For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785
April 16, 2015
After three-and-a-half years of pressure from the Center for Inquiry for the Food and Drug Administration to address the inadequate regulation of homeopathic products, the medicinal claims of which have no scientific basis whatsoever, the FDA has finally announced public hearings on its handling of homeopathy — and CFI has been invited to provide testimony at the hearing.
In 2011, the Center for Inquiry filed three petitions with the FDA, with one of those petitions asking the agency to address problems in the marketing of homeopathic products, and to develop a regulatory framework that would insist on the same standards for safety and effectiveness as any other drug or medical treatment. (The other petitions dealt with issues relating to a specific manufacturer.) In 2012, the FDA responded to the petition, stating that it raised “complex issues requiring extensive review and analysis.” Given the FDA’s announcement of a public hearing, it appears the agency has now conducted sufficient analysis to determine CFI’s petition raises important issues that need to be addressed.
Homeopathy is a “traditional” medicinal practice, based on the idea that infinitesimal dilutions of a given substance, where literally nothing remains of the original ingredient, can provide water with a “memory” of the substance’s properties, somehow thereby “curing” the body of what ills it. Homeopathy has been utterly disproven and rejected by modern science-based medicine, having never shown any effectiveness in treating any ailment, beyond a placebo effect. Nonetheless, millions of Americans purchase and use homeopathic products, often in place of actual medicines, putting their health at risk with the use of products such as homeopathic “vaccines” and asthma treatments, which of course have no medicinal properties.
In its testimony, CFI will highlight homeopathy’s potential for harm, particularly to children who have no choice in the medical treatments they receive. “Perhaps the greatest harm caused by homeopathy is not necessarily caused by the products themselves, but by the fact that people often rely on homeopathic products to the exclusion of proven scientific remedies,” we state. “Homeopathy is unsupported by scientific evidence, ineffective in treating illness and, when relied upon instead of actual medicine, dangerous and even deadly.” The full text of CFI’s testimony will be available on April 20.
Michael De Dora, CFI’s Director of Public Policy, will deliver CFI’s testimony. “The FDA is doing the right thing by holding up to public scrutiny the marketing and regulation of homeopathic products, and we are delighted to have been invited to be among the first witnesses for this hearing,” said De Dora. “Homeopathy is not only a waste of Americans’ money, but can be life threatening when used in place of real medicines and treatments backed by science. The public needs to hear that message.”
Added De Dora, “If the marketers and manufacturers of homeopathic treatments want people to use their products as medicine, then they should have to meet the same standards of safety and effectiveness as any other medicine. Let’s see how they fare when they have the light of scientific rigor shined on them.”
The FDA hearings will take place April 20 and 21 starting at 9:00 am ET at the FDA’s White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. Michael De Dora is scheduled to speak near the beginning of the hearings on Monday, April 20 at 9:50 am. The FDA will stream the hearings live on the web. More information on the webcast will be available at https://collaboration.fda.gov/hprapril2015/. The full hearing agenda is available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/NewsEvents/UCM442822.pdf.
To learn more about CFI’s advocacy of science-based medicine over pseudoscience, visit our Keep Healthcare Safe and Secular campaign website.
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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.