As the ASA continue the slow process of tackling the large number of misleading homeopathy claims currently available on the web, it is worth reminding ourselves that these claims are not just limited to remedies for coughs and colds or minor aches and pains. Some promote a dangerous mix of homeopathic quackery and pseudo-science, with a genuine potential for harm!
On visiting the Wellness Homeopathy site we find a site that tries to combine a polished, professional looking web presence with the usual homeopathic mix of holistic and natural healing statements. There is an introduction to homeopathy that tells us that ‘Homeopathy is a holistic science‘ and other similar information that is so typical of the majority of alternative medicine sites.
There is a link to an associated site on micro-DNAtherapy. The site is so full of junk-science that it is difficult to know where to start, however there is a claim that
“highly diluted DNA molecules, approximately 5-6C, have the capacity to emit electromagnetic signals, especially when they have been mechanically agitated (succussed).”
Talk of the Human Genome Project and DNA are presented in a pseudo-scientific mix along with ‘Homeovitality‘ and ‘Hybrid Vigour’ , all with an aim of selling 4 homeopathic products they claim will interact at a genetic level to improve your health. Whilst this is certainly quackery it is not really the subject of this Dangerous Homeopathy post.
Back on the Wellness Homeopathy main site and dangerous quackery is only a mouse click away. An info box called ‘Homeoprophylaxis’ (also referred to as HP on the site) tells us that no system of immunisation guarantees 100% safety and there is at least some truth in that statement – nothing is 100% guaranteed. Clicking for more information we are redirected to another Wellness Homeopathy site on ‘Safe Immunisation – Homeoprophylaxis‘. Here the polished professional look has been replaced by images of children with cartoon teddy bears and fluttering butterflies. This site is clearly targeting those with children and concerns over vaccinations.
We see statements like:
“Two centuries of medical literature reveals that the homeopathic remedies are effective in epidemic infectious diseases.”
“Homeopathic immunisation – also known as Homeoprophylaxis, is an alternative way to protect you and your family against childhood and other epidemic diseases. The prophylactics (remedies) do not have to be given by a practitioner; they are safe for you to use yourself.”
Lets be clear, homeopathic remedies are NOT an ‘effective‘ protection against infectious diseases and should most definitely NOT be used as an ‘Alternative‘ way to protect against any form of infection.
If we look at their Homeoprophylaxis Program page it starts by giving details of NHS immunisations before moving on to list the diseases for which Wellness Homeopathy offer homeopathic prophylaxis …… to children!
By now it should be abundantly clear to everybody that we are way past supplying tiny ineffective sugar pills for seasonal sniffles. This is Dangerous Homeopathy, for serious diseases and with serious consequences.
But we are not quite done with Dangerous Homeopathy just yet. The same page tells us that Wellness Homeopathy also offer homeopathic immunisations for pregnant women and travellers.
As you may already have guessed, travellers are not being offered a remedy for travel sickness! No, Wellness Homeopathy offer homeopathic protection against a number of potentially fatal diseases.
During a holiday or working visit to a country, HP advice and remedies are available for diseases like Cholera, Dysentery, Malaria, Smallpox, Tuberculosis, Typhoid/Typhus, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis (A, B, C), Meningitis, and Jap. B Encephalitis.
And for pregnant women we are told that:
“If protection against rubella is required during pregnancy. The specific homeopathic nosode will provide protection without the risk of the side effects.“
The information on this page alone puts pregnant women, babies, young children and those travelling abroad at risk of contracting diseases where a lack of proper protection can have serious or potentially fatal consequences.
The disclaimer at the bottom of the page is does nothing to reduce the potential for serious harm to anybody following this immunisation program.
The FAQ page contains a wealth of misleading information. There are statements that depending on the potency of the remedy, HP protection may last from a few weeks (30C) right up to 10 years (8M). And for those seeking assurances that this method actually works, we are told:
“it has been proved through world’s largest long term study of parents using this method, that level of protection is either equal or in some cases greater than conventional vaccination, and above all there is no reported damage with the use of HP programme as is the case with conventional vaccination.”
The rest of the site is little better. There are sections on Vaccine Damage and Post-Vaccine Syndrome (PVS) with a long list of symptoms of PVS along with claims that these symptoms can be treated and reversed with homeopathic remedies.
A WHOIS search shows that Wellness Homeopathy have chosen to use the services of PrivacyProtect.org in Australia to hide their personal details. However, Saqib Rashid is on Twitter as @wellnesshp and I have asked him how he can justify making these claims any intention of ensuring his website(s) comply with the CAP codes. Saqib Rashid claims to be a member of the Complementary Therapists Association CThA and his websites certainly carry their logo. If that is so then he is in breach of the CThA Code of Practice (Item 26), however I doubt if Mr Rashid or the CThA really care!
I would hope that a site with the potential for this much harm is high on the ASA’s list of sites that need to be challenged, although perhaps Trading Standards might find this interesting.