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Old 15th July 2005, 01:24 AM   #1
Jyera
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Is Homeopathy Banned in any country or state?

I saw these two references.

Reference 1:
- http://my.webmd.com/content/article/14/1668_50915.htm
This one says that "The government of Israel has even banned it."

Reference 2:
- http://www.iaccgh.com/news/2003/070303.htm
"Homeopathy is banned in Israel ..."

Question 1: Is the assertion of the above 2 references true?
Question 2: Is Homeopathy Banned in any country or state?
Question 3: Is there authoritative source that I can cite to show that Homeopathy has been banned in Israel?
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Old 15th July 2005, 02:15 AM   #2
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Interesting you should ask that. The question of "high-potency" homoeopathy being illegal in certain countries came up on another list I'm on, and I queried this because it was something I'd never come across in some very extensive reading about homoeopathy, and participation in homoeopathy forums.

The claimant came up with only one reference, to Homeopathy in France. This has some rather contradictory statements.
Quote:
It is illegal to sell a remedy above a 30C since there is nothing in it, and that would be fraud. 30C is the highest potency and reserved for chronic complaints. So a low potency is 6X to 7C; a medium one is from 8C to 15C; and high potencies are above 15C.

When Boiron first arrived in the U.S., they wanted to start an educational program. The National Center for Homeopathy ( NCH) offered to teach it but it was rejected on three grounds:[list=1][*]We did not have a unified posology (i.e., give it until you start getting better then stop vs.giving a dose of Belladonna 5C 3 times a day for 5 days.)[*]We advocated the use of remedies higher than a 30C.[*]We taught the use of Kent's Repertory.[/list=1]The only remedy sold in France that is above 30C is Oscillococcinum which is a proprietary product in the 200th.

Only MDs can practice medicine, including homeopathy otherwise you can be fined or jailed. Moreover the health-care system will not reimburse you if you do not see an MD.

The Ordre des Medecins is the equivalent of the AMA in France and has much of the same power.

Recognition of alternative therapies has been blocked in France because 11% of the parliamentary deputies are members of the medical profession (New York Times. April 11, 1994:4). Because one in five households in Paris uses herbal medicines, the French, like most other people, resort to divergent, pluralistic medical traditions.
Several contradictions here.

First, the statement that there's nothing in a remedy above 30C, combined with the categorising of "high potencies" as being above 15C (presumably 15C - 30C). But there's nothing in 15C either, so what makes that different from 30C or greater?

Similarly, "medium potency" is 8C - 15C. But 12C is Avogadro's limit, so why no distinction at the potency where the material substance actually disappears?

Oh yes, but Boiron still gets to sell the 200C oscillococcinum (knowing that this was marketed virtually world-wide was my main reason for doubting claims of illegality).

Then further down the page, there is at last some reference to where the Avogadro limit really lies.
Quote:
As a matter of fact it is illegal to sell potencies above the 12C; above that remedies are considered as "magisterial preparations" that only MD's can prescribe. However the latter part of the law has fallen into oblivion.
I find this all very confusing, and I have some doubts about the truth of it. Homoeopathy is very widely used in France and Boiron (French-based) is one of the largest homoeopathic manufacturers in the world. And there's nothing going on above 30C?

It's an interesting topic and I would very much like to know more about it. I wasn't aware of any restrictions in Israel, but that's something which could simply be under the radar.

Rolfe.
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Old 15th July 2005, 02:45 AM   #3
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In the UK, very low potency preparations can't be sold. Remedies must be dilute enough to ensure that they have no effect.
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Old 15th July 2005, 03:03 AM   #4
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In Denmark, it is nearly non-existent. A search only turns op a dozen homeopaths, and the last homeopathic hospital closed right after WW2. In the middle 90ties, a law was passed that required producers of alternative medicines to prove some degree of eficacy and safety (although on slacker standards than real medicines), which decimated the market. Hoempathic remedies are not, to my knowledge, illegal, but it is illegal to advertize them as doing anything and they must state the content as what it is, which no doubt makes it difficult to sell, even to gullible people (Belladonna 30C, content: Lactose. Arnica 200C, content: Lactose. .....etc. ).

MDs here prescribe (and some practice) acupuncture and chiropractic treatment, and it is reimbursed, but other woo is generally not endorsed by the medical profession and is not reimbursed.

But of course we have our share; Feng Shui, zone therapy, and chrystals are much in vogue at present.

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Old 15th July 2005, 03:12 AM   #5
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From what I could gather from a quick google and a quicker read of French legislation, homeopathic remedies are only allowed if they contain no more than 1/10,000 of the mother tincture or no more than 1/100th of the smallest dose used in allopathy, for those medications that require a prescription in allopathy. (I use allopathy because that's the word used in the regulations).

ETA a no.
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Old 15th July 2005, 03:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo
In the UK, very low potency preparations can't be sold. Remedies must be dilute enough to ensure that they have no effect.
Isn't it that no therapeutic claim can be made? Homoeopaths will argue that there is an effect but they can't make that claim on any packaging/labelling. Maybe I'm splitting hairs though.
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Old 15th July 2005, 03:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Capsid
Isn't it that no therapeutic claim can be made? Homoeopaths will argue that there is an effect but they can't make that claim on any packaging/labelling. Maybe I'm splitting hairs though.
I think the actual wording is something like "sufficiently dilute as to ensure safety", which pretty much comes to the same thing as saying that they have to be dilute enough for there to be no effect!

Then again, no therapeutic claims on the packaging (people go to homoeopathic books and pamphlets for that sort of thing), and yes, the contents on the bottle are simply stated as "sucrose/lactose", which doesn't necessarily put anyone off as maybe they don't read it, and anyway, if the bottle says "Belladonna 30C", it may not be your first thought that this really means there's no Belladonna in it.

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Old 15th July 2005, 03:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Donks
From what I could gather from a quick google and a quicker read of French legislation, homeopathic remedies are only allowed if they contain no more than 1/10,000 of the mother tincture or no more than 1/100th of the smallest dose used in allopathy, for those medications that require a prescription in allopathy. (I use allopathy because that's the word used in the regulations).
Donks, I'm very intrigued by this. There seems to be no reference there to over 30C or substance-free preparations being illegal "as that would be fraud". Have you any way to find out if there's anything at all in that homoeopathy web site I referenced above, and its assertions that content-free preparations are illegal in France?

Rolfe.
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Old 15th July 2005, 03:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
In order to qualify for registration the products must:

* be for oral or external use. This includes all methods of administration with the exception of injections;
* be sufficiently dilute to guarantee their safety;
* make no therapeutic claims.
http://medicines.mhra.gov.uk/ourwork...moeopathic.htm
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Old 15th July 2005, 03:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rolfe
*snip*
anyway, if the bottle says "Belladonna 30C", it may not be your first thought that this really means there's no Belladonna in it.

Rolfe.
Well provided you don't think at all, that may be right. More likely, people don't read the declaration of content. .....All those small letters and hard words .

And of course, quite a lot of people haven't the faintest idea what "sucrose" or "lactose" means.

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Old 15th July 2005, 03:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rolfe
There seems to be no reference there to over 30C or substance-free preparations being illegal "as that would be fraud".
Actually, if it's a fraud it's going to be illegal per se in most countries, I imagine. The problem as far as a successful prosecution is concerned is (a) proving that it's a fraud; and (b) proving that the homeopath knows, or ought to know, that it's a fraud.
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Old 15th July 2005, 04:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rolfe
Donks, I'm very intrigued by this. There seems to be no reference there to over 30C or substance-free preparations being illegal "as that would be fraud". Have you any way to find out if there's anything at all in that homoeopathy web site I referenced above, and its assertions that content-free preparations are illegal in France?

Rolfe.
Well, since that website does not reference the pertinant legislations, it's kind of hard to find out exactly where they got it from. Quick summary of the homeopathic legislation I can find:
Article L5121-1: Definitions for different types of medications. Homeopathy is defined in... dunno the right word in English... the 11th entry. Anyways, the usual stuff, nothing about upper or lower boundaries.
Article L5121-13: Mentions what homeopathic treatments can be sold. The criteria are:
-oral or external use
-No "particular therapeutic indication", I guess that means make no therapeutic claims.
-Degree of dilution that guarantees the safety of the product, stating explicitely the 1/10,000 and 1/100 thing.
All homeopathic remedies have to be registered, and the registration can be withdrawn at any time in case of danger to the public.
Article L5121-14: The demand for registration must be accompanied by documentation showing the lots will be homogeneous.
Article L5121-17: Something about taxation.
Article L5121-20: Some stuff regarding all medications. Nothingabout boundaries.
Article L5421-3: Sets a fine for distributing in any way shape or form a homeopathic treatment that is not registered.
Article R5121-97 to Article R5121-107: All the minutia regarding registration. Makes no mention of dilution except that it must be stated in the form, that it must be diluted enough to guarantee safety, and that it must be printed on the label.
NOR: SANM9201892A: You can't make remedies for humans out of bovine material.
NOR:MESP9823448A : You can't make remedies for humans out of human material.
NOR:MESM0120230S: A millesimal dilution lower than 3C have to have a warning of interactions with other medications.
Article R322-1: Homeopathic remedies are covered 30-40% by medical insurance. The rest of the cost must be paid by the patient.
Article R5122-1: Something about homeopathic remedies being allowed ads.

And then there are some regulations about veterinary homeopathy, which I'm not inclined to read at the moment. Wanna go watch another episode of Ghost in the Machine: Stand Alone Complex.
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Old 15th July 2005, 04:20 AM   #13
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In Sweden it is illegal for a medical practitioner, physician, nurse, etc to practice any quack. They can be relieved of their license.

Ordinary people are free to practice whatever quack there is. But they are by law not allowed to treat cancer cases, diabetes, epilepsy, pregnancy related diseases, any contagious diseases that must be reported according to the law, treat anyone with hypnosis or anaesthesia or with radiology, give written or any other advice for treatment without any examination, or treat children under the age of eight.

Ordinary people can be charged and sent to prison, and also forbidden to practice any health related, for a while or forever.

Here is a link to the relevant department and the quack law . (in swedish tough)


[Edit to add: Homeopathy is ofcourse quack in the minds of the lawmakers]

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Old 16th July 2005, 01:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo
In the UK, very low potency preparations can't be sold. Remedies must be dilute enough to ensure that they have no effect.
Same in Sweden!

If a remedy is said to have any effect it is by defintion a medicin, and so have to go through the rigorous pharmacy testing. However, homeopaths never do that, the are not willing to test their remedies. Wonder why? (the usually answer is that testing is too expensive).
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Old 17th July 2005, 06:38 PM   #15
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Summary so far...

Part of the reason for the Opening Post is that I would like to pose a question to a public paper's health forum.
The healthforum on the papers have doctors and health professional answering questions.

I would liked to ask them ...
"I saw an article on a particular date mentioning homeopathy as a treatment for piles. Is Homeopathy effective and safe ? Isn't it banned in Israel ?"

I anticipate the forum either invite a Homeopath to answer or they invite a medical doctor to answer. Either case, I hope the question and answer help to dispel ignorance and bring knowledge to fellow readers.

Based on the posts received on this thread, so far, it seemed

1. There is NO evidence and thus No truth in the fact that "Homeopathy is banned in Israel".

2. In fact, there is evidence that Homeopathy is allowed to practise and advertise. (As evident by legal info dug out provided by Donk). Thus might indirectly imply that Homeopathy is not an illegal and harmful alternative.

3. Most countries should have regulation requiring remedies to be registered. So Homeopathic remedies is thus included and thus likely to be infered as safe.

4. Homeopathic remedies have to be registered (in some country as pointed out by Donk.) Thus proper.

Any comments?
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Old 18th July 2005, 12:11 AM   #16
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Re: Summary so far...

Quote:
Originally posted by Jyera
1. There is NO evidence and thus No truth in the fact that "Homeopathy is banned in Israel".
Based on what's so far been posted in this thread, this seems to be the case.
Quote:
2. In fact, there is evidence that Homeopathy is allowed to practise and advertise. (As evident by legal info dug out provided by Donk). Thus might indirectly imply that Homeopathy is not an illegal and harmful alternative.
This implies that homeopathy is not illegal. It says nothing about whether or not it's harmful.
Quote:
3. Most countries should have regulation requiring remedies to be registered. So Homeopathic remedies is thus included and thus likely to be infered as safe.
That depends entirely on the registration regime in the particular country. In the UK, for example, they have to be "sufficiently dilute to guarantee their safety" but this may not be the case in all countries that require homeopathic remedies to be registered.
Quote:
4. Homeopathic remedies have to be registered (in some country as pointed out by Donk.) Thus proper.
If by "proper" you mean that they work, no. Requiring them to be registered does not mean they are effective. In fact, the UK's registration scheme does not require homeopathic remedies to demonstrate effectiveness at all.

The fact that a treatment is legal does not mean that it is actually effective. Governments are not able to change reality through legislation.
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Old 18th July 2005, 12:47 AM   #17
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1. mojo please help me. While it seemed obvious to you, I'm unable to locate the evidence that "Homeopathy is banned in Israel". in any of these post.

2. Registered lawyers, registered drugs and registered doctors
all have an implied message that they are regulated by a registrar.

If the registrar happens to be the governement or a prominent organisation like the FDA, the registration carries certain weigh.
I believe a sensible registar will not allow a madman to register a dangerous drug. It is against the safety of public health.

3. If we can find one precedence where Homeopathy is well regulated or banned successful, logically it can be a model of operation to cripple all the rest.
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Old 18th July 2005, 01:01 AM   #18
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I particularly like MRC_Hans' suggestion:

That homeopathic remedies be required to labeled...
Eg. "ExtremePoison 30C"

Then having a public list of of poisonous substance will naturally potray these as madman's potion.

But is it the Archie-heel of homeopathy?
Are they critically reliance on Belladonna or any other poison?

Else they can practically sell plain water. And no one can touch them. And if they do not do things to harm peoples health, i think they can appear as harmful as your average mineral water distributor.

With the exception that , day in , day out, they sell their "Homeopathy is good" message that continues to fool the public.

Then one day we find a desparate person downing Belladonna when the 30C solution doesn't work. Then who is to be blame?
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Old 18th July 2005, 03:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jyera
1. mojo please help me. While it seemed obvious to you, I'm unable to locate the evidence that "Homeopathy is banned in Israel". in any of these post.
Read what was posted carefully:
Quote:
Originally posted by Jyera
1. There is NO evidence and thus No truth in the fact that "Homeopathy is banned in Israel".
Quote:
My reply
Based on what's so far been posted in this thread, this seems to be the case.
Note that I was agreeing with your statement.
Quote:
2. Registered lawyers, registered drugs and registered doctors
all have an implied message that they are regulated by a registrar.

If the registrar happens to be the governement or a prominent organisation like the FDA, the registration carries certain weigh.
I believe a sensible registar will not allow a madman to register a dangerous drug. It is against the safety of public health.
This seems reasonable enough. But the mere fact that there is a registration scheme of some sort in place does not mean that remedies registered under it are automatically safe. That depends on the exact terms of the scheme, and whether it is administered properly. Governments are not infallible.
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Old 18th July 2005, 08:10 AM   #20
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A short answer to the original question in the thread title is probably:
No, it somehow manages to slip through the cracks in the legislation in most, and very likely, all countries.

The slightly elaborated answer:
Most people, as Hans already said, just don't look beyond the big bold printing on the label, in combination with what they've heard from others or from people whom they think are authority figures. (Also, it should be mentioned that neither politicians nor homeopaths are experts in issues concerning medical testing, and thus technically not qualified to be authority figures).

What happens is that there is usually a pretty decent legislation regarding testing of medications, and a set of guidelines explaining what constitutes medications.
Since the homeopaths know their medicines couldn't pass any decent medical test of the sort usually employed to test safety and efficacy of medication, they just find ways to avoid having their water categorised as medication.
So it gets marketed as food or beverages, and is as such only required to adhere to the standards for food or beverages, which isn't hard for just plain water.

The only limit they now have is that "truth in advertising" regulations prevent them from making false claims on the label. So just like you can't make the claim that strawberries will cure colds (because, to the best of my knowledge, they do not), they are not allowed to claim (on the labels) that any homeopathic preparation cures anything specific. But they don't have to make those claims on the label, they already have the homeopaths making those false claims in the privacy of their own offices, and sending their victims out to the supermarket and pharmacies to buy a specific remedy that doesn't label what it's supposed to cure.

They have effectively worked their way around the law to legally sell people snake oil for a lot of money.

They will also employ similar tactics with regards to their qualifications as homeopaths. So even though they may have a brass plaque next to their door and a waiting room smelling of disinfectant just like your regular doctor, that's where any comparison ends. In reality, their degrees and qualifications are totally worthless, or at least the "school" they got them from is.

Effectively, while professions like doctors, lawyers and architects for example, are protected (i.e. you can't just claim to be one, you need to be registered), in many countries this does not apply to homeopaths, just like nobody can object if you decide to one day start pretending you're a plumber or a blacksmith.
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Old 20th July 2005, 12:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by exarch
A short answer to the original question in the thread title is probably:
No, it somehow manages to slip through the cracks in the legislation in most, and very likely, all countries.
There's also the consideration that, given its popularity and friends in high places, I imagine most governments would consider any proper regulation of homeopathy (or any other sCAM for that matter) to be a vote loser.
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Old 20th July 2005, 01:26 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jyera
I particularly like MRC_Hans' suggestion:

That homeopathic remedies be required to labeled...
Eg. "ExtremePoison 30C"

Then having a public list of of poisonous substance will naturally potray these as madman's potion.

But is it the Archie-heel of homeopathy?
Are they critically reliance on Belladonna or any other poison?

Else they can practically sell plain water. And no one can touch them. And if they do not do things to harm peoples health, i think they can appear as harmful as your average mineral water distributor.

With the exception that , day in , day out, they sell their "Homeopathy is good" message that continues to fool the public.

Then one day we find a desparate person downing Belladonna when the 30C solution doesn't work. Then who is to be blame?
Mmm, I don't remember suggesting that. My suggestion would be that they are to prove that it works or are otherwise forbidden to sell it, period. Or at least, that they are required to label it according to what content they can show it has, which would be: Lactose (or water, or whatever). If they can't show there is Belladonna 30C (or whatever) in it, they should not be allowed to put it on the label.

And homeopaths should not be allowed to tell patient they can cure them till they have provided documentation that they can.

And that goes for all medical practice. Conventional or alternative: Prove your stuff, or stuff it.

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