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Earl Baldwin Criticizes Evidence Check on Homeopathy

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Earl Baldwin of Bewdley criticized the manner of Evidence check for homeopathy in a recent report “Observations on the report Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy by the Houseof Commons Science and Technology Committee”. In his report, he concluded:

“The Committee however has been less than rigorous in its approach to this evidence. Its choice of witnesses favoured a medical media opponent of homeopathy over a research centre of excellence. It was unwise to rely heavily on the interpretations of one professor of CAM, some of whose statements are unsound or in conflict with other statements of his, and who is not without his critics in the worlds of research and academia whose views were given less prominence. The 2005 review by Shang et al has been inaccurately represented as ruling out specific effects of homeopathy, in a summary statement by the Committee that goes beyond present evidence.The Committee’s own statements show confusion between unconvincing evidence of a specific effect and disproof of it. The true risk profile ofhomeopathy, compared with conventional treatment, was not considered. These limitations make the Committee’s report an unreliable source ofevidence about homeopathy. The jury must still be regarded as out on its efficacy and risk/ benefit ratio. Whether more research should be done, andof what kind, is another question. But there can be no ethical objection to it since the principal questions have not, as the Committee claimed, been settled already”

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