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Researchers welcome WHO warning against homeopathy

[Media release]

NZ researchers welcome WHO warning against homeopathy use

21st August 2009 – the World Health Organization has warned that people with conditions such as HIV, TB and malaria should not rely on homeopathic treatments. New Zealand researchers Dr. Shaun Holt and Andrew Gilbey welcomed the warning, but said that it does not go far enough.

“The WHO should have gone further and said what any scientist who has reviewed the evidence would say: homeopathy does not work for any condition. It is not biologically plausible – the active ingredients have been diluted away. It has never worked in a well-conducted research study and, in my opinion, is no better than witchcraft” said Dr. Holt.

Researcher and homeopathy critic Andrew Gilbey added, “I fully agree with Dr Holt - the WHO must protect vulnerable people from the clever and insidious marketing of treatments that the developed world is now rejecting. Evidence clearly shows it would be a miracle if homeopathy were to work for life-threatening conditions, or, indeed, any conditions!”

Doctors treating some of the most impoverished people in the world for conditions such as tuberculosis and diarrhoea in children called for governments around the world to recognise the dangers of promoting homeopathy for life-threatening illnesses. Dr Nick Beeching, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital added that there was no objective evidence that homeopathy has any effect on these infections and told the BBC, “...I think it is irresponsible for a healthcare worker to promote the use of homeopathy in place of proven treatment for any life-threatening illness."

More information from the BBC:

Shaun Holt

• Qualified Doctor and Pharmacist
• One of NZ’s most experienced medical researchers
• Author of 2008 best-seller “Natural Remedies that Really Work”
• Regular appearances on TV One’s Breakfast show and national radio shows
• Member of International Editorial Board of medical research journal FACT

About Dr Andrew Gilbey

• University academic
• Interests in alternative medicine, nutrition, loneliness, health benefits of pets, and aviation
• Member of International Editorial Board of medical research journal FACT


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