1.7 M Euros = $2.7 million dollars to study homeopathy effects on animals
Homeopathic veternarians are celebrating this month in the UK midst intense pseudo-skeptical denial of evidence for the biological action of high dilutes, the solutions used in homeopathic medical remedies.
VETS SAY IT WORKS
Opposition to the controversial medicine that challenges basic physics and chemistry has reached delusional proportions this month with the announcement that the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee (AGRI) will vote on a draft budget of 2 million Euros ($2.7 million dollars or £1.7million pounds) for research on the use of homeopathy on farm animals.
HOMEOPATHIC VETS DELIGHTED, “SKEPTICS” FURIOUS
Smallholder.co.uk (a website for agricultural users of land smaller than 50 acres) reports that Homeopathic vet Mark Elliott, President of the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS) says “we are delighted with the proposal to fund further research in to the use of homeopathic and herbal medicine for farm animals.”
But traditional opponents of homeopathy, usually proponent of anti-biotics and synthesized patent medicines are damning AGRI’s decision.
“Even animals can be affected by the placebo affect,” says Ben Goldacre, a medical journalist who writes for the U.K.‘s Guardian newspaper.
Meiron Jones, a producer for the BBC, in a response to Oliver Dowding, a dairyman who has long used homeopathy to treat his herd, goes even further to suggest that some animals are not honest about their reactions to homeopathic remedies:
“Some animals can deceive. Various varieties of ground-nesting birds – plovers and larks for instance – have been recorded (and filmed) pretending to have a broken wing to lure predators away from the nest. But I agree that lying and indulging in semantic arguments would be a stretch. The point is not the animals but the person who is assessing their health which is where the placebo effect comes in. The BBC did cover this a number of years ago. The alternative vet Christopher Day set up a double-blind trial in the mid 1980s which was reported on by `QED’ on the BBC in 1991. The results appeared to show that homeopathy for mastitis in cows did a lot better than the placebo which was water. Unfortunately the trial had not been properly randomised and the paper was not accepted by the Veterinary Record. Day has not been able to replicate the results subsequently but still believes homeopathic remedies are effective in animals. I agree it would be very interesting to see that trial properly done – double-blind, three groups of animals one treated with water, one treated with homeopathic, one treated with antibiotics. It is more a documentary than the sort of thing `Newsnight’ could organise but maybe you should contact `Countryfile’ or `Horizon’ and suggest it. The main BBC switchboard number is 0208 743 8000.”
A DAIRYMAN RESPONDS
Dowding responds to critics of homeopathy like Godacre and Jones who say the success of homeopathy on animals is the placebo effect:
“Perhaps you could explain how that works with millions of animals of all shapes and sizes? I am thinking particularly of dairy cattle, 600kgs, dozens or hundreds in a herd. You may think you can rubbish homoeopathy in relation to humans (which you cannot, as it happens) but you fall down when confronted by these millions of creatures who do not know how to deceive, lie, distort, play with words etc.
“How is it that you think what you dismiss homoeopathy as a “belief system”, works in this instance? How do the animals acquire their “belief”? Who teaches them? Do you credit the thousands of herdsmen and women with incredible powers that they can “counsel” their animals? That presumes that they have time to “counsel” 200 or more cows they may have in their care.
“Whenever I raise this point with cynics (sorry, sceptics) like yourself, I fail to receive a clear answer. That may be because it suddenly becomes clear quite how many animals are responding positively, in hundreds of countries, attended by hundreds of thousands of homoeopaths or stockmen/women, etc. A bit beyond random, or placebo, or chance etc.
“Sometimes we don’t know HOW something works, and sometimes it upsets us and our previously acquired scientific or rational understanding of x or y. But that does not mean it doesn’t work – just as I don’t know how my key hits are putting letters on this screen. I’m not denying it works just because I don’t know the mechanism.
“Situations like this are when we need to reappraise and admit we don’t know it all, have all the solutions and that there just might be an alternative we haven’t worked out for ourselves. I’m happy to accept some of the “conventional medics” solutions. Isn’t this called discovery?
“I appreciate you have backed yourself in to a bit of a corner and getting out could be embarrassing. However, it might be wise to try.”
Dowding follows up with a TV program of his own and makes a powerful statement for homeopathy.
Herdsmen like Dowding, who have used it for common mastitis in cows, and organizations like the BAHVS who have used it on a broad variety of subjects are indicators that the world is on the verge of a paradigm shift in medicine.
The human listeria outbreak in the US is yet another example of how homeopathy could have saved lives, and Dowding’s cows, and the EU’s investment of $2.7M in homeopathy research are proof ot it. Homeopathy works for plants, it works for animals . . and two centuries of epidemiological use has made it quite clear it works for humans too.
John Benneth, Homeopath
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