in the hypothesis of Dr Samuel Hahnemann from the late 1700's without question. Hanemann began formulating the basic principles of homoeopathy, based on 'provings' (which prove nothing) which have been in use for about 175 years without substantial revision. Even recent 'provings' are of highly questionable quality, not to mention value.

The doctrine is not and can never be a theory of physiology or of the effects of drugs on the organism and pathological processes. Homoeopathy's elaborate symptomatic descriptions require an extreme degree of individualised case-taking. The homoeopath has little leeway in the remedy selection and must at all times be guided by the (totality of) the symptoms and the pseudo-scientific formulas to be prescribed.

Homoeopathic success is attributable primarily to spontaneous remission, the healing power of the compassionate and reassuring consultation (1-3 hours), plus the power of placebo (belief). Both are collectively estimated to contribute some 70-100% of observed benefits in controlled trials. Homoeopathic medicines themselves have no intrinsic effect on physiology or biochemistry, since there isn't one original molecule of the original material in the remedy, thanks to high dilution and surpassing Avogadro's number. This has been confirmed by negative results in the most rigorous of trials. The only value homoeopathy has is the ritualistic effect of dropping liquid on the tongue three to five times a day or not being able to touch the little milk sugar pills and placing them in your mouth in a specific way.

Homoeopathy is technically a cult and a belief system, formed out of telling a big lie long enough that nobody questions it.

Homoeopathic prescriptions in the form of liquid drops are nothing more than alcohol (ethanol) and water.
Homoeopathic prescriptions in the form of tablets and pillules are nothing more than milk sugar pressed into pill shapes (sak lac)

Dr. Klaus Linde, principal author of the comprehensive 1997 Lancet meta-analysis, “Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo controlled trials”, (Centre for Complementary Medicine Research, Munich, FRG), authored a rave BMJ review of research on St. John's Wort for depression. The final author was Dr. Wayne Jonas (Director, Office of Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, USA). Funding included the pro-homoeopathic Carl and Veronia Carstens Foundation, Essen, FRG. Acknowledged were the contributions of the documentational centres of Boiron, Dolisos and Heel. To placate sponsors, the results were interpreted as "not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are 'completely' due to placebo", with an honest bottom line: "We found insufficient evidence (in 185 trials) that homoeopathy is clearly efficacious for any single clinical condition".

Regarding the qualifications of Dr David Naudé being found lacking as a credible expert on homoeopathy in defence of the false claims of a Bioforce company product (Neuroforce), I have to agree with the ruling of the ASA in this matter. Taking the above into account, he may have a Masters Degree in Technology (Homoeopathy) and a diploma in another pseudo-science modality of Irigology (irrelevant), but neither are relevant as science-based clinical qualifications for the evaluation of REAL medicine and associated claims.

He even concluded a Masters Dissertation (thesis) titled “The efficacy of a topical Homoeopathic complex (Apis mellifica D3, Aloe vera Ø, Calendula officinalis Ø, and Urtica urens Ø) in the treatment of sunburn”. That in itself was a scam, considering only one of the ingredients [Apis mellificawas D3] is a homoeopathic component and the rest were pure herbal extracts [of phyto-chemical action] not in keeping with homoeopathy's single dose dilution principles at all.

Basically, he piggy-backed on the positive results of the chemically active components of herbs which have demonstrated evidence-based health effects on sunburn, and in so doing, tried to claim this as evidence for the benefits of homoeopathy. Homoeopathy is also all about treating with 'like treats like'. Using herbs that have certain demonstrable actions in his formula for the same ailment to be treated disqualifies them as homoeopathic. Dah!

What a joke! This not only demonstrates the non-existent checks and balances in the marking and evaluation of such dissertations at our esteemed homoeopathic training institutions, but their lack of scientific credibility, ethics and standards. Their Masters Degrees aren't worth the paper they printed on.

The question in assessing his eligibility was whether he was 'skilled'. My question is: What exactly can homoeopaths be skilled in, since their clinical assessments and treatment are based on 'nothing'?

FACT: The only thing a homoeopath would be suitably qualified to practice after stripping all the mumbo jumbo from his/her varsity curriculum is nursing, or faith healing. Nothing more!

Why should we continue to pay taxes to support this rubbish!

The AntiOxidant is here!
Mefiante (February 21, 2011, 11:24:15 AM):
I guess this means you don’t hold homoeopaths and their craft in very high regard, eh? ;)

You’re not alone, few of us here do – and for the same essential reasons: their complete disdain for the scientific method and the giant advances in medical knowledge that have been made in the past century or so. And, yes, homoeopathy is a cult, as unhinged as that of trepanning.

'Luthon64
AntiOxidant (February 21, 2011, 11:45:27 AM):
@Luthon64

I used to be a registered partitioner under the Allied Health Professions Council, until I started to question the scientific basis of many of the modalities represented.

This lead to me conducting background checks into the qualifications of all those who sit in positions of power on the Council and Professional Boards. As the truth unravelled I was shocked at how I had been sold a lie while studying, and further manipulated and controlled by vested interests with questionable qualifications. I de-registered myself, tore up my registration certificate and moved on.

The answer to your question is an unequivocal YES!

The AntiOxidant

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