Homeopathy Petition

We’re all, of course, very happy about the results of the House of Commons Science and Technology committee’s evidence check on homeopathy. But it’s important to realise exactly what has happened. This is a House of Commons committee which has produced a list of recommendations. The government is under no obligation at all to take any notice of those recommendations. Unfortunately, Richard Wiseman’s tweet, “yipppeeee it’s official, NHS will no longer give people smarties”, is likely to be somewhat premature.

So that’s why I’ve set up a petition on the number 10 web site. The petition says:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Implement the recommendations of the House Commons Science and Technology committee evidence check on Homeopathy.

The House Commons Science and Technology committee has recently undertaken an evidence check on the usefulness of homeopathy and has now published its report.

The conclusions are unequivocal. They say “To maintain patient trust, choice and safety, the Government should not endorse the use of placebo treatments, including homeopathy. Homeopathy should not be funded on the NHS and the MHRA should stop licensing homeopathic products.”

The government should implement these recommendations as soon as possible.

If we can get enough people to sign this petition I hope we can send a message to the government letting them know that we support the committee’s findings and don’t want the NHS’s money wasted on nonsense like homeopathy.

Of course, this close to an election, the government is likely to be very wary of making any kind of a statement that might lose them support amongst the woo-mongers. We need to persuade them that skeptical (and rational) voters outnumber the idiots. At the very least, we should be able to get more signatures than this ridiculous petition.

So please sign the petition. And please pass the details on to anyone else who might be interested. The battle has not been won yet.


  1. While I’m not at all a supporter of the claim that homeopathy is anything else than sugar in a nice neo-mystical package, I still fail to see what’s wrong with other placebo treatments. A vast majority of doctors prescribe placebos (e.g. antibiotics, vitamin C, in cases where there are not needed and will not have any effect.) The problem is that currently the mechanism underlying their effectiveness is very unclear: thus it’s to be considered a promising area of research, something that will help to understand the neurological mechanisms of healing. I don’t think that a government has to endorse or not globally the use of placebo treatments purely on the ideological idea that placebos are bad. This should be left to scientific studies and should be based on objective measurements of effectiveness, depending on the disease being cured. In many fields, it’s true placebos have no effect, and must be severely discouraged. In some other cases, like painkillers or treatment of depression, they are surprisingly effective, without any harmful side-effect. If we summarily rule out the use of placebos, we might miss the next major breakthrough in medical science.

  2. Hmmm, I can’t agree with this bit:”the Government should not endorse the use of placebo treatments”The placebo effect has been shown to exist, so why not use placebo treatments? My problem with the homeoquacks is that they make false claims and charge an obscene amount of money for sugar pills, which I’m sure the NHS can get cheaper somewhere else.

  3. One can’t totally neglect the role of Homeopathy in the medical science and say that “the Government should not endorse the use of placebo treatments.” Homeopathy treatment has not much or can say very less side effects . The important part of such type of treatment is , the results are very slow but sure. It don’t have the harmful side effects like the painkillers and treatment on depression. We cant say that homeopathy is nothing else than sugar. Its really a wrong prediction about homeopathy. The awareness and education plays important role in deciding this. To understand the neurological problems and set the proper treatment is a special field of research in this area.

  4. Placebo treatment is stronger that doctor think. Homeopathy makes many people feel better the same like meditation, yoga, massage reducers stress. If people get relief from pain and disease, how can we deny it? I hope more big hospitals and clinics will offer alternative therapies. All our pills are made from trees, plants, palm trees any way. I don’t like our medicine and i don’t like that alternative medicine is not covered by the health insurance system. Homeopathic remedies are extremely safe and comparatively inexpensive.[Edited to remove spam link]

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