Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
Here in the UK, The Telegraph, rapidly becoming NOT my favourite paper, has been at it again. The distortions of this type are impressive I suppose. The, what I can only assume to be, intentional omissions to entirely twist the tale, were, well, huge.
To give a little insight. They reported on a story shared on the 4Homeopathy Facebook page, which was as follows:
Cuban COVID-19 Prevention Study Gets Spectacular Results Using Homeopathic Remedy in 1 Million People
Cuban officials have been using a homeopathic remedy for the prevention of COVID. At first almost 46,000 health workers received the remedy yet only 62 of those persons developed COVID. Then 953,416 families received the remedy.
“The HP [Homeoprophylaxis] campaign started on 1 April, and a total of 45,914 individuals from the included health facilities received PrevengHo®-Vir until 30 April (97.8% of this universe), with only 62 persons positive to COVID-19.”
“The medication was distributed to 953,416 families in 43 municipalities when Cuba accumulated 1537 patients positive to COVID-19.” Then…4 patients from Plaza de la Revolucion municipality in Havana tested positive to COVID-19 after its completion (0,002% of the population from these 3 municipalities)”.
and turned it into:
Homeopaths have 'crossed the line' peddling 'dangerous' vaccine myths
Advice that duck extract is as effective as a Covid vaccine is putting lives at risk, says the head of NHS England
ByJustin Stoneman24 January 2021 • 12:01am
(It's behind a paywall so I've shared it here)
Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS medical director, said the findings were the "latest in a long line of disturbing and potentially dangerous online myths"
The head of NHS England warned homeopaths had "crossed the line" after a Sunday Telegraph investigation revealed some were peddling myths that taking duck extract was as effective as the coronavirus vaccines.
Sir Simon Stephens warned people taking their advice from homeopaths were putting themselves at greater risk, and warned they would slow down the nation's vaccine efforts.
His calls were echoed by Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS medical director, who said the findings were the "latest in a long line of disturbing and potentially dangerous online myths".
On Saturday Facebook began removing the posts by 4Homeopathy, a banner organisation representing 11 leading homeopathic organisations and charities. Their Facebook page has 164,000 followers.
A post dated January 5 stated that a diluted duck heart and liver extract, had been distributed to "953,416 families".
The content headlined the Covid-19 prevention study had received "spectacular" results using the remedy in one million people.
The purported success of the product provoked excitement from users, with some asking where they could get the treatment, while others backed up the high efficacy of the product.
"My homeopath says it takes less than two days to be rid of Covid!," wrote one. Another publicly stated: "I've been using this for my family for months."
A separate post from the Facebook account promoted the "Covid Homeopathic Data Collection Project", linking users to a webpage containing a table of "remedies" for Covid-19.
It says the project's aim is to show homeopathy as a "viable modality in the treatment of Covid-19" and describes the coronavirus as a "unique opportunity to use the current crisis for strengthening the foundations of homeopathy."
Sir Simon told the Sunday Telegraph: "It's one thing for homeopaths to peddle useless but harmless potions, but they cross a dangerous line when making ridiculous assertions about protecting people from Covid infection.
"Anyone who took those seriously would be putting themselves at higher risk of coming to harm from Covid infection."
Prof Powis added: "Spouting claims on social media about Covid cures that are not backed by scientific evidence and accurate public health advice is the latest in a long line of disturbing and potentially dangerous online myths. We urge everyone to ignore misleading claims and get vital protection against Covid when they are invited for their vaccine.”
Professor Karol Sikora, a former director at the WHO, described the content as "deeply disturbing". "If homeopaths view the pandemic as an 'opportunity' or if they are suggesting that unverified homeopathic products can save patients' lives then they are confused."
4Homeopathy is described by the Society of Homeopaths as a banner outfit for 11 combined homeopathic groups to "campaign and lobby" on behalf of their users.
The Faculty of Homeopaths is among the group. The 4Homeopathy Facebook account is manned by UK-registered charity Homeopathy Action Trust. They did not respond to this newspaper's requests for comment.
Helen Earner, operations director at the Charity Commission, said the findings were being examined as "a matter of urgency". She added: “Any claims that a charity may be providing misinformation during this time of national emergency is a matter of serious concern to the Commission."
She added that a regulatory compliance case had been opened into the matter and that the commission will be liaising with other agencies as part of the investigation.
The Sunday Telegraph investigation located the duck extract product being sold to UK users online via eBay. The MHRA, the Government's medical regulator that approves coronavirus vaccines and treatments, said it "cannot be legally sold or supplied within the UK."
The World Health Organisation approached Facebook to take down the posts, the Telegraph understands. Andy Pattison, Manager of Digital Channels at WHO, said: "When health-related misinformation travels further, faster and sometimes deeper than the truth, there are real life consequences that cause real harm."
Facebook said they remove Covid-19 misinformation that could "lead to imminent physical harm, including false information about approved vaccines".
"We have removed violating posts on the page brought to our attention by The Sunday Telegraph and are continuing to investigate," a Facebook spokesperson said.
You may notice, if you paid careful attention to detail, that there is no mention of Cuba in The Telegraph post. There is no mention of vaccination in the 4Homeopathy post. Cuba has opted to use something called homeoprophylaxis, which they have used successfully in the past. Particularly interestingly in 2007-2008 where there was an impending leptospirosis epidemic, and with an awareness there was not enough time to produce a vaccine for the people at risk, a homeopathic remedy was made and distributed to the public. With great success..
Homeoprophylaxis involves taking a remedy/combination of remedies to ideally help boost the immune system and cope better with the circulating whatever. In 2007/2008 that was the leptospirosis bacteria. It is my opinion that homeoprophylaxis is not an alternative to vaccination, it's a different thing. Again, absolutely no suggestion in the original post, that there was any desire for anyone to not go down the vaccine route. Also, perhaps alarmingly too, there was also absolutely no suggestion that the homeopathic medicine used was as successful/more successful/less successful than the vaccine. Which would be because a - who knows without an extensive trial and b - IT WASN"T EVEN MENTIONED. So to create a whole headline based on this?
The 2007/2008 study is here if you'd like to find out more. I think it's fascinating.
I also think it's fascinating that in Cuba they're using a combination of remedies - ONE of which is Anas berb, the one that The Telegraph takes and runs with. There is absolutely no mention of a combination of homeopathic medicines, which was what was reported to be happening in Cuba in the original post.
What is being used is in fact a combination that consists of:
Anas berberiae 200
Baptisia tinctora 200
Eupetorium perf 200
Arsenicum Album 200
NOT just one remedy, and no one is making claims of better than, worse than anything, except that in CUBA, it appears to be helping the population there.
My good friend and colleague Gill wrote a blog on the recent use of homeopathy in Cuba, which is here if you'd like to read more on the topic: https://magicpillsmovie.com/cuba-the-country-that-dares-to-be-wise/. I think what they're doing is utterly intriguing and I'll be eagerly awaiting to see more results. I'll also be expecting the results to be suppressed - as those were from the leptospirosis study and not to be shouted from the Mainstream Media rooftops. Sadly I'm learning that's the name of the game with homeopathy.
Once again, the UK press has shown itself to be incapable of reporting on a hopeful, positive story from around the world, instead driving terror and doom, which it has done for most of our pandemic days. Similarly to my daughter's experience with BBC's Newsround, where they took what she told them and told her to speak into their cameras with the absolute opposite opinion (which was then aired to all the other kids who watch Newsround and take it as truth), they have twisted and changed this story beyond belief. She now understands, at age 14, that the news is not the truth. Whilst I'm sorry she had to learn it that way, I'm grateful that she knows it. In this case, the author of the cobbled together Telegraph article certainly appears to have missed out on any kind of fact checking department.
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley MARH, Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition