Lobbying the EU: Homeopaths want exemption from realityJuly 22, 2010
With homeopathy being increasingly exposed before the public as quackery, homeopaths are becoming more aggressive in defending their $2 billion a year scam.
According to the current print edition of Spiegel magazine (12.7.2010 Germany), homeopaths have been aggressively lobbying the EU to water down the standards for defining and testing medical treatments and secure its access to the medical profession.
A main lobby group is ECHAMP, the European Coalition on Homeopathic and Anthroposophic Medicinal Products. Instead of the normal randomized controlled studies, homeopathy should be tested by “experts” approved by the industry.
This is rather at odds with the regular claims by homeopaths that studies support it, but who cares about honesty and integrity when you’re trying to win public hearts and minds.
So they are advancing on several fronts:
(A) Tell the public the studies are positive: most people will take that on trust. But it will get into the news that it’s not true, so…
(B) tell people that science can’t prove everything and homeopathy can’t be scientifically tested.
(C) Lobby the authorities for exemption from studies, while…
(D) simultaneously mounting a vicious attack on the practice of randomized controlled testing. This takes the form of linking scientific practice with “Big Pharma” and every medical horror story you can find.
(E) If all that fails, present it as a “freedom of choice” issue.
They have positioned themselves very carefully. By including long consultations in their treatments, they win popularity for their “personalised” service. According to market research reported in Spiegel, the biggest fans are affluent women aged 30 – 44, a demographic which no insurance company or politician wants to offend. The public believes in homeopathy because insurance pays for it (so it must have been properly tested and found effective). And insurers can keep their wealthier customers happy by paying out about €8 million a year. It’s a small price to pay compared to the payments they recieve from these healthy, wealthy and unwise customers. It adds up to a good deal for the insurers and for the homeopathic industry.
But this all depends on maintaining their current special political status. Now that the UK is in the process of “capitulating” and Germany possibly on the verge of doing the same, will the EU want to risk finishing up looking like a bunch of superstitious creeps?