In October 2009 the Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament announced an “evidence check” into homeopathy. A general media release asked for evidence submissions limited to 3,000 words on one of three topics.
- Government policy on licensing of homeopathic products
- Government policy on the funding of homeopathy through the NHS
- the evidence base on homeopathic products and services.
Highlighted below are the submissions from the British Homeopathic Association, the Faculty of Homeopathy, Dr Peter Fisher (Clinical Director of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine) and Dr Hugh Nielsen (Clinical Lead of Old Swan Homeopathic Clinic, Liverpool).
In February 2010 the committee released its report to the government for consideration and response. Far from being a “report by experts” as bandied in the press, only three committee members out of a possible 13 passed the report, none of the three has any knowledge of homeopathy and all of them have failed to be re-elected to parliament. The report was negatively biased in its findings and recommendations and, as EDM 908 highlighted, the evidence gathering was riddled by poor process. The report did not adequately acknowledge the factual research evidence and dismissed the patient outcome studies in favour of homeopathy. The government has yet to respond to the report, which therefore has no legal status, but the British Homeopathic Association and the Faculty of Homeopathy responded quickly to all the flawed recommendations presented in the report.