Homeopathic and “alternative” therapies could lose non-profit status

Earlier this year, Scientific American and others reported US families saying that their children were harmed by homeopathic medicine.  According to Russia Today, Russia’s Academy of Science sees homeopathy as a pseudoscience.

So, when the British charity commission started stripping homeopaths of their charitable status, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Ten days later, the report is the last entry in the Guardian’s Alternative Medicine blog, suggesting that even that newspaper is withdrawing its support for anything other than standard medical treatment. 

But in other parts of the world, there is official praise for homeopathy.    The economic times of India quoted President Pranab Mukherjee as saying “Homoeopathy is more cost-effective as compared to modern allopathic treatment and does not have side effects,” before telling the story of how homeopathy came to India through a Romanian practitioner.

It should be noted that homeopathy is regulated in India, and practicing alternative medicine without qualifications could lead to arrest and jail time.  Unfortunately, these arrests do not stop quacks from practicing without a license, or from setting up new shop when they are caught.  Repeat offenses can lead to tragic consequences, last year a 36 year old man was killed in Tamil Nadu after being treated by a quack.


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