Close The Quack Medicine Loophole For Homeopathic Remedies
  • Petitioned Sen. Lisa Murkowski

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Close The Quack Medicine Loophole For Homeopathic Remedies

    1. Petition by

      James Randi Educational Foundation

So-called homeopathic remedies may be the only products given a free pass to say they’re intended to treat disease, without any proof at all that they work. In fact, most homeopathic products are nothing but plain sugar pills with no active ingredients. Manufacturers take millions of dollars a year from unsuspecting customers who often think they’re buying real medicine.

Drugs have to be tested for safety before they can be sold. Nutritional supplements have to carry disclaimers, telling consumers that their claims have not been evaluated by the FDA. Homeopathy is exempt from these requirements because of a law passed more than 70 years ago. It's time to close this loophole and make manufactures of these quack medications play by the same rules as everyone else.

The facts about homeopathic remedies:

  • No Ingredients: Homeopathic remedies are so extremely dilute that most do not contain a single atom of their claimed active ingredient. The most popular homeopathic remedy, oscillococcinum, is based on a dilution of one part duck liver to 10^400 parts of water. 10^400 is the number 1 with 400 zeroes after it. To make such a dilution, you’d have to mix a single molecule of duck liver with more matter than exists in the entire known universe.

  • No Testing: Homeopathic remedies are exempted from regulations requiring drugs to prove they’re effective and accurately labeled with respect to dosage and potency. What’s more, homeopathic remedies were never even tested by their inventors to make sure they work. Homeopathic remedies are invented by a process homeopaths call “proving”: they give a substance to a healthy person, observe the symptoms it causes, and then take it on faith that homeopathic doses of the same substance will cure those symptoms. For example, coffee causes sleeplessness—that’s all homeopaths need to know in order to prescribe homeopathically-diluted coffee as sleeping pills, called “coffea cruda.” According to homeopathic principles, there’s no need to test whether it actually helps anyone sleep.

  • No Facts: Major pharmacy chains like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid sell useless homeopathic products right alongside real medicine, with no warning to consumers. Manufacturers and retailers profit by denying customers the facts they need to make up their minds. U.S. law exempts homeopathy from certain rules that govern drugs and nutritional supplements, so manufacturers can market homeopathic remedies for the treatment of illnesses despite the fact that reputable studies show homeopathy to work no better than dummy pills made of plain sugar.

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    1. Reached 1 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Robert Levin SALEM, MA
      • over 3 years ago

      The protection of citizens requires that all medications shall be held to the same high standards.

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    • Nolene Triska ESTACADA, OR
      • over 3 years ago

      Stop allowing homeopathy to have special protection from laws that protect consumers from harmful, useless and mis-represented products.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bill Hall CHANDLER, AZ
      • over 3 years ago

      The legal exemptions given to homeopathic remedies undermine the public trust of watchdog agencies such as the FDA. Remedies that are no better than a placebo should not be able to advertise as "remedies".

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Merrill Ahrens, M.D. PORTLAND, OR
      • over 3 years ago

      As a practicing physician, I am appalled that such "snake oil" still exists in this day and age.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Charles Zearfoss LEXINGTON, KY
      • over 3 years ago

      This is not just about the value of the scientific method, or some philosophical debate about beliefs. Real people's lives are being negatively effected.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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