With the (non)efficacy of homeopathy making the news again (with rumblings that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is considering de-listing various homeopathic remedies), I was reminded – after I wondered how in hell they got listed by the TGA in the first place – of a post I first published four years ago:
Reworked (with the artist’s permission) from a poster featured on Orac’s blog.
As Tim Minchin said in his beat-poem Storm:
Do you know what they call Alternative medicine that’s been proved to work? Medicine.
Bring on the homeopathic lagers.
I’ve actually encountered people believing that water that has been part of sewage has a memory of that and is thus unclean even if purified of scientifically detectable chemical contaminants. This was more or less the basis of some Native American objections to the use of reclaimed wastewater for snowmaking on sacred mountains like the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona. If the water evaporated and then fell as rain, that would be OK because the clouds are the domain of the gods who would purify it of its sewage memory.
The ABC’s “The Checkout” has had a couple of good episodes covering the lack of any real control that the TGA has. If you use descriptions such as “traditionally used for X” you don’t need to have any scientific basis for your claims.
And as demonstrated with a recent removal of a weight loss treatment all you have to do is change the name of the product (not the product itself) and the TGA has to start the process from scratch again.