Australian review slams homeopathy

I have always had this complete puzzlement over homeopathy. I used to receive e mails all the time in the early days of CANCERactive asking why I didn’t cover it. I also received a lot of e mails from cancer patients – usually breast cancer patients – telling me their stories how it really made a big difference to their orthodox treatment programmes and helped them through their times of trouble. Grown sensible men I respected switched from being Doctors to becoming Homeopaths. But.

I tried to get articles written for icon. Over the last ten years there have been two areas I have consistently failed on. Homeopathy and Radiotherapy. I get lots of people interested in writing an article for our magazine and our website, but then when I mention the ‘R’ word, they back off, never to be heard from again.

The ‘R’ word? We have a little requirement at CANCERactive that if you write an article and make a claim, you have to give a clue about the research that supported the claim. References are good, but readers find them boring and unnecessary – a decent clue will do. In the case of Homeopathy and Radiotherapy, would be writers run away.

Yet still I got protests from patients. So, I made light of it. I remember Henry Ford’s quote about advertising – ‘Half my advertising budget is wasted. I just don’t know which half’. I borrowed it for Homeopathy.

I tried to find research. I was sent some by third parties, sporadically. A report by WDDTY about Indians and MD Anderson – the link to MD Anderson’s website no longer works, although the research was there for a while.

Then there are famous scientists who say water has a memory. It’s possible, of course. But.

Then there’s research about the German football team all using homeopathy not drugs to treat their injuries. And the Swiss approving Homeopathy. But.

But – the fact is that Homeopathy has been around for a very, very long time – too long not to have any decent research about it. (Although, yes, I did find a couple of clinical trials, but I looked very hard).

I made the same point to Charlotte Gerson when I met her. If you want someone to believe your claim, get some numbers. The Block Centre for Integrative Medicine in Chicago do it – they monitor everyone who comes through their door and they can then show the survival rates of people on Integrative Therapies vs only Orthodox and the improved survival.

But, Gerson, Homeopathy? Numbers? It’s either lazy, or incompetent or the truth is, ‘it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny’.

And I know I am going to be attacked by ladies in Leicester who used homeopathy with their breast cancer, or women in the Wirral who used Gerson for saying this. And I am sure that some people do get a benefit, just like some women do have their breast tumours shown up correctly on screening mammograms. But.

Here is the news.

The Australians have researched Homeopathy extensively and there’s nothing in it. Sorry homeopaths – you only have yourselves to blame.

The report concluded that there was NO reliable EVIDENCE that homeopathy can treat health conditions. The review came from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

They looked at reviews and research covering asthma to eczema, never mind the complicated stuff like cancer and diabetes.

Sure, the report is only a draft and homeopaths are now working hard to discredit it. But.

“There is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective for treating health conditions”.

”People who choose homeopathy instead of proven conventional treatment may put their health at risk if safe and evidence-based treatments are rejected or delayed in favour of homeopathic treatment.”

I’ll go along with that. It’s been exactly what I have thought since 2004. But, I did try. Promise.

The draft is now open for public consultation until May 26.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/homeopathy-dismissed-by-national-health-and-medical-research-council-review-20140408-36b9u.html#ixzz2yS9DZG6H

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Guy Chapman – losing all ability to be rational?

Skeptic unguided missile and irrational bully Guy Chapman seems to have seriously lost the plot. A piece from WDDTY covered in Junk Science prompted a 9 page rabid rant from wacko Chapman …. about Chris Woollams and me!

But this was nothing compared to his 24 page – yes, twenty four page – suicide note about an article Woollams had written, in which Chris dared to mention that Guy Chapman had an affiliate marketing business. Firstly, I think (I was bored after the first two paragraphs) Chapman said he was not an affiliate marketer, then he said he was but didn’t make much money at it (?)

Guy, I really suggest you get out a bit more. Staring at those big internet screens and your dashboards all day could well be causing serious mental stress. And make some real friends, don’t just keep inventing them.

Here’s a little reminder of what your business is about from an investigative journalist in 2008 (http://www.susanfg.wordpress.com). Note important phrases like ‘his Commercial affiliate advertising links page’, and, ‘making money out of advertising products’.

Keep taking the medication Guy – it would be sad to lose someone who is always good for a laugh.

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Yet again destructive skeptic trolls are trying to silence free comment that could benefit the health of people in Britain, this time by fabricating stories and whipping up media comment around erroneous claims. The hand of the Pharmaceutical Industry seems all too evident. This just shows the dreadful depths the dark side will go to to keep mainstream medical mythology from genuine sceptical challenge.

Many rational people often feel that Pharmaceutical Ccompanies pay skeptics to be their shills. But, of course, there is little evidence. However, they are known to fund certain skeptic organisations. For example, Sense about Science, a well funded anti-homeopathy skeptic organization in the United Kingdom, once complained about a consumer’s group H:MC21’s, assertion that SAS was funded by the pharmaceutical industry. The consumer group wrote in response to the complaint.

‘You quote us as saying that Sense About Science “received over 35% of its donation funding from the pharmaceutical industry between 2004 and 2009”, but then refer only to funding “from pharmaceutical companies”. As a result of the investigation following your email, we have found that our original claim about Sense About Science’s funding was too conservative. In fact Sense About Science appears to have received an average of 42.3% of its total income between 2004 and 2010 from pharmaceutical companies or organisations clearly linked to the pharmaceutical industry. In 2006, the year [the anti-homeopathy] ‘Sense About Homeopathy’ was published, there was a huge leap in such funding, from£37,300 (36.9% of total income) to £102,165 (51.2% of total income).

The Canadian skeptic organization called Centre for Inquiry, which is another anti-homeopathy skeptic group, is almost entirely funded by a director of a pharmaceutical company. Both groups are attempting to stop consumers’ choice of alternative health modalities and stop the sale of homeopathic remedies.

THE WDDTY WARS: Why they don’t want you to ‘read all about it!’
Two days ago we woke up to find ourselves and our magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You the subject of a national scandal. On Tuesday October 1, the Times ran with an article about how there was a ‘call to ban’ our journal What Doctors Don’t Tell You over ‘health scares’.

The original Times article alleged that a group of ‘experts’, including ‘scientists, doctors and patients’ were ‘condemning’ shops for carrying our magazine,

The article also said that we’d claimed that vitamin C ‘cures’ HIV, that homeopathy could treat cancer, that we’d implied the cervical cancer vaccines has killed ‘hundreds’ of girls and that we’d told parents in our latest (October 2013) issues not to immunize their children with the MMR.

The Wright Stuff on channel 5 quickly followed suit with a television debate, flashing up a picture of me, Five Live followed up with a television debate about our magazine. By Thursday, when the Press Gazette were onto it, the headlines had escalated to: ‘Warning that claims in alternative health mag could prove fatal.’

In all of the furore, not one of the newspapers, radio shows or television stations bothered to contact us, even to solicit a comment – which is Journalism 101 when you intend to run a story on someone, pro or con.

It’s also apparent from the information published in The Times and in all the media following that not one journalist or broadcaster has read one single word we’ve written, particularly on the homeopathy story, and for very good reason: the article and the magazine containing it in fact have not yet been published.

Here is what the Times said, and here is what we actually published:

The Times stated: we said vitamin C cures HIV.

We had written: “US internist Robert Cathcart…devised an experiment with around 250 inpatients who tested positive for HIV. In a letter to the editor of The Lancet, he wrote that his regime of giving oral doses of vitamin C close to “bowel tolerance” had “slowed, stopped or sometimes reversed for several years” the depletion of an HIV patient’s CD4+ cells.

The Times says we tell parents not to immunize their children with the MMR.

We interviewed – and simply quoted – a medical doctor called Dr Jayne Donegan, who had carried out her own research into the MMR, and concluded that a child with a strong immune system shouldn’t have the vaccine. This was the considered view of Dr Donegan, not us. We were simply quoting her.

The Times says we said that we implied that the cervical cancer vaccine has killed ‘hundreds’ of girls’.

We had said that, up to 2011, the American Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System had received notification of 68 deaths and 18,727 adverse reactions to the vaccine. The figure has now risen to 27,023 events.

The Times said we referred to a study in India in which girls had died following the vaccine but had not mentioned that one girl had drowned and one died from a snake bite.

We said that seven children died and 120 suffered debilitating side effects so bad that the trial was stopped following protests from parents, doctors, public health organizations and health networks. The Times also omitted to mention that, in 2010, an official Indian government report discovered huge lapses in the study’s design, which resulted in gross under-reporting of serious side effects.

The Times said that we ‘suggest homeopathy could cure cancer’.

In the ‘Coming Next Month’ column in our October issue we wrote the following (and this is all we wrote:

‘The US government has carried out impressive studies into homeopathy as a treatment for cancer, and a clinic is India is actually using it. We report on their findings about homeopathy as a cancer treatment.’

The Times story – and all the stories that follow – are entirely the work of Simon Singh, and his organization Sense About Science, a protracted skirmish that’s been going on for about a year, ever since we went launched our magazine in September 2013. Singh, you may know, is the self-proclaimed guardian of all things ‘scientific’ with the pharmaceutically backed organization he fronts, ‘Sense About Science’.

Singh contacted our distributor, and then all our outlets (like Smiths and the supermarkets) and tried to persuade them to stop carrying us (they refused). He then relentlessly pestered the Advertising Standards Association with complaints about our advertisers, to try to prevent them from advertising.

Singh is also associated with the Nightingale Collaboration, a ragtag group who meet in a pub of the same name, also allegedly wedded to ‘true’ science. After our launch, dozens of anonymous trolls began writing hateful and fairly libellous stuff on our Facebook pages.

Last autumn the Guardian ran an online story claiming that our distributor was threatening to ‘sue’ Singh (they are not and never have threatened, nor have we). We also got ‘interviewed’ by a Glaswegian doctor named Margaret McCartney, also associated with Singh, who writes for the BMJ.

Recently, a doctor called Dr. Matthew Lam began contacting supermarkets, and informing them that he was calling for complaints to be made to customer service teams at all the supermarkets who carry us. He said he was spearheading this campaign with Singh, McCartney and Alan Henness of the Nightingale Collaboration.

Please allow me to join the dots. Sense About Science publishes online as its sponsors the British Pharmaceutical Association, the official trade body for the UK’s drug companies. Another one of its sponsors is The Guardian.

The next interesting aspect of this episode is the sheer hypocrisy of News International, which published the original story about us. That company, which owns The Times, is owned by the Murdoch organization. The Murdoch organization also owns HarperCollins. HarperCollins published three of my books, including a book entitled What Doctors Don’t Tell You, a culmination of many years of research for WDDTY the newsletter.

Harper liked the book so much they published it twice, first in 1996 after paying a team of lawyers at Carter-Ruck, the UK’s top libel firm, to spend hundreds of hours of legal time carefully sifting through all of the scientific evidence supporting statements I made in the book to ensure the material was rock solid. It was only published after they were satisfied that every last statement was correct.

WDDTY was a bestseller for Harper – so much so that they asked me to update it and published the new version in 2006. It’s also been an international bestseller, currently in some 20 languages around the world.

At one point, I was also a columnist for the Times and ran a story highly critical of the MMR vaccine.

Besides being a demonstration of how shoddy journalism has become, what interests me about this episode is that it offers evidence of the enormous shift that has occurred in the press’s notion of its role in society. The Times seems to be suggesting that their role is to ‘protect’ the public by censoring information that departs from standard medical line.

Determining what is fit for public consumption, or indeed how its readers should treat their illnesses, is emphatically not a newspaper’s job – ours or anyone else’s.

Our job as journalists is simply to inform – to report the facts, even when they are inconvenient truths, as they are so often in medicine, particularly with such things as vaccines or alternative cancer therapy.

For despite all the grandstanding and pink ribbons and prettily turned phrases, the fact remains that the whole of modern medicine’s arsenal against cancer is both blatantly unscientific and ineffective. When not manipulated, the bald statistics reveal that chemo only works 2 per cent of the time .The War on Cancer from the orthodox perspective is decisively being lost.

Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of people are being cured by other methods of cancer treatment. Millions of others who have cancer or whose loved ones have cancer want to know ways to treat cancer that are less dangerous and more effective.

That qualifies as news, and it’s our duty as the press to report that. It’s my job to deliver well researched information, and that’s supposed to be the Times’ job too.

Several months ago, I met Patricia Ellsberg, the wife of Daniel Ellsberg. Back when I was a student, deciding whether or not to be a journalist, Ellsberg, an employee of the CIA, came across hundreds of pages of documents revealing America’s shameful role in the Vietnam war.

Ellsberg felt this was news and it was his duty to leak these papers to the New York Times. The Times felt it was their duty to publish these revelations, these inconvenient truths. Then President Nixon attempted to censor these leaks by attempting a legal embargo on The Times – a blatant attempt at government censorship.

The Ellsbergs (faced with life imprisonment – was anybody ever so brave?) turned on a photocopy machine, made multiple copies and leaked the documents to the Washington Post.

And when Nixon went after the Post, the Ellsbergs smuggled the papers to 17 other newspapers. Not one paper blinked. Not one paper decided this information wasn’t fit to print – or that the public needed to be ‘protected’ from a lying presidency.

But these days, the press – far less ‘free,’ now largely owned by huge corporations, including in the pharmaceutical industry (Murdoch’s son was on the board of one such drug company) – has now become the party with powerful vested interests to protect. Today the press is the Richard Nixon of the piece.

Back when the NY Times was publishing The Pentagon Papers and the Washington Post published the Watergate disclosures, newspapers wouldn’t be caught dead being associated with some industry backed body, especially one with the track record of carnage enjoyed by Big Pharma, as the Guardian now is.

But today newspapers are haemorrhaging money, and so have to have industry backing and its consequent influence. The public, which wants the truth, knows this and rejects this industry public relations by boycotting newspapers. Presently, the Guardian is losing £100,000 a day, and the Times is losing £80,000 a day. People don’t believe newspapers anymore. They know they have to go elsewhere for their news. That’s why they come to publications like ours.

As Deep Throat once told Woodward and Bernstein, when they were investigating Watergate: If you want to find out the truth, just follow the money.

If you’d like to support WDDTY and a free press, and you haven’t yet voiced your support of the stores for stocking the title, let the following Customer Service departments know:

WH Smith
Customer.Relations@WHSmith.co.uk

Sainsbury’s
customerservice@sainsburys.co.uk

Tesco
customer.service@tesco.co.uk

And with the weekend coming up, show your support by buying a copy. It’s available in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, WH Smiths, and over 8000 independent retail outlets.

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Help us fight the bully boys

What Doctors Don’t Tell You has just launched a 100-page glossy version in UK stores – and already it’s being targeted by the bully boys who want the title banned.  They’ve even contacted our distributors, asking them to stop supplying the title.

These champions of free speech include Simon Singh (co-author with Edzard Ernst of the book ‘Trick or Treatment’) and his chums, including ‘paranormal researcher’ Hayley Stevens.

Singh has written to our distributors, Comag, to get them to stop supplying the title, while Singh, Stevens and fellow trolls are busy complaining about the title to retailers who stock it.  Singh inspired the Nightingale Collaboration, which seeks to stop all alternative practitioners from making any claims whatsoever on their websites.

Please support WDDTY and help ensure it remains on the shelves for everyone to read.  Let the retailers know they are doing the right thing in stocking it:

WH Smith Customer.Relations@WHSmith.co.uk

Waitrose customersupport@waitrose.co.uk

Sainsbury’s customerservice@sainsburys.co.uk

We need your support today.  Don’t let the bully boys suppress every non-Pharma voice.

Thank you

Bryan Hubbard http://p4trc.emv2.com/HS?a=ENX7CqkgaMuF8SA9MKJd59HnGHxKLRVdEPcStGb5lw8W0bBhOG5mpqVsje_HhdBQ9lIc

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