The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Health Canada Licenses Homeopathic "Vaccines"

I was just hipped to something terrible. Eve Rickert (aka @talksciencetome) mentioned that Health Canada has licensed so-called homeopathic "vaccines". How Health Canada, which states as its first goal that it, "Relies on high-quality scientific research as the basis for our work", could let anything homeopathic enter its recommendations is beyond me. Just saying that you rely on high-quality scientific research means that homeopathic mixtures/tinctures/concoctions/potions/fucking-magic-swirly-dust-pills (hereafter known as MTCPF pills) are gone from the shelves. Keep them, if you must, but don't "license" them or give them any sort of actual endorsement by a government organization that purports to have scientific rigor as a core principle.

I mean, for shit's sake, Health Canada has a whole page on ear candles that kicks the legs right out from underneath the charlatans who sell those stupid things.

Perhaps the Health Canada's General Questions - Regulation of Natural Health Products will lead us to some answers. Here we find this quote:
Under the Food and Drugs Act, NHPs (natural health products) must be classified as either a food or a drug since there is no other category in which to classify them. Because NHPs are taken for therapeutic reasons and not for caloric purposes or to address hunger, they are more similar to drugs than food.
Wait a second. So if I eat sugar pills for "therapeutic purposes", that makes sugar pills "drugs"? What happened to relying on "high-quality scientific research"?

Then there's this paragraph:
During consultations on NHPs, Canadians consistently asked for controls to make sure what is on the label is in the bottle and ensure a pre-market assessment of health claims. While creating another category distinct from both food and drugs was considered, an amendment at the level of the Act would have been necessary. Because the timelines and legislative process needed for a change of this magnitude would be long, it was decided that natural health products would be considered drugs under the Act, but with a set of regulations specific to NHPs.
This seems to be saying that Canadians want labels to be honest and reflect what's in the bottles they're buying (obviously). This is not the case with homeopathic MTCPF pills. They're sugar pills, as has been demonstrated, again and again. It's not medicine, they're not "drugs", they're nothing. If you take homeopathy for anything serious, like, say, eczema, you'll likely die.
all manufacturers, importers, packagers and labellers of NHPs use good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and have site licences. All NHPs that used to have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) now have either a Natural Product Number (NPN) or a Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM).
Maybe this is just my extreme bias showing, but having the word "medicine" associated with anything homeopathic is annoying and, quite frankly, disrespectful to actual medicine and the people involved in making/distributing it.

Say what you will about the pharmaceutical industry (and you should, and many important people have), for the most part, the scientists and R&D people know what they're doing. They put out medicine that saves and prolongs lives. They do this by doing real science; real, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that ensure, as well as can be, that the drugs work and have an actual effect that outweighs any side-effects. Do they get it wrong sometimes? Absolutely.

But homeopathy is just "Big Homeo" - they sell sugar pills with literally no active ingredient for a massive markup to a public who they purposely keep in the dark as to what homeopathy actually is. Most people on the street just think homeopathy is "natural medicine" and that it is safe and effective, because, hey, Health Canada says they need a fucking "homeopathic medicine number". Thanks for nothing, Health Canada. Let's try to get back on the side of "high-quality scientific research", shall we?

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5 Barbaric Yawps:

At 8/5/13 10:55 pm, Anonymous Woody said...

Holy shit!
I'm also aghast!
The prize-pig of psuedo-medicines!
Like creationism in science classes, homeopathy is seeping into places, taking position among REAL medicines and no doubt claiming loudly to all and sundry that this gives them the credibility they have so long sought.
It still cant prove itself in well-designed testing but its slimy form is slithering into the regard of important official groups that should really be a lot fucking smarter!
Thanks for letting me vent, Mike, I needed that.

At 9/5/13 7:13 pm, Anonymous L.Long said...

Its nice to be reminded that general STUPIDITY is not just an american thing!!

At 9/5/13 7:36 pm, Anonymous Tony Burns said...

I just emailed Health Canada, the Minister for health and cc'd all the health critics asking about this quote from the Health Canada website.

"The Natural Health Products Regulations (the Regulations) require all homeopathic medicines to have a licence before being sold in Canada. Licence holders are issued a product number which must appear on the label of their product. The product number for homeopathic medicines is preceded by DIN-HM. To obtain a DIN-HM, a Product Licence Application (PLA) form must be completed by applicants. These applications are assessed by the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD), which is responsible for issuing product licences for all natural health products (NHPs). The NHPD uses evidence submitted by applicants to critically assess the safety, efficacy and quality of NHPs prior to approving them for sale in Canada."

I've asked if they have considered that evidence submitted by the applicants could possibly be biased or just made up and if they do anything to objectively test for efficacy.

Not holding my breath.


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