The Hype, the Confusion, and the Reality
This came in from my recent survey while finalizing my upcoming Rabies Course:
Recently I read that the US FDA has declared homeopathic remedies “illegal.” Are rabies remedies (lyssin) and nosodes out of the question now?
You may have been reading some scary verbiage about homeopathy lately. One irresponsibly splashed headline, unabashedly looking for clicks (and subsequent subscribers and supplement sales, wink, wink) read:
FDA Declares Homeopathic Drugs Illegal1
Shame on you, Dr. Mercola. Nothing of the sort happened.
The FDA issued a “draft guidance” in December stating how they
…intend to prioritize enforcement and regulatory actions for human drug products labeled as homeopathic and marketed in the United States2
Is it serious?
Yeah, it sounds like they may be gunning for homeopathic products again.
But, did they declare homeopathic remedies illegal?
The Lame Stream Media Loves Clicks
Clicks sell subscriptions, which makes advertisers want to increase their spending in that magazine or newspaper or website.
Newsweek did their part:
What Is Homeopathy? FDA May Crack Down on High-Risk Products3
As did the “Alliance for Natural Health” with their headline proclaiming:
FDA: All Homeopathic Drugs Illegal4
Too diluted to Possibly Work AND Dangerous?
A voice of reason I love to check when the click seekers line up with the FDA and paint the proven safe and effective medical system of homeopathy in a bad light is Larry Malerba, D.O.
He has a knack of smartly calling out the ridiculous.
For decades, homeopathic medicines have been subject to unrelenting criticism from mainstream science and conventional medicine. Critics contend that the quantities of ingredients used are too small to have any physiological effects and, all observed effects must, therefore, be written off as placebo effects. In other words, the predominating belief is that homeopathic doses are too small to be of any health concern.5
Maybe you’ve heard this sham argument from so-called skeptics.
Trouble with it is, neither animals nor human infants know what a placebo effect is!
They either get better with a well-chosen homeopathic remedy, or the prescriber has to go back and re-analyze his case and try, try again.
If homeopathy were all placebo, any old sugar pellet would work, don’t you think? (And wow, would that make practice easy!).
Dr. Malerba goes on
Astonishingly, we are witnessing a suspicious about-face whereby homeopathic medicines have apparently morphed overnight in the minds of FDA officials from useless placebos to dangerous toxins. Although the scientific community is talking out of both sides of its mouth, it can’t have it both ways. Truth be told, any qualified homeopathic doctor will tell you that neither assertion is the case.6
Is FDA Playing Us (Again)?
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first ridiculous stance that FDA has taken against homeopathic medicines.
They claimed in Sept 2016 that Hyland’s teething tablets, in use for over 85 years, much to the joy of parents with cranky, painful infants, was actually dangerous.
Stat News (who claims to be “Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine”) ignored the fact that the teething tablets in question had zero cases of proven harm to any child, and pulled a similar headline stunt the last time the FDA got a wild hair about homeopathy:
Homeopathic remedies harmed hundreds of babies, families say, as FDA investigated for years7
Follow the money, honey
Whenever you read about overreaching regulations about to drop on natural medicine (or imposed rules like mandated vaccinations for all), you only need dig a bit deeper to see the reason.
…these remedies have become exceedingly popular. Homeopathy is now a $3 billion a year business, according to the FDA’s press release. A national survey estimated that six million Americans, including more than one million children, may have used homeopathy in the past year.8
Whoa. $3 Billion? Six million users?
That’s three billion bucks that Big Pharma and its shareholders are missing out on!
Just a wild guess here (from a vet whose profession still recommends annual vaccinations, against all known science), but I think the FDA, with its known revolving door of regulators and drug industry chiefs, might be eyeing some of that Pork Barrel Pie.
History Frames a Clearer Reality
There’s no reason to be concerned about homeopathic remedies that have been properly prepared and in use for over a hundred years.
Did you know a homeopathic physician was instrumental in founding the regulation of food, drugs, and cosmetics?
Homeopathic medicines are in a class completely on their own, which is why when homeopathic physician and New York State Senator, Royal Copeland, MD, sponsored legislation creating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, it was abundantly clear to the U.S. Congress that homeopathic products did not pose a risk and did not warrant the type of scrutiny that the modern-day FDA now claims it deserves.9
Action is Warranted: But Strategic Action
Social media (Facebook, talking about you here) is famous for whipping up a response to a crisis, perceived or real.
People love to help.
It’s important to help in a way that gets the maximum results, however.
The British homeopathic vets just lost their right to practice homeopathy. All the petition signing did nothing to sway the oppressors (the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons).
So, in this case, let’s get behind the 800-pound gorilla here, and make a reasoned, timely, and strategic response.
I’m talking about the National Center for Homeopathy, who has been in the thick of helping homeopathy for decades now.
Here’s what NCH is up to since 1978:
We educate consumers and play an important role in the continuing education of practitioners and are dedicated to making homeopathy more accessible to the public. We inform legislators and work to secure homeopathy’s place in the U.S health care system while working to ensure that homeopathy is accurately represented in the media. We help you get and stay connected and find the resources you seek while being a strong and collective voice for homeopathy in the US.10
More importantly, here’s what they are up to now, based on what was learned from the last rodeo with FDA in 2015 (added emphasis mine):
As part of the overall response, NCH will be preparing written comments to submit to the FDA. It is not recommended that individuals post their comments to the FDA, although there are some groups who are promoting individual responses and letters. In 2015 when the FDA first initiated a review of homeopathy, over 9000 comments were logged into the FDA public comment site. These were disregarded by the FDA and had no influence on their decisions. There is no expectation that individual comments will make a difference now, and some believe that comments may be disadvantageous.11
NCH + Homeopathic Pharmacy: 800 lbs of Boom!
Homeopathic medicines are made in regulated homeopathic pharmacies. Look up HPUS (the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the U.S.) if you want more info on that.
NCH and the homeopathic pharmacy industry know better than most what works in the regulatory world to keep homeopathic medicines safe and available.
Here’s what they think is your best course of action now:
- Hang tight. The time to respond will be in about a week:
As citizens you have the right to contact the FDA as you choose, however, we are encouraging you to put your efforts into the areas that are thought to be more influential. We will give you all the tools and information when Phase 2 is launched.12
Join Me: A Call to Action is Forthcoming
Stay tuned, if this interests you.
If you’d like to hear directly from me when the best time to act is (and exactly what that looks like), just
Join the Alert List
by clicking that button.
I’m keeping a close eye on how this develops and will send you a short action email when the time comes if you’re on that list.
In the meantime, try to ignore the “click bait” headlines and don’t panic.
One thing that’s clear is that this won’t affect a practitioner’s access to homeopathic medicines.
But, we want more than that.
You have a right to choose safe medicines as a consumer. Smart, timely action will help preserve your right to do that.
Let us know in the comments what you think about this and if your pupils widened with some of those unwarranted headlines.