What does Coca Cola, the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Anti-homeopathy Group ‘Sense About Science’ Have In Common?

The Alliance for Natural Health International reports that the anti homeopathy group Sense about Science has been “busted by The Times of London” for once again secretly supporting corporate giants.  This skeptic group has been for years taking contributions from Pharmaceutical Companies.  In turn, they have authored actions and reports that seem independent and equal minded but are an attempt by the pharmaceutical industry to destroy homeopathy and the right of consumers to choose alternative health  modalities.

The alliance for natural health reports that “On the 9th & 10th October 2015 respectively, The Times published two consecutive, highly revealing articles by its special correspondent, Alexi Mostrous. In the Saturday piece, Alexi Mostrous exposed Sense About Science’s association with Coca-Cola. Sense About Science is the charity with which anti-alternative medicine skeptics like Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre are associated, that claims to be independent yet often acts as a voice for Big Food, Pharma and Biotech.”

According to the article, Sense about Science used its so called “scientific voice” to debunk a study that showed the dangers of drinking sugar-sweetened beverages.  The research evidence that triggered this situation was entitled “Estimated Global, Regional, and National Disease Burdens Related to Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in 2010”. The background of the research was described as follows:

     “Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are consumed globally and contribute to adiposity. However, the worldwide impact of SSBs on burdens of adiposity-related cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers, and diabetes mellitus has not been assessed by nation, age, and sex…”

As mentioned, Sense about Science has been complicit in inciting and spreading negative and false opinions about homeopathy and alternative health modalities. It was revealed that it is funded by the pharmaceutical industry and other corporations needing a seemingly “independent” scientific voice.

Pharmaceutical Industry Funding of Anti-homeopathy Skeptic Groups Uncovered

Sense about Science, a well funded anti-homeopathy skeptic organization in the United Kingdom, complained about a consumer’s group’s assertion that they represent and are funded by the pharmaceutical industry.  After further investigation, even more funding than previously revealed was uncovered.

A spokesperson for the consumer group investigating Sense about Science said, “In investigating their complaints we looked more closely at the sources of funding of Sense About Science, and have found that our original figures for the charity’s support by the pharmaceutical industry were too conservative.”

The consumer group, H:MC21 also wrote in response to Sense about Science complaining:

You quote us as saying that Sense About Science “received over 35% of its donation funding from the pharmaceutical industry between 2004 and 2009”, but then refer only to funding “from pharmaceutical companies”. As a result of the investigation following your email, we have found that our original claim about Sense About Science’s funding was too conservative. In fact Sense About Science appears to have received an average of 42.3% of its total income between 2004 and 2010 from pharmaceutical companies or organisations clearly linked to the pharmaceutical industry. In 2006, the year [the anti-homeopathy] ‘Sense About Homeopathy’ was published, there was a huge leap in such funding, from £37,300 (36.9% of total income) to £102,165 (51.2% of total income). Full details are included in Appendix 1.

The Canadian and USA skeptic organization called Centre for Inquiry, which is another anti-homeopathy skeptic group, is almost entirely funded by a director of a pharmaceutical company. They have initiated a law suit against a homeopathic manufacturer and retail pharmacy selling homeopathic remedies.

Both groups are attempting to stop consumers’ choice of alternative health modalities and stop the sale of homeopathic remedies.

Anecdotal Information Is Essential to Your Health

Editorial:

Skeptic organizations are decrying the use of anecdotal information as a means of validating a therapy or invalidating certain conventional drugs and vaccines. Yet anecdotal information is the most important consumer and clinician tool for knowing what works, does not work and what is harmful in a real time not academic or laboratory setting.

And more importantly the body of information on side effects from drugs  is for the most part based on anecdotes from patients and consumers- not laboratory evidence.

The MILLIONS every day who use homeopathy have depended on its profound clinical results. Seeing family, children, pets and even herds of animals respond so well to homeopathic remedies have made it one of the most rapidly growing health modalities in the world.

Homeopaths have built an important body of knowledge in the treatment of chronic disease by listening carefully to their patients. This includes honestly evaluating their results- what works and what does not work- and, over time, seeing the best approaches. It also has included the importance of referring patients to conventional medical doctors and working in combination with them.  Clinically, the safety and effectiveness of homeopathic remedies have been proven in a 200- year old record with both scientific studies and clinical results.  And yes, for the most part homeopathic treatment works on an individual basis, but there are times when it does not.

But now, there comes along a group of fundamentalist   “skeptic” organizations funded by pharmaceutical companies recruiting academics who have no medical clinical experience to say that anecdotal information is not relevant to medicine and is, in fact, detrimental to it. They are saying, “Give me the evidence” only through scientific laboratory data and the double blind test. They also want you to believe that this narrow drug company sponsored view is science. Many scientists and medical clinicians would disagree with them and their approach. For instance, most surgical techniques have been developed over years of feedback from clinical information and, of course, not from double blind studies.

This is a drug company dream made into reality! Why is that?

Well, the body of information on side effects from drugs is, for the most part, based on anecdote and not on laboratory evidence.

It has been shown again and again that both the safety and efficacy of drugs has not been determined by double blind studies- the only “evidence” that skeptics want you to believe is important. Many drugs that have successfully undergone double blind studies have been many years later determined to be harmful by clinical results and patient reports, (anecdotes!).

It is rather strange that the organization that is the most opposed to validating anecdotal evidence and is fighting homeopathy the most is  “Sense about Science” (and similar organizations that have now opened around the world). “Sense about Science” is almost entirely funded by the conventional pharmaceutical and medical industry- to the tune of 250,000 GBP and counting.

Luckily, authorities responsible for drug safety don’t listen to the denials of drug companies themselves, or these drug-company sponsored skeptics, but rather to the public and their suffering as a result of taking a particular conventional drug. They have also seen the effectiveness and safety of homeopathic remedies validated through scientific testing, clinical results and demand.

It was for this reason that in England, the “Evidence Check Report” on homeopathy, which was primarily based on recommendations from two well known pharmaceutical company- sponsored skeptics, was not accepted by Parliament and strongly opposed by many members of Parliament who saw through the canard. The Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) is now linking to that report as if it was passed without further investigation, which gives you an idea of their bias.

Eventually, a conventional drug is proved to be harmful by a body of anecdotal information. Skeptics and drug companies would like you to believe that this is primarily “in your head”, or in the head of the victim, or caused by the “placebo effect”.  This is why for many years drugs that are harmful are kept on the market. The FDA estimates that Vioxx killed or injured over 55,000 people in the United States by the time it was finally pulled from the market.  The leading cause of liver failure in children in the United States is Tylenol, but we have yet to hear a peep out of skeptic groups about these problematic situations. Why? Because of their unquestioning support of the pharmaceutical industry and the very large research industry, including University researchers that get all their funding from pharmaceutical companies.

Homeopathy will continue to be strong in spite of some mainstream press outlets who have decided to pick up the battle cry of pharmaceutical company advertisers and skeptics- “evidence only and forget what happens in the clinic”.

There are many good laboratory studies showing it works, validating its clinical value and intelligent approach to the human condition and suffering- making it a number one choice for the millions who use it daily.

But if you value the positive results both in yourself, friends, family and colleagues, homeopathy at this time needs to your support to protect it from the substantial interests working against it.

And if you have had some positive effects from homeopathy, it is important for you to get involved and be a voice of reason in all the shouting going on against it. Make your voice heard.

A special thank you to the number of homeopathic clinicians, medical doctors, including medical specialists, who contributed to this editorial.

Anti-Homeopathy Letter Writers Sponsored By Large Pharmaceutical Companies

Anti-homeopathy letters and emails from Voice of Young Science  innundated officials at the World Health Organization complaining about the few homeopaths treating patients in Africa. It prompted an unofficial response by some individuals in W.H.O.

Voice of Young Science as part of Sense about Science is directly sponsored by pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer Plc who have joined together to deal with the emerging African HIV drug market. Sense about Science also has links to a number of prominent online blogs,  magazines and other media outlets.

Many of the directors and workers in this “non-profit” Sense about Science organization previously worked or consulted as public relations representatives for drug companies.One of the directors was a specialist  in what is called “reputation risk management” and “crisis management” public relations and has been involved in “countering campaigns by environmental, health and development NGOs”. Her public relations company’s clients “were previously nearly all pharmaceutical, oil or biotechnology companies”.(SourceWatch)

Sense about Science is also a lobbying organization for the pro-genetically modified food lobby in the UK. They  are currently attempting to inundate UK Members of Parliament with anti-homeopathy letters in a similar fashion to their WHO anti-homeopathy campaign. This is also similar to the Sense about Science pro-genetically modified food  and anti-environmental campaigns.