The first half of the year has been a fantastic time for the fight against homeopathy. Aside from our own high-profile demonstration, there’s been significant backing from the Science and Technology Select Committee,calling for an end to homeopathy on the NHS. In addition, the British Medical Association Junior Doctors Committee outed homeopathy as ‘witchcraft’, and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland condemned the pseudomedicine and its sale in pharmacies. This has all been excellent.
However, there are still significant challenges ahead – not least in the form of David Tredinnick MP, recently appointed to the Health Select Committee despite his beliefs that astrology has a role to play in healthcare, and that surgeons won’t operate under a full moon as the lunar cycle has an effect on the clotting of blood. Both of which are, of course, untrue. This isn’t the extent of Mr Tredinnick’s misunderstanding of health advice – he recently tabled 4 Early Day Motions, urging MPs to support homeopathy and to ignore the findings of the Science and Technology Select Committee. These EDMs are based on flawed science and false assertion, and should not be supported by your local MP.
Fortunately, Julian Huppert MP has tabled amendments to each of Mr Tredinnick’s motions, in order to correct the inaccuracies, misunderstandings and misguided support for homeopathy. These amendments are based on clear reviews of the studies in question, and are backed by scientists and experts in the fields – as such, they also have the backing of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, and the 10:23 Campaign.
At the moment, many MPs may not know much about homeopathy, and may not know it is based on quackery and magical thinking; most crucially, they may not know how important an issue it is to you. With this in mind, we urge you to write to your MP to let them know how strongly you feel. The website Write To Them (http://www.writetothem.com/) makes writing to your MP very easy, and for your convenience you can find below a standard letter to copy and paste into the body of your letter.
Please, take 2 minutes to let your MP know that homeopathy is not an effective healthcare option, does not offer value for taxpayer money, and should not be supported. Ask your MP to sign EDM amendments 284A1, 285A1, 286A1 and 287A1. Ask your friends to do the same. Spread the word – together, we can make a difference.
Visit http://www.writetothem.com/ and paste the following into the body of your letter – as Write To Them blocks identical letters, please adjust the wording in the letter as you see fit, to best express your views:
Dear <your MP>
I am writing to you to alert you to an important issue you might not be aware of – while the role of an MP is doubtlessly a busy one, and the challenge to keep on top of all of the various issues put to you is likely significant, I can appreciate that you may not have been made aware of the ongoing debate regarding government funding for homeopathy on the NHS.
At a time when cuts are increasingly likely, it was refreshing to see the Science and Technology Select Committee advise the cutting of homeopathy – a 200-year-old pseudoscience – from NHS funding. I applaud the committee, and their reliance on evidence to come to a solid conclusion. It is, therefore, disappointing in the extreme to see the Early Day Motions EDM284 [Bma Annual Representative Meeting Motions On Homeopathy], EDM285 [Effect Of Homeopathic Remedies On Breast Cancer Cells], EDM286 [Homeopathic Medicines In The Treatment Of Moderate To Severe Depression] and EDM287 [Homeopathy And Chronic Primary Insomnia] call for support for this disproven quackery.
Indeed, it’s further distressing that, upon examination, the studies cited as proof of the effect of homeopathic treatments in EDM284, EDM285 and EDM286 are in fact riddled with deep and significant flaws. Given that EDM285 applauds the use of homeopathic substances to treat breast cancer – a claim which would be illegal if made by a UK practitioner – it’s clear to see how support for this motion could lead to real and significant harm.
I applaud the actions of Julian Huppert MP – who has tabled clear and reasonable amendments to these misguided motions, amendments which correct their inaccuracies and redirect them back in line with real science and evidence. These amendments are titled as follows: EDM284A1 [Bma Annual Representative Meeting Motions On Homeopathy], EDM285A1 [Effect Of Homeopathic Remedies On Breast Cancer Cells], EDM286A1 [Homeopathic Medicines In The Treatment Of Moderate To Severe Depression] and EDM287A1 [Homeopathy And Chronic Primary Insomnia].
I therefore urge you to consider the issues and the serious ramifications to both the taxpayer in funding disproven treatments on the NHS, and to the overall health of the nation in recommending pseudo-medicine for such serious issues as severe depression and breast cancer. If you agree that cancer, depression and other illnesses should only be treated with modalities that have been proven to work, I urge you to sign EDM284A1, EDM285A1, EDM286A1 and EDM287A1.
Thank you for your time