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Old 14th December 2007, 12:47 AM   #121
Badly Shaved Monkey
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
I have said it many times, but for many reasons, you folks simply don't like to learn. You love thinking in such black and white terms that you don't and seemingly cannot appreciate complexity. A tad ironic, isn't it.

Once again, the majority of homeopathic medicines sold in health food stores and pharmacies today are in potencies usually under 12C...where there are some molecules, though they are in considerably lower dose than any of your regular drugs. And yet, I have shown again and again and again that these "lower potency" homeopathic medicines have biological action.
Indeed, and no one is going to dispute that if you take some nasty botanical extract, dilute it 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 10,000, for that is the meaning of 3X and 4x, and dump it on some poor unsuspecting cells going about their harmless business in cell culture stuff is going to happen.

But, that ain't homeopathy even if you give the bottle a little shake at each of your dilution stages.

You've been shifting the grounds of your defence so tortuously that I think you have joined our dear Kumar in his Bass-Ackwards machine.

"Homeo"pathy exploits an invented and erroneous concept called the "law of similars".This paper does not test any implications of that "law".

Homeopathy has identified itself with the use of content-free solutions because Hahnemann needed to do that to avoid killing people directly. This paper does not test a content-free solution.

It is not a test of homeopathy.

It is a simple bench-chemistry experiment on cultured cells that happens to have the word "homeopathic" in its title solely and only because the material used has "homeopathic" written on its label.
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Old 14th December 2007, 03:28 AM   #122
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And still Dana provides absolutely zero references for his claim that most homeopaths are also physicians.

Until he corrects this, or unless my own googling shows different (so far it shows exactly the opposite), then I think it is fair to say that those references do not exist.
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Old 14th December 2007, 05:41 AM   #123
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Mr Monkey...Just because a medicine is not in post-Avogadro's number doses does not mean it is not homeopathic. One of my points is that skeptics of homeopathy are extremely slopping in their critique because they lump ALL of homeopathy together. At the very least, ardent skeptics should be big advocates of "health food store homeopathy," though why do I have the sneaking suspicion that your thick skulls have difficulty in saying anything good about any part of homeopathy? Hmmm.

I am still waiting for someone (!) to acknowledge that there is truly an amazing body of scientific information on hormesis. Ultimately, homeopathy is a clever system of determining which substance/medicine a sick person will be hypersensitive.

When you consider that symptoms are primarily defenses of the organism to infection, exposure to toxic substances, and/or stress of some sort, it makes sense to use homeopathic medicines or other therapies that mimic that defense rather than suppress it. Homeopathy does make sense.

Please remember that quote about "thick skulls" was made by a major advocate for homeopathy, Charles Kettering.

And do you know about the $1 million that he gave in 1920 to Ohio State University for the homeopathic research department of their homeopathic medical school? My book has a truly amazing story about what happened with this money and why Ohio State University was forced to return this money to him. Hmmmm.

Garette...I will not do your homework for you. Sorry.
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Old 14th December 2007, 06:02 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
When you consider that symptoms are primarily defenses of the organism to infection, exposure to toxic substances, and/or stress of some sort, it makes sense to use homeopathic medicines or other therapies that mimic that defense rather than suppress it. Homeopathy does make sense.
It's a bit like claiming that being run over by an imaginary bus protects you against being run over by a real bus.

Homeopathy doesn't make sense - it makes cents, and bigger. It is snake oil with the oil taken out.
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Old 14th December 2007, 06:26 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Garette...I will not do your homework for you. Sorry.

Actually, providing references to back up your claims is your homework.
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Old 14th December 2007, 06:27 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Mr Monkey...Just because a medicine is not in post-Avogadro's number doses does not mean it is not homeopathic.

OK, we got that. Now please answer Steenkh's question.

Quote:
Are you now disowning the entire field of trans-avogadral doses?

Do you intend to confine your apologia for homoeopathy to sub-avogadro-limit preparations? Or does your confidence in its value extend past that limit? Enquiring minds want to know.

Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Ultimately, homeopathy is a clever system of determining which substance/medicine a sick person will be hypersensitive.

When you consider that symptoms are primarily defenses of the organism to infection, exposure to toxic substances, and/or stress of some sort, it makes sense to use homeopathic medicines or other therapies that mimic that defense rather than suppress it. Homeopathy does make sense.

Do you have the slightest shred of evidence for any part of this statement? (No? Thought not.) Do you have any evidence at all of any biological effect of any homoeopathic preparation which might be said in any way to involve hypersensitivity, or specific natural defence mechanisms? (No? Thought not.)

Dana, you might be able to get away with making it up as you go along, and making totally unfounded assertions, in your usual social milieux. It doesn't work here.

Now, while accepting that pouring actual physical amounts of plant extracts on innocent cell cultures might very well have an effect of some sort, how do you account for the alleged clinical effects of trans-avogadral preparations?

Rolfe.
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Old 14th December 2007, 06:30 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
One of my points is that skeptics of homeopathy are extremely slopping in their critique because they lump ALL of homeopathy together.
Can we take it that you will not defend proper homoeopathy, but only "health food homoeopathy?

Quote:
At the very least, ardent skeptics should be big advocates of "health food store homeopathy," though why do I have the sneaking suspicion that your thick skulls have difficulty in saying anything good about any part of homeopathy? Hmmm.
Why should we? Even if there is a theoretical does in "health food store homoeopathic" pills, there is still no reliable evidence that it actually works.

Quote:
I am still waiting for someone (!) to acknowledge that there is truly an amazing body of scientific information on hormesis. Ultimately, homeopathy is a clever system of determining which substance/medicine a sick person will be hypersensitive.
Really? Homoeopaths that I have encountered have never claimed that one should take their snake oil in order to determine if one suffers from hypersensitivity.

Quote:
When you consider that symptoms are primarily defenses of the organism to infection, exposure to toxic substances, and/or stress of some sort, it makes sense to use homeopathic medicines or other therapies that mimic that defense rather than suppress it. Homeopathy does make sense.
You mean "nonsense"! Please explain why it makes sense to you to cure a rash with something that only qualifies because it causes rashes? Your thick skull has been too immersed in homoeopathic lore to realise that is clearly nonsensical.

Quote:
Please remember that quote about "thick skulls" was made by a major advocate for homeopathy, Charles Kettering.
Who apparently must have had a thick skull himself. Prince Charles is also a big advocate of homoeopathy. Why should that mean anything to me?
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Old 14th December 2007, 06:32 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Once again, the majority of homeopathic medicines sold in health food stores and pharmacies today are in potencies usually under 12C...where there are some molecules, though they are in considerably lower dose than any of your regular drugs. And yet, I have shown again and again and again that these "lower potency" homeopathic medicines have biological action.
That chemicals may have biological action is not a claim of homeopathy, but of medicine. Whether or not you wish to hi-jack discoveries made through medical research, the point is that homeopathy is not the source of these insights. Nor does homeopathy actually use these insights, since a treatment is chosen on the basis of symptoms rather than biological action.

Quote:
I have referred to the entire field of hormesis (low dose science) that has nothing to do with homeopathy, except that it shows the power, according the numerous fields of scientific experiment, of infinitesimal doses (still material doses, but still very very small). (Do some googling on hormesis...it is a very fertile area of investigation, that is, it is for people who want to learn)
Again, as you point out, homeopathy is not the source of these insights. Nor does homeopathy use any of the insights gathered through the study of hormesis.

Quote:
Don't you remember all of the times that I made reference to low-dose homeopathy? Have you all killed your brain cells? I then encouraged you to become big supporters of "health food store" homeopathy...and yet, not of you have backbone (or neuron) to acknowledge this. Whooops.
Acknowledging this gets us nowhere. The presence of a few active ingredients does not tell us whether or not there is biological action. It does not tell us whether or not this translates into an in vivo effect. It does not tell us whether an in vivo effect leads to a clinical effect. And even if a particular chemical or combination of chemicals is eventually found to have a clinical effect, it does not tell us how to identify which bottle to pick from the hundreds available to us, since the method of identifying chemicals for use through homeopathy is demonstrably wrong.

Quote:
Worst of all, you are very sloppy in your critique of homeopathy by grouping together ALL of homeopathy. The irony of your non-scientific thinking is dripping. There is so little difference in your thinking and those religious fundamentalist. More irony.
It is interesting to watch you shave off bits and pieces (and sometimes whole chunks) of homeopathy as we proceed to invalidate each specific claim. It may have seemed like a good idea when you started ("I can't address their criticisms so I'll just remove them from consideration"), but at the rate you're going, you won't have anything left when we're done.

Linda
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Old 14th December 2007, 07:59 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by James Gully
Mr Monkey...Just because a medicine is not in post-Avogadro's number doses does not mean it is not homeopathic. One of my points is that skeptics of homeopathy are extremely slopping in their critique because they lump ALL of homeopathy together. At the very least, ardent skeptics should be big advocates of "health food store homeopathy," though why do I have the sneaking suspicion that your thick skulls have difficulty in saying anything good about any part of homeopathy? Hmmm.
Didn't you say that 'health food store' homeopathy, where all patients suffering from, say, hayfever get the same remedy, didn't count as real homeopathy? Isn't it only homeopathy if the remedy is 'individualised'?

Of course, skeptics should only be big advocates of "health food store" homeopathy if there is some evidence that it works, which there isn't.
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Old 14th December 2007, 09:20 AM   #130
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From t'other thread:

Originally Posted by James Gully
Wilsontown makes reference to Shang's 18 (!) studies, and yet, the final analysis only included 8 homeopathic studies and 6 allopathic ones.

In actual fact, he NEVER provided any analysis of the 21 high quality homeopathic studies and the 9 high quality allopathic studies. However, the International Journal of Epidemiology is solving this question, and a review will be published shortly. Be prepared for Mea culpas.
Good grief.

One particular part of the meta-analysis includes 8 homeoapthic trials and 6 conventional trials. This is the part of the analysis that compares the trials that are most likely to be free of bias. Homeopathy showed no effect beyond placebo, conventional medicine did show an effect.

However, Shang et al. also performed statistics on the whole dataset. This included 48 trials of clinical homeopathy, 35 trials of complex homeopathy, 18 of classical homeopathy, and 8 of isopathy. Shang et al. found that there was no evidence that any of these sub-groups had more pronounced effects than the others. This is the point I was making regarding the 18 trials of classical homeopathy: that there is no evidence that classical homeopathy was any better than any of the other interventions tested. So your assertion that the results might have been positive for homeopathy if only classical homeopathy was included is not backed up by the evidence. I honestly can't see what you fail to understand about this.

As for the International Journal of Epidemiology publishing a comparison of the 21 versus 9 trials that were deemed to be of higher quality, what's the point? That subsample of studies was shown to be biased. YOU CAN'T DRAW ANY USEFUL CONCLUSIONS FROM THIS SUBSET OF STUDIES BECAUSE IT IS BIASED.
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Old 14th December 2007, 12:24 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Garette...I will not do your homework for you. Sorry.
Your homework. You made a claim; I asked you to back it up.

I have, in fact, done some homework.

I've looked at the European Guidelines for Homeopathic Education (June 2000, 2nd edition), on the website of the European Council of Classical Homeopathy, and learned that there is exactly zero requirement for medical training.

I've learned that only three states in the United States require any kind of licensing at all to be a practicing homeopath, though all states require licensing to practice medicine.

I've learned that there are no numbers (at least no reasonably available numbers) provided even by homeopathic or naturopathic organizations to support your claim.

I will be generous and assume that you have honestly believed your claim about most homeopaths also being physicians, but if you make the claim again without proper substantiation it will be clear to me and to others reading this thread that you are lying about it.
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Old 14th December 2007, 01:03 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Mr Monkey...Just because a medicine is not in post-Avogadro's number doses does not mean it is not homeopathic. One of my points is that skeptics of homeopathy are extremely slopping in their critique because they lump ALL of homeopathy together. At the very least, ardent skeptics should be big advocates of "health food store homeopathy," though why do I have the sneaking suspicion that your thick skulls have difficulty in saying anything good about any part of homeopathy? Hmmm.
I would say that I don't know whether to laugh or cry but that would be untrue. Laughing is the only option.

Please stop raising silly strawman arguments.

Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
"Homeo"pathy exploits an invented and erroneous concept called the "law of similars".This paper does not test any implications of that "law".

Homeopathy has identified itself with the use of content-free solutions because Hahnemann needed to do that to avoid killing people directly. This paper does not test a content-free solution.

It is not a test of homeopathy.

It is a simple bench-chemistry experiment on cultured cells that happens to have the word "homeopathic" in its title solely and only because the material used has "homeopathic" written on its label.
It would seem I need to repeat myself for the thinking-impaired.

If you look in the quote above I specify two concepts. The former is a necessary component of homeopathy- the clue is in the name. The second is an accidental accretion. Albeit it that the latter is funnier, both are wrong.

Things that are "homeopathic" may contain real amounts of real chemicals, but this is not what homeopaths usually use.

So, a test of homeopathy might choose to test the law of similars or it might choose to test the effect of content-free shaken solvent.

If it does neither of these things, as does your latest paper, IT IS NOT A TEST OF HOMEOPATHY.

I'm sorry you found the ideas confusing, I will try to explain things more simply in future, but I am having difficulty titrating down to that level.


Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
At the very least, ardent skeptics should be big advocates of "health food store homeopathy," though why do I have the sneaking suspicion that your thick skulls have difficulty in saying anything good about any part of homeopathy? Hmmm.
What? Do you mean over-the-counter products that contain actual chemicals but have no individualisation? I would hold them to the same account as I would hold any active pharmaceutical agent: proof of efficacy and safety. Show me one OTC homeopathic product that can satisfy this requirement. The fact that you cannot is a corollary of the fact that the "law" of similars is no such thing.
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Old 14th December 2007, 02:55 PM   #133
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JamesGully - I'm aware that you'll never succeed in convincing the denigrators of Homeopathy that it works. I'm much more open-minded so try to convince me.

As a Phytotherapy practitioner I made my list of medicinal plants that are effective or not, e.g. Avena sativa = nothing, Calendula officinalis = nothing, Hypericum perforatum = does something but not wonderful, Crataegus oxyacantha = very good, etc. Could you make similar examples for homeopathic remedies?

Which are in your opinion the main homeopathic polycrests?

Gripp-Heel belongs to Homeopathy or Homotoxicology?
Thank you.
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Old 14th December 2007, 02:59 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Phytotherapist View Post
JamesGully - I'm aware that you'll never succeed in convincing the denigrators of Homeopathy that it works. I'm much more open-minded so try to convince me.
I congratulate you on your open-mindedness. I trust you will use it wisely.

You are correct in one thing, and somewhat incorrect in another regarding your statement here.

You are correct that "denigrators of Homeopathy" will not be convinced that it works, because in fact it does not. Were Dana or others able to demonstrate that it does, then there would be no more denigration.

You are incorrect in portraying the skeptics here as denigrators of homeopathy, except indirectly. They are first and foremost, denigrators of those who purvey known falsehoods and of the misapplication of science.

Other than those things, good post.
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Old 14th December 2007, 03:34 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
Do you mean over-the-counter products that contain actual chemicals but have no individualisation? I would hold them to the same account as I would hold any active pharmaceutical agent: proof of efficacy and safety. Show me one OTC homeopathic product that can satisfy this requirement. The fact that you cannot is a corollary of the fact that the "law" of similars is no such thing.

We can perhaps tell something from the fact that between 1971 and 1994, when homoeopathic medicines would have needed to demonstrate efficacy in order to be introduced onto the market in the UK, to quote the MHRA website, "attempts to acquire marketing authorisations for new homoeopathic medicines were unsuccessful owing to difficulties in proving efficacy in conventional clinical trials."
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Old 14th December 2007, 05:48 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Phytotherapist View Post
JamesGully - I'm aware that you'll never succeed in convincing the denigrators of Homeopathy that it works.
We're not denigrating homeopathy so much as denigrating the idea that it is reasonable to ignore all that we have learned in the last 200 years. We have learned that careful observation in the absence of blinding and controls is very unreliable when it comes to discovering whether or not we are wrong. We have learned that we are very good at seeing patterns where none exist. We have learned that matter is composed of atoms - that there are indivisible units (although we did get the indivisible unit wrong when we were applying the name) - so there are limits to what can be accomplished through dilution. We have learned that it is far, far better to know when you are wrong than it is to hold out for the faint hope that you are right.

Quote:
I'm much more open-minded so try to convince me.
I think the distinction you are trying to make is that you are firmly on the side of not caring whether you are wrong as much as you care about maintaining the possibility that you are right.

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Old 14th December 2007, 09:11 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by Phytotherapist View Post
I'm much more open-minded...

May I recommend no more than a pin-hole in your occipital bone.
(where your brain can keep an eye on whatever tries to enter)
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Old 14th December 2007, 10:27 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Phytotherapist View Post
JamesGully - I'm aware that you'll never succeed in convincing the denigrators of Homeopathy that it works. I'm much more open-minded so try to convince me.
But, in this thread, he hasn't tried to convince anybody that homeopathy works. There has just been a lot of unsubstantiated statements, no true Scotsmen arguments, arguments from authority and irrelevant references to the amazing fact that chemicals affect cells in culture.

Being open minded implies the ability to accept that the data doesn't show what you want. No evidence has shown that homeopathy works. It may be easy for people to be misled by some of the poor trials in homeopathy into believing that there is something in it. If after being shown the faults in these trials which invalidate them the belief is still held it is not then open mindedness but credulousness.
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Old 15th December 2007, 08:11 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
At the very least, ardent skeptics should be big advocates of "health food store homeopathy,"

Why? Many of these "over the counter" (more often "off the shelf", in fact) are nostrums for particular conditions, sold without any consultation. It should therefore be much simpler to test them in randomised double-blind placebo controlled trials than to test classical homoeopathy. If they work as claimed, there is no valid reason that this can't be demonstrated using the same type of tests that real medicines have to pass. And yet, when for almost a quarter of a century any new medicine, including homoeopathic medicines, had to demonstrate efficacy to gain access to the market in the UK, no new homoeopathic nostrums were accepted because they were unable to demonstrate efficacy. They had to change the law to allow new homoeopathic medicines onto the market.

In the absence of evidence that they work, there's no reason whatsoever for skeptics to support them.
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Old 15th December 2007, 11:00 AM   #140
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Does anyone know if the below petition was ever addressed -and if so, what outcome (if any) came of it?

Snippet taken from "Petition Regarding Homeopathic Drugs"
Docket # 94P-0316/CP 1
Filed August 29, 1994

Quote:
Action Requested
The FDA Commissioner should initiate a rulemaking procedure, similar to the OTC Review, to require that all OTC homeopathic drugs meet the same standards of safety and effectiveness as nonhomeopathic OTC drugs. In the interim, the Commissioner should issue a public warning that although the FDA has permitted homeopathic remedies to be sold, it does not recognize them as effective.

Statement of Grounds
Although homeopathic products are not recognized as effective by the scientific community, the FDA has tolerated their marketing because a provision of the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act recognized substances listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia as drugs. However, nothing in the law prohibits the FDA from requiring homeopathic remedies to be proven effective to remain on the market.

FDA Compliance Policy Guide 7132.15, issued in 1988, states that "nonprescription homeopathics may be sold only for self-limiting conditions recognizable by consumers . . . [Their] labeling must adequately instruct consumers in the product's safe use." However, the guide warns that compliance with its requirements "does not establish that [a product] has been shown by appropriate means to be safe, effective, and not misbranded for its intended use."
The FDA's laissez-fair regulatory policy has enabled dozens of companies to market hundreds of products with claims (often simply in the name of the product) that are unsubstantiated. All of these products are misbranded because they do not indicate on their label that they can remedy nothing. Nor do they state how much of any ingredient the product contains in a way that the average consumer can understand. Nor can adequate directions for use be written for products that don't work. Because the FDA permits their sale, consumers are being misled into thinking that the remedies are effective, not only for symptomatic relief but for the treatment of serious diseases.

Products designated as 24X, 12C, or higher, should contain no molecules of the original substance from which they are prepared. Yet they are being marketed as though they are potent remedies.

What Stephen Barrett et al are demanding in this petition does not seem to be too much to ask for.

There are homeopathic "medicines" on the shelves in our local pharmacy that have nothing printed on their labels except for very vague insinuations to treat conditions that can be broadly interpreted to refer to anything from mild to serious conditions.

Homeopathic remedies in my pharmacy have labels that simply have one or two words printed on them, such as "Heart." No ingredient list, no ingredient strength, no dosage instructions, and nothing more specific as to exactly what condition it is to treat (i.e. perhaps it is just to treat a "broken heart"? ...or is it to treat serious heart conditions?)

Is this legal?
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Old 15th December 2007, 06:29 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
Homeopathic remedies in my pharmacy have labels that simply have one or two words printed on them, such as "Heart." No ingredient list, no ingredient strength, no dosage instructions, and nothing more specific as to exactly what condition it is to treat (i.e. perhaps it is just to treat a "broken heart"? ...or is it to treat serious heart conditions?)

Is this legal?
Don't know about the USA but in the UK, providing they make no claims of efficacy they can sell them. Caveat emptor. And I thought we were in the 21st century!
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Old 16th December 2007, 10:23 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Don't know about the USA but in the UK, providing they make no claims of efficacy they can sell them. Caveat emptor. And I thought we were in the 21st century!

Serious??

I am in the wrong business...


Has anyone here read the FDA's "Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration" dated December 2006 at: http://www.fda.gov/cber/gdlns/altmed.pdf?

Will this have an impact on the sales and practices of homeopathic "medicine"?
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Old 16th December 2007, 12:08 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
{snip} There are homeopathic "medicines" on the shelves in our local pharmacy that have nothing printed on their labels except for very vague insinuations to treat conditions that can be broadly interpreted to refer to anything from mild to serious conditions.

Homeopathic remedies in my pharmacy have labels that simply have one or two words printed on them, such as "Heart." No ingredient list, no ingredient strength, no dosage instructions, and nothing more specific as to exactly what condition it is to treat (i.e. perhaps it is just to treat a "broken heart"? ...or is it to treat serious heart conditions?)

Is this legal?
If the products are made and sold in your state, I am pretty sure they are not subject to federal regulation.
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Old 18th December 2007, 01:12 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by JJM View Post
If the products are made and sold in your state, I am pretty sure they are not subject to federal regulation.


Well, thanks encouraging...
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Old 18th December 2007, 06:17 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
Serious??

I am in the wrong business...


Has anyone here read the FDA's "Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration" dated December 2006 at: http://www.fda.gov/cber/gdlns/altmed.pdf?

Will this have an impact on the sales and practices of homeopathic "medicine"?
If you are either/and a liar, unethical, unable to understand the logic applied to evidence based medicine, totally lacking in morals and wishing to make a large amount of money become an alternative medic. No irony intended.
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Old 18th December 2007, 07:41 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by wilsontown View Post
From t'other thread:



Good grief.

One particular part of the meta-analysis includes 8 homeoapthic trials and 6 conventional trials. This is the part of the analysis that compares the trials that are most likely to be free of bias. Homeopathy showed no effect beyond placebo, conventional medicine did show an effect.

However, Shang et al. also performed statistics on the whole dataset. This included 48 trials of clinical homeopathy, 35 trials of complex homeopathy, 18 of classical homeopathy, and 8 of isopathy. Shang et al. found that there was no evidence that any of these sub-groups had more pronounced effects than the others. This is the point I was making regarding the 18 trials of classical homeopathy: that there is no evidence that classical homeopathy was any better than any of the other interventions tested. So your assertion that the results might have been positive for homeopathy if only classical homeopathy was included is not backed up by the evidence. I honestly can't see what you fail to understand about this.

As for the International Journal of Epidemiology publishing a comparison of the 21 versus 9 trials that were deemed to be of higher quality, what's the point? That subsample of studies was shown to be biased. YOU CAN'T DRAW ANY USEFUL CONCLUSIONS FROM THIS SUBSET OF STUDIES BECAUSE IT IS BIASED.

Well, well, well.

I waited and waited and waited for somebody here to tell Wilsontown how wrong he is. I know that lots of people know the Shang/Egger review of homeopathic and allopathic clinical trials, and yet, none of you had the balls to tell him the truth...and you all lost your credibility for your loud silence (no big surprise).

Shang's analysis whittled down from 110 "matched" trials of homeopathy and allopathy to 21 high quality homeopathic studies and only 9 (!) allopathic ones. However, he never (!) provided any data or comparison of this group of high quality double-blind and placebo controlled trials. THAT is why another journal will finally publish this data. Whooops.

Instead, Shang whittled the now unmatch trials of 8 homeopathic and 6 allopathic trials. He wanted to only evaluate the large trials, the vast majority of which used only 1 homeopathic medicine for entire large population. While such non-individualized treatment is sometimes effective; it is an exception to the rule.

This comparison therefore utilized biased information that held no external validity. Whooops.

It is interesting to note that Shang did evaluate the 8 trials on the use of homeopathic medicines in acute infection of the upper respiratory tract, where the authors noted a "substantial beneficial effect." Further, their sensitivity analysis suggests that "there is robust evidence that teh treatment under investigation works."

Shang then asserts that there is somehow bias in these double-blind, placebo controlled trials.

You folks are seemingly so critical of every homeopathic trial, even though one of Shang's conclusions was that, on average, more than twice as many homeopathic trials were of a high quality than the allopathic trials.

All of a sudden, your fine-toothed comb of analysis has disappeared. Is the goal of a good scientist a certain amount of objectivity?
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Old 18th December 2007, 10:55 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post

Shang's analysis whittled down from 110 "matched" trials of homeopathy and allopathy to 21 high quality homeopathic studies and only 9 (!) allopathic ones. However, he never (!) provided any data or comparison of this group of high quality double-blind and placebo controlled trials. THAT is why another journal will finally publish this data. Whooops.
Which journal?

Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Instead, Shang whittled the now unmatch trials of 8 homeopathic and 6 allopathic trials. He wanted to only evaluate the large trials, the vast majority of which used only 1 homeopathic medicine for entire large population. While such non-individualized treatment is sometimes effective; it is an exception to the rule.
This comparison therefore utilized biased information that held no external validity. Whooops.
Then you will, of course, pubicly denounce the practice of pharmacists selling homeopathic preparations which are by their nature non-individualised.


Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
You folks are seemingly so critical of every homeopathic trial, even though one of Shang's conclusions was that, on average, more than twice as many homeopathic trials were of a high quality than the allopathic trials.

All of a sudden, your fine-toothed comb of analysis has disappeared. Is the goal of a good scientist a certain amount of objectivity?
As you make much of the fact that twice as many homeopathic trials were of high quality than those using conventional medicine, so should you highlight the main point of Shang's analysis, that the better trials of homeopathy showed least benefit. The most important conclusion of a meta-analysis is to to ascertain if there is any justification of embarking on a single definitive trial of the preparation. As the 'better' the trial the less benefit is seen, Shang's paper indicates that no further work is required.

The results of a clinical trial are open to probabilistic error. The test for a difference between treatment arms of a trial are traditionally set at the 5% level. This means that approximately 5% of trials of ineffective treatments would show a significant difference with placebo. Of course bias and poor design could increase this figure. After 200 years homeopathy still hasn't risen above this noise level. It still hasn't found any mechanism for why it should work even after venturing into such disproved effects as memory in water. Any conventional medicine with such a dismal record would have rightly been discarded long ago.
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Old 19th December 2007, 01:08 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
While...non-individualized treatment is sometimes effective; it is an exception to the rule.
STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS!

LEADING HOMEOPATH DENOUNCES SINGLE REMEDY TREATMENT AS MOSTLY USELESS!
In a shock announcement today, a leading homeopath, Dana Ullman, declared that non-individualized homeopathy is only "sometimes effective" and that any effects are "an exception to the rule".

Homeopathy has become very popular as an Over The Counter product with sales worth millions of dollars per year. These sales depend on the idea that you can pick up a simple sugar pill to treat a wide variety of illnesses. The evidence for the efficacy of these remedies depends on exactly the same anecdotal evidence base as any other aspect of homeopathy. By criticising these products Mr Ullman cuts at the heart of the entire basis on which homeopaths have judged the alleged success of their remedies.

A disappointed consumer said: "I have always taken Oscillococcinum for the flu [homeopathic-speak for a 'man cold'] and I haven't died yet so it must have worked. But now I realise I may have recovered anyway."

A leading critic of homeopathy was quoted as saying: "For years we have told the homeopaths that their evidence was worthless and now, at last, we have one of their own number effectively admitting this. The problem with homeopathy is that it is riddled with internal contradictions and inconsistencies and as soon as you pick at one corner of the whole shambolic structure it just disintegrates."


STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS!

IN A RELATED STORY, SHARES IN LEADING LACTOSE SUPPLIERS HAVE FALLEN DRAMATICALLY AFTER ONE OF THEIR KEY MARKETS COMES UNDER THREAT FROM THE TRUTH
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Old 19th December 2007, 01:10 AM   #149
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So, Dana, any thoughts on Rustum Roy's bombshell yet? You have gone awfully quiet on that subject.
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Old 19th December 2007, 02:55 AM   #150
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Dana, thought you might be interested in this, a simple test devised by le Canard Noir, to see if the proving aspect of homeopathy works.
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Old 19th December 2007, 03:23 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
I waited and waited and waited for somebody here to tell Wilsontown how wrong he is.
Wow! There must be a law of similars at work here because I, too, have waited and waited and waited. Of course, the thing I have waited for is your source for your claim that most homeopaths are physicians.

Regarding the rest of your objections, they have been ably addressed more than once by people quite knowledgeable enough and honest enough to do so.

I must say, James, that as an intelligent layman with no medical expertise and no right to practice medicine in the US (Hey! That's another way that we're similar!), I am quite able to discern who is arguing with substance, objectivity, and honesty as opposed to who is not. You are in the latter group.
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Old 19th December 2007, 03:25 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS!

LEADING HOMEOPATH DENOUNCES SINGLE REMEDY TREATMENT AS MOSTLY USELESS!
[color="Indigo"][size="2"]In a shock announcement today, a leading homeopath, Dana Ullman, declared that non-individualized homeopathy is only "sometimes effective" and that any effects are "an exception to the rule".
BSM, you have to reprint this on the quackometer site, its priceless.
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Old 19th December 2007, 06:42 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
BSM, you have to reprint this on the quackometer site, its priceless.
As Linda has already implied, Dullman is getting so desperate he has starting engaging in a vigorous version of the Balloon Game, where you have to nominate companions successively for ejection from your puncture hot-air balloon.
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Old 19th December 2007, 06:49 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS!
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Old 19th December 2007, 07:24 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Mr Monkey...Just because a medicine is not in post-Avogadro's number doses does not mean it is not homeopathic. One of my points is that skeptics of homeopathy are extremely slopping in their critique because they lump ALL of homeopathy together. At the very least, ardent skeptics should be big advocates of "health food store homeopathy," though why do I have the sneaking suspicion that your thick skulls have difficulty in saying anything good about any part of homeopathy? Hmmm.
Another homeopath defined a homeopathy medicine for me thus: It is prepared homeopathically, AND prescribed homeopathically. Do you agree, JG?

Quote:
I am still waiting for someone (!) to acknowledge that there is truly an amazing body of scientific information on hormesis.
Homeopathy has noting to do with hormesis. You just possibly might make a case for isopathy, but even that will be far-fetched. Hormesis is a dose-dependent reaction.

Quote:
Ultimately, homeopathy is a clever system of determining which substance/medicine a sick person will be hypersensitive.
JG, are you or are you not recognizing that post-avogadro potencies are part of homeopathy?

Quote:
When you consider that symptoms are primarily defenses of the organism to infection, exposure to toxic substances, and/or stress of some sort, it makes sense to use homeopathic medicines or other therapies that mimic that defense rather than suppress it. Homeopathy does make sense.
Only if you know next to nothing about pathology. Symptoms are not primarily the defenses of the organism. A few of them are, but primarily, they are simply effects of toxins.

Quote:
And do you know about the $1 million that he gave in 1920 to Ohio State University for the homeopathic research department of their homeopathic medical school? My book has a truly amazing story about what happened with this money and why Ohio State University was forced to return this money to him. Hmmmm.
Do you have any references newer than the first past of the last century? Hmmmmm?

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Garette...I will not do your homework for you. Sorry.
Dana, I think most of us would be happy if only you did your own.

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Old 19th December 2007, 08:45 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Instead, Shang whittled the now unmatch trials of 8 homeopathic and 6 allopathic trials. He wanted to only evaluate the large trials, the vast majority of which used only 1 homeopathic medicine for entire large population. While such non-individualized treatment is sometimes effective; it is an exception to the rule.

This comparison therefore utilized biased information that held no external validity. Whooops.
As opposed to the rest of the available information which is even more biased and without internal and/or external validity? Surely a "Whooops" for the one implies a "Double-Whooops" for the other?

Quote:
It is interesting to note that Shang did evaluate the 8 trials on the use of homeopathic medicines in acute infection of the upper respiratory tract, where the authors noted a "substantial beneficial effect." Further, their sensitivity analysis suggests that "there is robust evidence that teh treatment under investigation works."

Shang then asserts that there is somehow bias in these double-blind, placebo controlled trials.
This is what he said:
"Such sensitivity analyses might suggest that there is robust evidence that the treatment under investigation works. However, the biases that are
prevalent in these publications, as shown by our study, might promote the conclusion that the results cannot be trusted."

Funny how that works. The data shows significant bias in association with study size in these double-blind, placebo-controlled trials and he uses that finding to conclude that there is significant bias in association with study size in these double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. The results lead to the conclusion. Based on your performance here, I'm not surprised that you find that a novel concept.

Quote:
You folks are seemingly so critical of every homeopathic trial, even though one of Shang's conclusions was that, on average, more than twice as many homeopathic trials were of a high quality than the allopathic trials.

All of a sudden, your fine-toothed comb of analysis has disappeared. Is the goal of a good scientist a certain amount of objectivity?
When the sum total of the evidence for homeopathy consists of 21 trials, only 8 of which could be considered reasonably free from bias, compared to the tens of thousands for medicine, who can blame us for going for the easy pickings first?

Linda
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Old 20th December 2007, 06:47 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Dana, thought you might be interested in this, a simple test devised by le Canard Noir, to see if the proving aspect of homeopathy works.

I wanted to comment further on that, but unfortunately it seems you have to have a Google or Blogger identity to post to the blog, which I have no intention of acquiring.

I seem to have been going round this very same argument for years, and the actual challenge posed by le Canard Noir goes way back - the first mention of it is in the famous Oliver Wendell Holmes essay of 1842.

Quote:
In 1835 a public challenge was offered to the best-known Homeopathic physician in Paris to select any ten substances asserted to produce the most striking effects; to prepare them himself; to choose one by lot without knowing which of them he had taken, and try it upon himself or an intelligent and devoted Homeopathist, and, waiting his own time, to come forward and tell what substance had been employed. The challenge was at first accepted, but the acceptance retracted before the time of trial arrived.

Some years ago a homoeopath of my acquaintance threw at me the same challenge we've become familiar with from so many homoeopaths. Just take a few doses of a remedy (in my case it was Belladonna 30C that was mentioned) and you'll be astonished by the very marked effects you'll experience. (As an aside, I did that, and absolutely nothing unusual happened.)

I retorted to him that if the ultradilute remedies produced such striking effects then he should have no trouble with the 1835 challenge quoted above, and challenged him to try it.

I got exactly the same runaround as le Canard Noir is getting. First it would obviously be necessary to have a group of ten people at least to elicit the full remedy picture, and this made it impractical.

So, I changed the suggestion to a simple yes/no distinction. Show that you can tell the difference between Belladonna 30C and blank sugar pills, by noting whether or not you experience these "striking effects", which obviously his original challenge implied could be detected by one person. However, done this way, the test would obviously require a number of repetitions (possibly ten) to eliminate the effect of lucky guessing.

The next excuse was that such a test couldn't possibly be repeated in anything like a reasonable time scale. By now the homoeopath was implying that the remedy would make the prover "very sick", and doing that a number of times wouldn't be nice. Also, delayed effects from one dose might confuse the observing of the following dose.

At this stage I changed the format yet again, to multiply not the repetitions a single tester had to undergo, but to multiply the testers. The final format of the test required a number of homoeopaths (at least ten, but we hoped for 20), each of whom was certain they could recognise the proving effects of any ultradilute remedy of their choice. Each one would be sent either that remedy, or a bottle of blank pills. All they had to do was to say which it was.

It was Yuri Nalyssus who actually ran with this, as he is on good enough terms with a retired homoeopath to be able to ask him to referee the trial. He advertised widely for homoeopaths to take part in the trial, and to be honest we expected he'd get 20 quite easily. (In fact, no testing method was forbidden - they could try the remedy out on patients, do mass spectroscopy or NMR or particle acceleration or even get Rustum Roy to shove it through his magic spectrophotometer if they wanted, but we assumed that as the proving effects were universally declared to be so striking, that would be the preferred method.) Well, Yuri got exactly six volunteers.

Guess what. Three were right and three were wrong.

I cautioned him that it was almost inevitable that some homoeopath would start boasting that 50% of the participants could tell a remedy from a blank, and wasn't that great, but in fact he never publicised the results due to the small number of participants.

Isn't it interesting that so few homoeopaths are prepared to put their mouths where their money is, when actually challenged to a blind test of something they all maintain should be easy even for a non-expert or a sceptic to do unblinded?

I still think this is the best format for the test, to avoid both the difficulties apparently raised by detecting which of a number of remedies is being taken, and by the suggestion that a single person should perform more than one trial. Surely there are 20 homoeopaths who believe they can tell for sure between any remedy of their own choosing, and a bottle of "unmedicated" pills?

But it does seem that there are huge difficulties even here, despite the facile throwing up of the "take a remedy for yourself and you'll be instantly amazed" challenge to every sceptic who engages a homoeopath. Harald Walach was last heard of (several years ago) organising an extremely complicated multi-centre trial along very similar lines, but with all sorts of bells and whistles to try to counter even more objections thrown in the way be every homoeoapth consulted. I don't know when if ever we'll get a result on that. I suspect the final protocol will be so complicated and open to interpretation that it will settle nothing.

However, the predictable and repeatable progression from "just try a remedy, the effects will be so striking you're bound to be convinced" to "no, I can't possibly do that myself under blinded conditions" is awfully telling as regards homoeopath psychology.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th December 2007, 07:02 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by fls View Post
When the sum total of the evidence for homeopathy consists of 21 trials, only 8 of which could be considered reasonably free from bias, compared to the tens of thousands for medicine, who can blame us for going for the easy pickings first?

Linda
I should also mention that the 'evidence' from these 8 trials shows that homeopathy is indistinguishable from placebo. That is, while there are only 8 trials that actually speak to the issue of whether or not homeopathy has an effect, what they say is that homeopathy does not.

Linda
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Old 20th December 2007, 07:14 AM   #159
wilsontown
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Originally Posted by James Gully
I waited and waited and waited for somebody here to tell Wilsontown how wrong he is etc etc...
Well, I've read the Shang paper and I stand by my interpretation of it. I've yet to see any evidence that you have even the faintest understanding of the paper.
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Old 20th December 2007, 07:23 AM   #160
Cuddles
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Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
I waited and waited and waited for somebody here to tell Wilsontown how wrong he is.
To be fair, I was going to tell him how wrong he is. But he isn't, so I didn't.
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