European Union’s science advisors denounce homeopathy

Interesting news from Europe.

The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC), has published a statement to reinforce criticism of the health and scientific claims made for homeopathic products and call upon policy-makers to improve consumers’ right to correct information. The statement notes that (a) the mechanisms of action claimed for homeopathy are implausible and inconsistent with established scientific concepts, (b) there are no known diseases for which robust evidence exists that homeopathy is effective beyond a placebo effect, and (c) promotion of homeopathy can lead to harmful delay in getting effective medical care and can undermine public confidence in the nature and value of scientific evidence. The Council recommends:

  • There should be consistent regulatory requirements to demonstrate efficacy, safety, and quality of all products for human and veterinary medicine, to be based on verifiable and objective evidence, commensurate with the nature of the claims being made.
  • Without such evidence, a product should be neither approvable nor registrable by national regulatory agencies for use as a medicinal product.
  • Evidence-based public health systems should not reimburse homeopathic products and practices unless they are demonstrated to be efficacious and safe by rigorous testing.
  • The labeling of homeopathic products should be similar to that of other health products; that is, there should be an accurate, clear and simple description of the ingredients and their amounts in the formulation.
  • Advertising and marketing of homeopathic products and services must conform to established standards of accuracy and clarity. Promotional claims for efficacy, safety and quality should not be made without demonstrable evidence.

The EASAC reflects the views of 29 European national science academies and academic bodies. [Homeopathic products and practices: assessing the evidence and ensuring consistency in regulating medical claims in the EU. EASAC, Sept 2017]

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