Shocked Canadian Homeopaths and Homeopathy Supporters Ask, “Is the CBC Marketplace Show Infiltrated by Pharmaceutical Company Sponsored Skeptics?”

Canadian homeopaths and homeopathic professional organizations are reeling from a one sided and unfair piece on homeopathy by the CBC television network. Not only that, they are questioning the unscrupulous methodology of producers of the show.

As the sales of homeopathic and aruvedic remedies increase faster than pharmaceutical drugs in strong economies like Brazil and India, conventional pharmaceutical companies have created and funded skeptic organizations like “Sense about Science” in western countries to discredit them. There are over hundreds of thousands of registered homeopaths in India with 13,000 new ones registering each year and tens of thousands in Brazil.

Now a number of organizations directly funded by pharmaceutical companies have developed aggressive and hostile tactics to fight homeopathy and discredit its practitioners. Infiltrating conventional media sources is one method just as the head of one of the largest pharmaceutically sponsored skeptic organizations “Sense about Science” is a former public relations consultant for pharmaceutical companies.

In Canada, homeopathic practitioners are now being regulated in the province of Ontario by an act of provincial parliament. They are also being targeted by skeptic organizations. Producers at CBC Marketplace decided to do a show on it and took the skeptical premise that homeopathy was simply belief and unscientific, questioning the regulation and even what is in a homeopathic remedy.

Experienced Canadian homeopaths are complaining that these producers at this Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television show comprimised journalistic integrity by taking such a strong one sided point of view right from the beginning and to the very end.

There were some blatant untruths in the show particularly around the show stating that they tried to get comments from various organizations.  As word of the show spread to the homeopathic community some organizations and homeopathic supporters actually contacted the producers and continued to discuss the show with them. The producers did not wish to have any experienced homeopaths on the show, (not asking the most experienced Canadian practitioners at all) but rather sought new and poorly trained homeopaths to be able to highlight their negative premise and create an aura of flakiness and danger. The actual registrar of homeopaths in Ontario, an experienced and sensible homeopath  was not asked to be interviewed.

Pro-homeopathy scientists, experienced practitioners and other journalists were frustrated in their attempt to give the producers positive information and emphasize its safety. The producers even ignored the body of scientific information and papers that demonstrate and scientifically prove homeopathic remedies are more than “sugar and water” or placebo. They sought opinions and gave final say from individuals who were well known skeptics and know little if nothing about homeopathy.

In a recent interview with noble prize winning Dr. Luc Montagnier he actually gives homeopathy some credit within his body of work yet the show decided to take a quote from him from many years ago.

Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of medicine used successfully by tens of millions daily worldwide, and the second most utilized complementary health discipline in the world.  It has a laudable 200-year clinical record.  There are literally hundreds of high quality basic science, pre-clinical and clinical studies showing it works.


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32 Responses

  1. We have had a similar attack in the UK, the BBC attacking homeopathy on the Newsnight programme on Tuesday night. A totally unbalanced, and biased piece by Palem Gosh, who is known to support ‘Sense and Science’, an anti-homeopathy organisation funded by Big Pharma.

    Big Pharma are behind all this

  2. My wife and I and four children have been treated with homeopathy for over 30 years now. We are both professionals and have been very pleased with the care and sensibleness of our homeopathic practitioner. Not only that, both of us started with severe health problems and we have been delighted that over that time our health and general well being improved immensely and continues to be maintained and even improved.

    We know from our experiences with homeopathic remedies selected that they are not placebo but much more. We’ve seen our children, ourselves not respond to a remedy but then another one works. As well, we’ve seen animals and babies respond to remedies- they are not prone to placebo effect.

    I applaud the Ontario government for regulating professional homeopaths and for doing something about the burgeoning tax burden that we are facing with conventional medicine and treatment.

    The issue now is a political one and I would like to have the freedom to choose what sort of health care I get. This freedom includes not having a bunch of fanatical internet skeptics tell me what is best for my health nor have pharmaceutical companies be in charge of my health care.

    Saner, more responsible individuals will see the benefits of homeopathic practitioners and their methods. We have.

  3. Homeopathy works. Get over it. Its used by millions and millions of people but it is not profitable enough for pharmaceutical companies. Get over that too.
    Research funding is now driven by pharmaceutical company money whether at a University level or in government. Its time for a change.

  4. The media too is beholden to pharmaceutical companies as a large source of income is from adverts by them. Even those in publicly funded media see that sucking up to pharmaceutical company interests is the way to go as a solid career choice.

  5. To practice advanced homeopathy requires an intellectual rigour and an appreciation of the individual patient complexities. To depict it as flakey or the 100,000’s of hard working homeopathic practitioners, (including those who are medical doctors) that are well trained as being represented by one or two odd practitioners is just simply showing the ignorance of these critics. They know nothing about the subject except that it doesn’t fit into the confines of their narrow definition of science and evidence and profit.

    But why are they getting centre stage?? This is the stupidity of the situation and the pharmaceutical profit machine is one of the major reasons…

  6. Yes, in Brazil homeopathy is practised alongside conventional medicine. Most Brazilians see it as second nature to see a homeopath, but also conventional medicine is well developed.

  7. I am appalled by CBC’s piece on homeopathy.

    And by featuring an anti-homeopathy cult group of dubious origin and funding, CBC has literally crossed a line to yellow journalism of the worst sort. The show is pandering to a certain interest group that practices a form of “science intolerance”. This skeptic group is also attacking religions and if CBC had bothered to look at their blogs they would have seen bigotry and a nastiness that should not be tolerated by Canadians, least of all featured in a CBC programme.

    There are thousands of Canadians who benefit from homeopathy and their voices will be heard!

  8. This is a letter I sent to Greg Sadler the producer of the show:

    Dear Mr. Sadler,

    In terms of the homeopathy show that you are doing I want to comment on one aspect of the show that I see you have highlighted on your web site.

    You are going to show a prank by the skeptic group where, outside a homeopathic pharmacy they take a homeopathic formula for sleep and don’t get sleepy. Ha, ha. The message that you are sending is that the only way to induce a sleep rhythm is by chemical doping with an instantaneous response and if you do not get that response, the product or method is no good and open to ridicule. Is this really the message you want to send to children and adults? This is the conventional pharmaceutical drug model and certainly manufacturers of hypnotics, benzodiazapines would like you to believe that is the only way. Perhaps you have been watching too much American TV where commercials by drug companies are rampant? And by the way, if you had done your research properly the University of Arizona has done a study showing that homeopathic treatment can improve sleep dramatically.

    I know it is hard for you to conceive that a natural sleeping aid should induce sleepiness at the appropriate time, i.e. at night- a natural sleep rhythm. At the moment you and the skeptics are promoting a particular viewpoint that has led to a society heavily dependant and even addicted to drugs.

    I am terribly disappointed in you and the CBC for not embracing an important alternative viewpoint but rather ridiculing it and worse promoting chemical dependance on drugs.

  9. Thank you Harold for an important point in all this. The study you are referring to is referenced on this blog. You can find it by going to the home page and viewing the post: “Arizona University Study Conclusively Shows Chosen Homeopathic Remedies Improve Sleep”.

    It is interesting that skeptics want research evidence but then use pranks over the research to make their point. And shame on the press outlets for not outing the relationship between them and the pharmaceutical industry.

  10. “It is interesting that skeptics want research evidence but then use pranks over the research to make their point.”

    I agree fully. The skeptics ignore the multiple studies and scientific evidence and go with their opinion.

    The skeptics are more of an odd political group than a serious group interested in science. And those who are appalled should complain and complain loudly and make their voice heard, since the freedom to have alternative health modalities versus an industry rife with deadly problems is at stake.

  11. I think you are wasting your time with the producer(s) of the CBC Marketplace- complain directly to the ombudsman or CBC. The producers and directors I suspect were part of the organization of the prank. Why would they be right there and why would the prank happen conveniently at a time they were doing a hit piece on homeopathy?

    So much for unbiased reporting and the old fashioned notion of reporting the news rather than creating it.

    This destructive and unconscionable behaviour impacts thousands of businesses and sincere homeopathic practitioners along with their families. Shame on the CBC marketplace.

    And I and my family have experienced the wonderful benefits of homeopathy and the sincerity of homeopathic practitioners. We are a professional family and see it as an important part of our health care.

  12. I am 60 and going strong! I owe it to homeopathy. Thank you homeopaths all around the world and in Canada too! You folks are great and I appreciate all your hard work and intensity. You’ve helped a lot of people including myself and I send my support to you in this difficult time.

  13. Here are some ways to address this biased and inflammatory show by the CBC:

    If you or someone you love has been helped by Homeopathy please write in. A great opportunity to respond to any negative, biased content is provided via two widely read websites:

    1) The Marketplace Blog:http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2011/cureorcon/

    2) The CBC News (Consumer Life – Comments): http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/

    – Comments on both websites are pre-moderated, submission guidelines are posted on the site: http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/submissions.html

    3) It is also been suggested to complain to the CBC Ombudsman at http://www.cbc.ca/ombudsman/

    For more information about this story or Homeopathy please visit the following sites:

    http://www.collegeofhomeopaths.on.ca/

    http://www.extraordinarymedicine.org/

    http://homeopathyresource.wordpress.com/

    http://www.ontariohomeopath.com/

  14. One of the members of the Centre for Inquiry Cult has confirmed that CBC invited them to the show and allowed them to show children how to overdose on medication, (luckily it was a purely homeopathic remedy but how would a young child know that).

    Here is what the cult members said:

    “Last year myself along with volunteers from CFI Vancouver participated in an episode of the CBC show Marketplace. They contacted us because they were doing a show on homeopathy.

    In short, we got together and decided to test the effectiveness of homeopathy by overdosing.”

  15. This verges on criminal negligence on the part of the Centre for Inquiry and also on CBC Marketplace, an unrated show which children can watch.

    I say this for 2 reasons:

    1. As you said, a child watching the show would not be able to distinguish whether the pills in Mommy’s drawer are homeopathic or not. And so I agree- showing children how to mass overdose is completely irresponsible if not criminally negligent.

    2. Some products generally sold have homeopathic ingredients ALONG WITH other more toxic ingredients and should not be ingested in large quantities or more than the recommended dosage as they can cause poisoning. Many consumers may not distinguish the difference between a pure homeopathic remedy or product and one which is fundamentally something else with a few homeopathic ingredients.

    For CBC Marketplace to initiate a prank like this lacks journalistic integrity but more troubling is its complete lack of responsibility.

    I will re-iterate:

    Do not take more than the recommended dose of any product including homeopathic products. Keep all products out of the reach of children.

  16. The leaders admit that their skepticism is a religious calling and that they want to “convert” others. Their current funding is in $100,000 chunks that supports the neo-conservative call for evidence based medicine, ie. pharmaceutical drug only medicine. This makes it attractive to drug companies, here and also in Europe, where they are funding similar groups.

  17. Thanks for all the information. I do think that there are some sincere skeptics out there but they are blinded by their pre-determined rigid opinion about homeopathy. Even when you present all the studies proving it works they can’t get their head around it because they have pre-determined it is implausible.

    This can also engender a kind of intolerance of those who have differing views and create the idea of science as a conservative monolith.

    There are many medical modalities that do not have “evidence” or studies proving that they work or how they work but are still commonly utilized clinically including surgical anaesthesia and even surgery itself etc.

    Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of medicine used successfully by tens of millions daily worldwide, and the second most utilized complementary health discipline in the world. It has a laudable 200-year clinical record. There are literally hundreds of high quality basic science, pre-clinical and clinical studies showing it works.

  18. Perhaps the overdose stunt is a foreboding or test run of what is to come from this group.

  19. For much more pro-homeopathy info – please visit this site – http://www.extraordinarymedicine.org – organized by a number of the leaders of the international homeopathic community.

    And spread the word far and wide!

  20. OK– so everyone is appalled as they should be…and cbc is owned by taxpayers yes? OK so lets fire the Producers asses whoever they may be who use public money to slander hard working & caring Homeopaths. Perhaps CBC shouldn’t be allowed to produce journalistic works unless they are completely unbiased. LETS GET A PETITION GOING ON FACEBOOK!!!!!!!

  21. I am sorry that so many skeptics have such strong feelings against homeopathy and feel the presence of this web site to be “unfair”.

    The intention of this web site is to be a positive voice for homeopathy. I think that has been clear from its inception. Therefore if a skeptic has something positive to say about homeopathy please go ahead and your comment will be published.

    Certainly on skeptic blogs and web sites there is absolutely nothing positive about homeopathy and if there is, it is just there to be ridiculed.

    Again, I am sorry you have such strong feelings about the subject such that you feel you need to resort to such strong expressions. I hope in the future we can discuss this in an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual respect.

  22. Thank you for balancing out the information that gets out there.

  23. CBC said they received the largest amount of responses to this programme ever.

    And what is interesting is that on their web site, it appears that over 80 per cent of the responses were pro-homeopathy and very positively in support of homeopathy.

    If anything, the public is overwhelmingly in favour of therapies like homeopathy.

  24. I am sceptical about homeopathy, however I hope my comment is published in the interests of balance. I am interested to hear about the proof that homeopathy works that many of your correspondents have mentioned in the comments above. Thank you.

  25. Rob,
    This web site: homeopathyresource.wordpress.com has much of what you are looking for.

    I’d suggest looking at what Iris Bell has to say by clicking here.

    Also: http://www.extraordinarymedicine.org/

    http://www.extraordinarymedicine.org/

  26. I am an American college student. I decided to do a 12 page research paper on the topic of homeopathy verses conventional, where I support 120% homeopathic treatments. I am saddened to hear other countries are trying their best, as my country is, to discredit homeopaths. I have a “chronic pain” disease my many doctors have told me has no cure and will end in serious surgeries. From all my research and my personal homeopathic treatments (recommended to me by homeopathic professionals) I have seen drastic changes where doctors said were impossible. I know homeopathy is legitimate and works. The conventional medicines I had to take to stabilize my body caused the same problems as my disease, and my doctor said that response was acceptable! My homeopathic treatment alleviates the pain and has significantly reduced my symptoms, the very things the conventional medicine couldn’t do. Medical treatment is a greed game now. Sad, but too many doctors are looking to line their pockets with money rather than remember the oath they swore by to heal. I know it’s not just doctors, there are numerous people involved in the game. Basically what I’m saying is I see a failure in my country to support real healing, and I’m sad to hear about the corruption in other countries as well.

  27. Thanks Kalee. I’m glad you have found some help with homeopathy. You and millions of other people daily benefit from homeopathy. Homeopathy’s 200 year history of results and safety attest to its deep effectiveness.

    Take care- our good wishes are with you.

  28. After the Swiss Government has come out with a study that was done by REAL scientists and researchers, you wonder why the media is asking fringe groups like the skeptics for their opinion on homeopathy and starting with that.

    I think the CBC and BBC should be reporting this new official study by the Swiss government rather than the fringe. But alas, it doesn’t make the news that the skeptic fringe does:

    http://homeopathyresource.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/official-swiss-government-study-and-report-dramatically-affirms-homeopathys-positive-results-safety-and-cost-effectiveness/

  29. Agreed.

    This study is done by Switzerland, a government and people known for their impartiality. It is a testament to homeopathy’s long history of effectiveness and safety that government’s like the province of Ontario, Canada and Switzerland are recognizing it’s importance.

    It is unfortunate the Broadcasting Company chose to not report the news but rather make it by inviting some weird and fringe individuals like the skeptics.

    They could have asked the experts but chose not to- and it is that finally there is an official report by experts that will hopefully drown out the fringe element .

  30. I wonder what got into the CBC that they would be so out of touch with reality to go to a fringe group like the skeptics for advice on science.

    I bet they knew that real scientists were evaluating homeopathy in Switzerland and that the result was going to be so resoundingly positive and solid and pro-homeopathy and pro-homeopaths. Now the CBC nor the skeptics can’t really say that “science” is on their side. The homeopaths can rightfully say that.

    The fringe groups like the skeptics will now unleash their usual attempt at vilifying anyone or any government that goes against what they believe. But their fringe opinion is now shown to be what it really is- a fringe opinion. Glad we are getting some real scientists’ opinions.

  31. CBC dropped the ball on this one!

    Finally science and researchers are showing what we already knew- homeopathy works profoundly, effectively and helps many people.

    Homeopaths are special dedicated people and should be treated with more respect than the fringe skeptic group and CBC does.

    The fringe actions and opinions of skeptics and this broadcasting company are now not acceptable by any scientific standard as a result of the Swiss report.

  32. Agree with you granddad. The skeptics can’t say anymore that “science” is on their side because of this science-backed pro-homeoapthy report. It is now just sheer ignorance that is on the skeptic’s side. They need a life.

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