30 March 2012

Homeopathy plus what?

Because dodgy, without evidence to the contrary, is dodgy.

There’s a business in my neck of the woods called Homeopathy Plus! run by Fran Sheffield, a long-time devotee and sometime spokesperson for homeopathy, or as I like to think of it, the centuries-old art of flogging questionable remedies for nebulous and subjective concerns.

Homeopathy Plus! was found in breach of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code in 2011 for claims made on its website about the effectiveness of so-called ‘homeoprophylaxis’ as an alternative to proper, tested, scientifically plausible vaccines. The TGA ordered Homeopathy Plus! to publish a retraction on their website, which the company promptly ignored before continuing to sell vibrated water as an impossible remedy for deadly diseases.

This situation, to me, epitomises the of attitude of so many complementary and alternative practitioners - that what they do and sell is far more important that whatever “science” has “proven”; or what the TGA considers "unlawful"; or what the ACCC considers “misleading”; or what the Advertising Standards Board considers "deceptive".

Now I have a particular question for Homeopathy Plus! regarding their business name.  I need to ask, plus what? Homeopathy is nothing more than plain water that’s been through a complex process of imaginary magicking and potentisation and behaves precisely the way any other, less expensive placebo behaves. In essence, Homeopathy is nothing. Presumably, Homeopathy Plus! sells more than nothing, or else they’d simply be charlatans and rip-off merchants. I suspect that the clue lies in the “Plus!” part of the moniker. So I’m really curious – what does Homeopathy Plus! sell besides nothing?

Plus what? Pray tell Ms Sheffield,
Homeopathy plus what?
Homeopathy plus everything that medicine is not?

Homeopathy plus praying?
Homeopathy plus lies?
Plus a principle to which no law of chemistry applies?

Homeopathy plus water?
Homeopathy plus air?
Homeopathy plus molecules of stuff that isn’t there?

Homeopathy plus smiling?
Plus a nice pat on the head?
Plus rejecting proper science ‘til your patient’s nearly dead?

Homeopathy plus sugar?
Homeopathy plus fraud?
Homeopathy plus bottles whacked against a leathered board?

Surely “Plus” applies to something
In your little online shop.
Otherwise you’re simply dodgy, and it’s time for you to stop.