Homeopathic Remedies - Public Opposition

Public Opposition

Overdosing on homeopathic preparations by single individuals or in "mass suicides" have become more popular since James Randi began taking entire bottles of homeopathic sleeping pills before lectures. In 2010 The Merseyside Skeptics Society from the United Kingdom launched the 10:23 campaign encouraging groups to publicly overdose as groups. In 2011 the 10:23 campaign expanded and saw sixty-nine groups participate, fifty-four submitted videos.

In April 2012, at the Berkeley SkeptiCal conference, over 100 people participated in a mass overdose, taking caffea cruda which is supposed to treat sleeplessness.

The non-profit, educational organizations Center for Inquiry (CFI) and the associated Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), criticizing Boiron for misleading labeling and advertising of Oscillococcinum. CFI in Canada is calling for persons that feel they were harmed by homeopathic products to contact them.

In August 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Boiron on behalf of "all California residents who purchased Oscillo at any time within the past four years." The lawsuit charges that it "is nothing more than a sugar pill," "despite falsely advertising that it contains an active ingredient known to treat flu symptoms."

CBC News reporter Erica Johnson for Marketplace conducted an investigation on the homeopathy industry in Canada, her findings were that it is "based on flawed science and some loopy thinking". Center for Inquiry (CFI) Vancouver skeptics participated in a mass overdose outside an emergency room in Vancouver, B.C., taking entire bottles of "medications" that should have made them sleepy, nauseous or dead, after 45 minutes of observation no ill effects were felt. Johnson asked homeopaths and company representatives about cures for cancer and vaccine claims, all reported positive results. None could offer any science backing up their statements, only that "it works". Johnson was unable to find any evidence that homeopathic preparations contain any active ingredient. University of Toronto's chemistry department found that the active ingredient is so small "it is equivalent to 5 billion times less than the amount of aspirin... in a single pellet". Belladonna and ipeca "would be indistinguishable from each other in a blind test."

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