Home > Homeopathy, Skeptic > CBC Marketplace Crushes Homeopathy

CBC Marketplace Crushes Homeopathy

Homeopathy is bull. 100% pure organic bull.

And for once, reality TV delivered everything I had hoped for.

An episode of CBC’s Marketplace aired tonight puts homeopathy to the test. I watched it, and I still can’t believe how happy I was with the episode.

I was expecting some science with mostly woo trying to make a “balanced” view for the story. Boy was I pleasantly surprised.

In this weeks episode, CBC Marketplace host Erica Johnson heads out to try and find the evidence of efficacy behind homeopathy. What she finds is excuses, loopholes and shrugging shoulders.

One homeopath even went so far as to warrant the treatment of stage 1 breast cancer with homeopathy. A claim met with (unexpected) skepticism from this TV show. How does it work? “We’re not really sure” she replied. Are you freakin’ kidding me!?!

The episode also featured a piece about a group from the Canadian group from the Centre for inquiry, a skeptic group, who went outside a Vancouver hospital and purposefully overdosed on a variety of homeopathic medicines. The result? Yeah they’re fine.

But as one of them pointed out, the real tragedy would be if someone gave their child homeopathic medicines instead of real medicine. In fact, homeopaths are selling “vaccines” for a huge range of diseases, including whooping-cough and, yes even polio. Are you freakin’ kidding me!?!

Homeopathic remedies have no active ingredient. None, whatsoever. They have been diluted to the point that no single pill has any active ingredient in them. To think that these pills could actually have any effect on the body is ludicrous. Yet because of tradition, these medicines have been given credence and even legitimacy by the Canadian government.

It is incredibly irresponsible of our government to give this kind of credibility to a product that, well, has no credibility! Its crap!

Homeopathy has been debunked time, and time, and time again. It has no credible science behind it, no logic behind it, and now it doesn’t even have the CBC behind it (whom I have criticized of late).

So great job CBC. Hopefully Ontario takes the hint and will get rid of its plans to regulate the sale of homeopathic medicine and call it “witchcraft” like the British government.

Update: You can now watch the full CBC Marketplace episode of  “Cure or Con” here.

  1. TR
    January 15, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Crushes? Hardly. That was Yellow Journalism. I feel sorry
    for anyone who takes this type of sensational, one sided reporting
    seriously. Homeopathy is well established in the world as a viable
    medicine for a larger number of conditions. If I were the
    marketplace producer or writer responsible for this garbage, I
    would seriously start looking for a new job.

  2. Su
    January 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Homeopathy is an age old proven remedy.
    It’s funny how they focussed on some random people who they ” think” it’s a hoax rather than millions of people around the world that were successfully treated. The government is not stupid to lend credibility without conducting extensive researches.
    Homeopathy had no side effects unlike the advertisements we see openly on television talking about potential life threatening side effects that most drugs have!

  3. John T
    January 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I was treated for vitiligo and alopecia by homeopathy, after my family doctor told me there was no hope.
    It’s funny how CBC can be allowed to make such false generalizations and get away with it.
    These are false speculations and it’s pretty disgusting!!

  4. Tina
    February 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I am on the fence about homeopathy, but I have to say that I found the report to be biased & did not really answer the questions I have. It was not a clear representation of “pro” and “con.” For example, the scientist who examined the pellets told the reporter that any traces of the original molecules were below the level of detection of his equipment, and when the Boiron lady suggested the same thing (although I admit, she did not strike me as very eloquent or scientific about the topic), the reporter said to her “you are selling sugar pills,” but this is not what the first scientist told her. He very clearly said that anything in the pills was below the level of detection of his instruments.

    I also would like to point out that the level of hostility directed at this confuses me (like the cartoon comparing this system to shit I found on this web site.) It is clever and funny, but it reveals a stance that doesn’t feel like objective inquiry to me, it’s like arguing by slogan.

    I am also curious about how skeptics read the recent comments of Dr. Luc Montagnier,who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus & Brian Josephson, who also has a nobel science prize, as both have come out recently with support for *some* (not all) of the science behind homeopathy – I am very skeptical myself, still trying to figure it out, but am really put off by the mocking of people who say it works for them – it seems as if whatever is happening, people who are really interested in how things work would be curious about this, not so, uh, I don’t know, mean about it?

    Clearly, people should be educated so as not to endanger their lives with this stuff (for example, the baby who died b/c her parents did not seek Western care for her sickness), but we can’t educate people about the dangers of not seeking proper medical treatment by starting off with the assumption that the same people we are trying to educate are stupid, naive, dumb, and worthless for trying homeopathy.

    I also need to point out something that really, really irritates me, and that is that with a handful of conditions, like depression – there is no such thing as a “placebo” effect – Andrew Solomon pointed this out in his book “The Noonday Demon”. It’s a subtle argument, but the idea is if the symptoms remit, the depression is better (this is clearly not the case of most physical illness). I just point this out because we dismiss the “placebo effect,” as if it were worthless, but it is actually a really fascinating mechanism that is worthy of study in its own right (see Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer’s work for more discussion of this).

  1. January 18, 2011 at 11:48 am

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