The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), not the FDA, has “just announced its intent to pursue manufacturers of over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathy remedies who cannot back up health claims with scientific evidence.” Yes, they used the word pursue – and that’s what they intend to do!
An article in Medscape says, “Homeopathy products are based on an idea dating from the 1700s that symptoms of disease can be treated by minute doses of substances that produce similar symptoms when given in larger doses to healthy people.”
To say that homeopathy is an “idea” betrays the ignorance of the writer since homeopathy is a science that has a long history of research and investigation and an excellent track record of efficacy. The 1918 influenza epidemic really put homeopathy on the map in the US because so many lives were saved in the homeopathic hospitals compared to the allopathic hospitals. Shortly after the epidemic, all funding for homeopathic, herbal, women’s, and eclectic medical schools was cut off in favor of German drug-based medical training. You can read more about this in my book Death by Modern Medicine.
Homeopathic medicine is extremely safe. There have been no deaths due to homeopathic prescribing. Some vehement critics will say that lives have been lost because people chose to use homeopathy instead of drugs – but that’s an impossible conclusion to draw. There is no comparison between the safety of homeopathy and the avoidable, premature deaths caused annually by allopathic medicine estimated at 1 million (See Death by Modern Medicine).
The issue of health claims has been used against alternative medicine for many years. The FDA controls the definition of “health claims.” It says that only drugs that have been rigorously tested can claim to treat a particular disease. If a supplement company says a remedy treats a disease, then the remedy is called a drug, and that drug has to undergo extensive testing. In 2013, Forbes magazine estimated that testing a new drug cost upwards of 5 Billion dollars!
If the FTA enforces testing on homeopathic remedies, the whole industry will be wiped out. Is that the goal of this directive? At the very least, homeopathic manufacturers and wholesalers will have to change all their labels, written material, and websites to remove any health claims. And you can’t do this on your own, you have to hire an FDA label consultant – usually a former FDA employee who sets up a consulting business to help your navigate the ever-changing FDA rulings! Ours costs $500.00 per hour! An on-site inspection is $10,000 – $20,000. Many small companies will just throw in the towel. Again, is that the goal of this directive?
FDA approved drugs have to undergo safety and efficacy testing but here’s the rub. They don’t really have to be safe. The drug company, legally, just has to list all the side effects of the drug. That’s not even for consumer protection, because most doctors and patients ignore the hundreds of side effects that accompany most drugs. Listing side effects is mostly done so drug companies can’t be sued when a person suffers ill effects from taking the drug – BECAUSE THEY WERE WARNED!
Drug efficacy used to be compared to placebo. In other words, the drug was not expected to “cure” the condition, but to perform better than placebo. When it became common knowledge that placebos worked better than drugs, the criteria changed to comparing drugs with other drugs. I’ve seen drugs that are found to be 5% more “effective” than another drug being accepted by the FDA as an “effective” drug.
For whatever reason they give, the FTC has decided to treat homeopathy as a drug. This stance comes straight out of the WHO and WTO, Codex Alimentarius guidelines to regulate food and supplements across international borders. The underlying premise is to prevent supplements from interfering with drug therapy. In other words, remedies that work better than drugs should not be allowed on the market.
I don’t know if there is a strong enough pro-homeopathic lobby to protect the industry. I don’t know if there are homeopaths on the FTC review panel to give evidence. But here is a comment from one MD on Medscape about his experience with homeopathy:
“May I remind everyone that there are both licensed MDs and veterinarians who have devoted their careers to homeopathic practice. More interestingly, many of these professionals began their careers on the allopathic side and then jumped to the other side. Also, for those who have not experienced for themselves this type of care beware of labeling it all placebo effect. I have seen it work under the care of a licensed veterinarian. I have personal experience as well with sometimes dramatic effect. Many years ago after chronic renal calculi was encouraged by homeopath with MD with ND degree as well to go to urologist for further testing and definitive diagnosis. Almost went under the knife! Went back to homeopath and watched him prepare a liquid remedy and was instructed on how long to take. No more kidney issues thereafter! Sure it’s anecdotal. Medscape, for those doubters, over the years has had a few articles on studies on homeopathy. One that comes to mind was one on ‘bitter melon and diabetes and cancer” which can be googled. A remedy for minor trauma and pain called Trameel and a vertigo product called Vertigoheel also have studies behind them which can be found via Google. No one should really be threatened by homeopathic medicine. Most patients who choose this modality usually self fund and are very proactive about their healthcare and their health, diet, and bodies. Isn’t this what any true healer would welcome in their patients?”
What’s going to happen with the new administration is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they will consider this attack on homeopathy a gigantic waste of our tax dollars. I hope so! And, hopefully, the “choice” that is listed in the health care directives means choice of what medicine people wish to pursue and not just choice of health insurers that only insure you for allopathic drugs and surgery.
My advice? Read the homeopathic section in my Future Health Now Encyclopedia and buy those homeopathic remedies to have on hand. There are also less expensive homeopathic kits that you can purchase. Homeopathic remedies have no expiry date.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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