Wikipedia falsifies the placebo claim for homeopathy . . again, shilling for pharma
Wikipedia has been caught for a third time frantically producing false information about homeopathy on a shifting footnote intended to support a hypothesis that homeopathic medicine is a “placebo.” A placebo is defined by Wikipedia as a sham treatment intended to deceive recipients.
The problem is that reviews of clinical tests of homeopathy, published in the British Medical Journal and the Lancet, among others, have all shown that the collective weight of clinical trials shows that the ionized pharmaceuticals used in homeopathic medicine are not placebos.
Wikipedia has therefore had to misrepresent the literature, pretending to quote (1) a systematic review by a defrocked professor of complementary medicine who garnered a reputation as the world’s leading homeopathy antagonist (2) a US government website that says nothing about placebos and (3) currently, at the time of this writing, the leading meta analysis of clinical trials that actually concludes homeopathics are not placebos.
The Wikipedia article says: “Homeopathic remedies are found to be no more effective than a placebo, defining placebo as “a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient.”
The article is locked down, preventing a rewrite neutral to the facts. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has voiced vituperative opposition to homeopathy, calling it the work of charlatans. The talk session of the article is a jumble of opinions by trolls trying to figure out how to reconcile contradicting conclusions in meta analyses, looking for evidence to support the placebo hypothesis in credible publications, and not finding it.
The scuttlebutt is that whoever wrote the article was hired to keep it in flux by pharmaceutical industry interests, like the Geneva based International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, (IFPMA) for which Wikipedia admittedly provides advertising space. The use of ionized pharmaceuticals, as used in homoeopathy, could break the strangle hold current conventional pharmaceuticals have on modern medicine, and so must be suppresed.
Footnote number two in the WIkipedia homeopathy article seems to prove it. Prior to the current footnote, footnote number two, which traditionally has been the footnote supporting its placebo accusation, led to an article by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) that says nothing about homeopathics being placebos. The NCCAM article is entitled Homeopathy: An Introduction (click here and read it for yourself if you don’t believe it).
This changed within the last few hours of publication of this article, as if they’re watching my keystrokes. Now it leads to the 1997 Linde meta analysis published in the Lancet, what homeopathy antagonist Edzard Ernst called “technically superb.” Linde is considered to be the best review of he literature, but is now 17 years old. Linde stated their results were incompatible with the placebo hypothesis, the opposite of what Wikipedia says it said. .
If you’re familiar with Wikipedia’s pseudoscience and fake academic “research” by hired shills for the pharmaceutical industry trying to take attention off their culpability in spawning breasts on boys and two headed girls, then you can imagine pornmeister Jimmy Wales standing in front of a table full of geeks saying something like, “just use any old article, nobody reads the footnotes, I mean you could link it to Bomis and the wikisuckers still won’t check it out.”
The U.S.’s NCCAM article refused to say what Wikipedia wanted them to say, so the Wiki editors probaly had to switch back to Linde, which addresses the placebo hypothesis directly, but contradicts their undying insistence that homeopathic remedies are no more effective than placebos.
Perhaps one of the editors actually read the NCCAM article and then hurriedly kicked some cat litter over it and nervously went back to something more sustainable, to make the placebo claim. Give the appearance of attribution and people will think it is.
But when Linde’s 1997 results are read they say:
“The results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are completely due to placebo.”
The reason Wikipedia likes Linde is because in a susequent addendum Linde moderated their results by saying that more rigorous trials revealed less positive results. But Linde never recanted their basic statement that homeopathic remedies are not placebos.
Linde is not the only meta analysis that blows up in the face of those who are desperate to disprove homeopathy.
A 1991 systematic review of clinical trials, published in the British Medical Journal stated:
“The amount of positive evidence even among the best studies came as a surprise to us. Based on this evidence we would be ready to accept that homoeopathy can be efficacious, if only the mechanism of action were more plausible . . “The evidence presented in this review would probably be sufficient for establishing homoeopathy as a regular treatment for certain indications. There is no reason to believe that the influence of publication bias, data massage, bad methodology, and so on is much less in conventional medicine, and the financial interests for regular pharmaceutical companies are many times greater. Are the results of randomised double blind trials convincing only if there is a plausible mechanism of action? Are review articles of the clinical evidence only convincing if there is a plausible mechanism of action? Or is this a special case because the mechanisms are unknown or implausible?” Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homoeopathy, British Medical Journal, 1991; 302: 316–323. tinyurl com/kleijnen
If it’s saying what you want it to say, or, if you know it isn’t true, and you’re motivated to expose the lie, if you have the conviction of your beliefs, it’ll be your red meat, or fakin’ bacon if you’re vegan.
So now who’s administering placebos?
The word “placebo” does not even appear in the NCCAM article, the article that up to a few hours ago Wikipedia listed as its validaiton for the placebo claim. The NCCAM article does not describe homeopathic treatment to be ineffectual or intended to deceive, as Wikipedia suggested it would.
The word “homeopathy” refers to the phenomenon of like cures like, as is seen in the use of vaccines. In an effort to maintain equilibrium, organisms can react intensively to small doses of toxins, especially when dissociated. Hahnemann’s word homoeopathy (meaning same suffering) or the putative word homeopathy (meaning similar suffering) do not refer to the material phase of a pharmacuetical’s content as solid, liquid, gaseous or plasma (ionized). Any phase of matter can induce a homoeopathic reaction. Homeopathic medicines are noted for their use of the ionized pharmaceuticals, created by molecular dissociation when serially diluted in water, but the homeopathic application is not limited to ionized materials.
In the U.S., homeopathic remedies are regulated by the Federal Drug Administration. The original rules covering the use of homeopathics were a part of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act sponsored by Senator Royal S. Copeland, M.D. (D-NY), a homeopath.
That’s right. Your eyes are not deceiving you, you are not hallucinating.
The Godfather of the FDA was a homeopath.
Like the current reference to Linde, the NCCAM article implies the opposite of what Wikipedia claimed it said. The NCCAM article states,
“While many homeopathic remedies are highly diluted, some products sold or labeled as homeopathic may not be highly diluted; they can contain substantial amounts of active ingredients. Like any drug or dietary supplement that contains chemical ingredients, these homeopathic products may cause side effects or drug interactions. Negative health effects from homeopathic products of this type have been reported.”
The NCCAM article was not the first time Wikipedia was caught falsifying the placebo claim. This blog made note of the same charge in its entry on January 29th, 2012. (Wikipedia and the Case Against Homeopathy)
BACK TO LINDE
As you can see, WIkipedia is caught in a crossfire of its own references. Like a ping pong match, once again, tracing back to footnote number two we found, at the end of the rainbow, Edzard Ernst’s Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews of Homeopathy, which stated,
“The existence of contradicting evidence is not unusual in therapeutics. One solution to resolve such contradictions is to conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses of rigorous studies. In 1997, Linde et al did just that. The conclusions of this technically superb meta-analysis expressed the notion that homeopathic medicines are more than mere placebos.”
Not one major meta analysis has been able to effectively conclude that the action of homeopathic remedies is due solely to the placebo effect. Not even Shang, the most popular homeopathy meta analysis among skeptics, was able to clearly conclude that the effect was from chance, iatrogenesis or “placebo,” admitting “a weak effect.” A review of the data by independent analysis of Shang determined that even in this most damning meta of homeopathy, ”Homeopathy had a significant effect beyond placebo.” Ludtke Rutten
The literature for the homeopathic placebo simply doesn’t exist. The urban legend was a badly executed deception popularized by James Randi 14 years ago to support his phony offer of one million dollars ($1,000,000) to prove homeopathy, an offer that his supporters, which includes the pharmaceutical drug industry, are still desperately hanging onto as proof that homeopathy is unprovable.
The question remains, who wrote the Homeopathy article for Wikipedia, and how much were they paid, out of whose pocket?