Reprinted from Natural Blaze courtesy Brandon Turbeville
In a report that shocked no one familiar with the European medical establishment, a Europe-wide umbrella organization representing 29 national and international scientific academies in Europe, the European Academies Science Advisory Council has launched into a tirade against homeopathy. The EASAC bashed homeopathy as non-sense and claimed that “promotion and use of homeopathic products, risks significant harms.” The EASAC wrote the report with the intention of influencing policy and regulations across the European Union and encouraged scientists to “reinforce criticisms” of homeopathy as part of a unified front to stop the growing interest in the alternative health industry.
As Ars Technica reports:
The council did not mince words about the “alternative medicines,” which rely on the erroneous ideas that ‘like cures like’ and that water can have memory. In its 12-page statement, the group summarized the extensive scientific work showing that homeopathy is scientifically implausible and produces nothing more than the placebo effect in patients. “EASAC is publishing this statement to reinforce and reiterate this extensive and well-founded critique,” it wrote. The EASAC also noted that homeopathic remedies can be dangerous because they may delay patients from getting real medical treatment and undermine patient trust in the medical community when sham treatments fail. The EASAC made the following recommendations to EU member states: set up regulations to squash false claims and misleading advertisements by homeopaths; cut coverage of homeopathic treatments from public health programs; and require that homeopathic product labels clearly identify ingredients and their amounts.
The EASAC also took a swipe at alternative medicine in general, writing:
There must be parity of assessment in medicine. EASAC agrees that “There cannot be two kinds of medicine—conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not… ” (Angell and Kassirer, 1998 [NEJM]).
What’s interesting is that the Council claims that the “use of homeopathic products risks significant harms” and that homeopathy “produces nothing more than the placebo effect in patients” in the same article. So the question then becomes – if homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo effect, how can it produce significant harms? EASAC’s argument is that using homeopathic remedies could slow down patients from seeking medical treatment which in their article means expensive and often dangerous treatments from Big Pharma and the medical establishment. Burdensome bureaucracies, cost effectiveness models and exorbitant costs delay many more patients from getting real medical treatment every minute of every day in Europe. But it is interesting that EASAC is not so concerned over these setbacks. No, according to EASAC, the issue is that homeopathy exists.
The true fear of EASAC is stated at the beginning of the article – that markets for alternative treatments are growing. In other words, EASAC is worried about its shrinking customer base. For any other business, this would be the beginning of rebranding and a new marketing campaign. But for EASAC, it is the beginning of a campaign to use national and international governments to ban the competition. Using regulations and simply cutting homeopathic treatments’ funding, EASAC wants to starve homeopathy out of the market.
Never mind the fact that so many people are flocking to homeopathy in record numbers, so much so that the industry is growing all across Europe and the United States, the people should not be allowed to decide for themselves what they consume or what direction they take in regards to their treatment. That is, at least according to EASAC. If EASAC ever wants to create a motto for its organization, they might look into parapharasign Alec Baldwin in [the movie] Glengary Glennross. Instead of Baldwin’s “coffee is for closers”, EASAC could use “choice is for chumps.” Get it straight, Europe, EASAC knows best and you don’t have a damn thing to say about it.
Laughably, EASAC states in its report that it agrees that “there cannot be two kinds of medicine, conventional and alternative. There is only a medicine that has been adequately tested, and medicine that is not.” We will ignore the lack of historical knowledge that this medicine EASAC is promoting and attempting to force on everyone in Europe was once the alternative. It’s a good thing for EASAC that the homeopaths did not engage in such communo-fascistic-jihadism against allopathic medicine. On the latter half of their statement, we can somewhat agree. Certainly, there are hoaxes passed off in the alternative health industry just as there are in the allopathic industry, although we would submit that the deaths following the latter’s hoaxes are much higher when they occur. But we’re not sure EASAC wants to get into a battle of adequate testing since by adequate testing it really means corporate science.
The Ars Technica report continues by stating:
On Wednesday, Stat reported that the University of California, Irvine, is starting up an “integrative” medicine program called the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences. The program will combine conventional and alternative treatments to treat “the whole person.” It’s funded by a $200 million donation from billionaires Susan and Henry Samueli, who champion alternative medicine and homeopathy, specifically. The UCI doctors heading the program told Stat that they were motivated by the concern that the medical community is slow to adopt new therapies and strategies, including alternatives that show potential for effectiveness. But they emphasized that they would be driven by evidence and would never put patients at risk. Critics were numerous and sharp. Some expressed concern that the move would further legitimize bogus and potentially harmful therapies. Dr. Steven Novella, a neurologist at Yale University, echoed the EASAC’s sentiment in his critique, telling Stat:
You have to ask, what are they integrating? Are they integrating things that don’t work? If it worked, we wouldn’t need to integrate it—it would already be part of the system. One need only read this selection from the Ars Technica article to see the level of fanaticism that EASAC is displaying. After stating that it would do just what EASAC was allegedly demanding, adequately testing medicines and integrating only the medicines that passed the test, EASAC immediately launched into criticisms, insults and nonsensical arguments such as, They shouldn’t integrate it because if it worked, it would already be integrated and we already know all the things that should be integrated.
Upon reading EASAC’s response, we came to expect the obligatory “Allahu Akbhar!” at the end or perhaps an explanation of how the earth is only a few thousand years old. Perhaps EASAC should have a commandment carved upon a stone in its headquarters’ lobby that reads, “There is only one medicine and there will be no other medicines before it.” The foundation of the argument is that EASAC already knows everything and that if there were a new or alternative therapy, EASAC would already know about it and would have already integrated it, thus being part of EASAC’s system to begin with and not an alternative. If the individuals at EASAC ever lose their jobs, might we suggest religion, politics or panhandling.
Apparently, the great intellects of EASAC have mastered the art of circular logic and intolerance of anything that strays outside of their narrow view of the world or threatens to reduce the size of their wallets. We would suggest that EASAC focus on its own system and begin to embrace the concept that has troubled Europe, Big Pharma and academics for well over a century – free thought and individual choice.