In the October issue of The Cockermouth Post, a short and pointed letter from a local homeopath was printed on page 3.
Now, confession time. I do have a little ‘history’ with the non-medicine providing trained professional. A little while ago I responded by email to her posting an advert in the Post, which suggested homeopathic ‘remedies’ for young people. I asked her for details of what it takes to be a trained homeopath and how she could justify her generic advice when homeopathy is supposed to be aimed at the individual. The reply was simple and polite, though did not really address all my points. A short while later, another email arrived, this time asking if I’d reported the ‘clinic’ to the Advertising Standards Authority. Aparrently, the NLC website was being challenged about its claims. My reply was simple. No I hadn’t, though we’d be happy for her to either give a talk to our meeting, or meet me for a coffee and a chat. There was no further reply from her.
Then comes the letter. So, here is my reply (which may or maynot be published in The Cockermouth post next month). At least it has appeared here (and on the West Cumbria SitP blog)
Dear Editor, It was kind of Carey Blanden (homeopath at the North Lakes Clinic) to thank us last month for drawing her attention to the magazine ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ in a “recent issue” of The Post. Unfortunately, she seems to be confused on two counts. Firstly, I have only mentioned WDDTY twice since the formation of the West Cumbrian Skeptics – issue 366 (February) and issue 369 (May). I don’t consider five months ago to be particularly recent (except in geological terms). Secondly, I feel the term ‘magazine’ is overly grand for a publication that purports to give health advice, yet shamelessly promotes diets and treatments that, in some cases, border on the ill-advised or dangerous. It is produced by two, non-scientifically and non-medically trained individuals, with articles by a range of ‘experts’, most of whom have no conventional medical education. For further information, Josephine Jones has compiled a useful list of references for anyone to check through for themselves. I hope Carey enjoys the magazine subscription (I actually believe she has been a reader for a while), though hope others soon realise that the “backed up by scientific research”statement is at best hyperbole, and at worst misleading or untrue. One final point, just for the record, The Society of Homeopaths had a recent ‘pasting’ from the Advertising Standards Authority about their misleading claims on treatments. Find the details here
West Cumbrian Skeptics