Consumers in Winnipeg stage homeopathic "overdose"
Consumer rights activists across Canada have today announced their intention to take a mass homeopathic "overdose" next month, as part of a major global protest against the alternative remedies.
Protesters in Winnipeg will swallow entire bottles of homeopathic pills at 10:23 AM on 5 February 2011 in Memorial Park, in a bid to raise public awareness of the fact that homeopathic "remedies" are ineffective, putting pressure on pharmacists and healthcare providers to ensure that products sold as medical treatments actually work.
Gem Newman, founder of the Winnipeg Skeptics, said: "Not only do homeopaths provide no plausible physiological explanation for how their remedies work, the evidence shows that they don't work to begin with. If you're ill, you deserve real medicine, not a sham or a placebo."
The demonstration is being organized by the Winnipeg Skeptics as part of the 10:23 Campaign, a global protest against homeopathic remedies originating in the United Kingdom. Similar events will be taking place in dozens of countries around the world, with protests announced in Germany, Hungary, Australia, and the United States.
Michael Marshall, co-ordinator of the international campaign, said: "Tens of billions of pounds are spent every year around the world on these ineffective remedies, and when told what they really are, and how they're made, most people are shocked these useless treatments are still able to be sold to an unsuspecting public."
The 10:23 Campaign launched a year ago in the UK, with almost 400 protestors taking part in "overdose" events across the country following an admission by Britain's leading pharmacy that the pills are only sold because consumers will buy them, not because they are effective. The campaign is named after Avogadro's Number, a scientific constant which can be used to show homeopathic potions contain no active ingredients.
Though some would argue dispensing sugar pills may seem harmless, the endorsement of homeopathic potions by pharmacists and healthcare providers has grave consequences. As well as undermining public trust in medicine and medical advice, patients with serious conditions can avoid seeking medical attention in the belief that homeopathy can treat their condition.
An investigation by the BBC in January 2011 revealed that homeopaths were willing to give travelers ineffective homeopathic "preparations" to use in place of real anti-malarial drugs, as well as ineffective homeopathic alternatives to vaccinations. A recent investigation by CBC's Marketplace turned up similar results.
The 10:23 Campaign is organising protests in more than twenty three cities across ten counties on 5 February 2011.
Local Contact: Gem Newman / firstname.lastname@example.org / +1 (204) 960-5025
International Contact: Michael Marshall / email@example.com / +44 7841 134 309