The verdict is in, yet again: homeopathy is good for nothing. An exhaustive meta-analysis (a study of studies) of 225 controlled studies and nearly 2,000 papers - spanning evidence provided by homeopathy interest groups to government guidelines - has reached the clear conclusion that homeopathy is not an effective way to treat any health condition.
The study was carried out by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and audited by an independent contractor. It's hardly the first time a study has debunked homeopathy, but perhaps it's never been done quite so thoroughly or persuasively.
The published report went further, noting: “People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.” The U.S. government estimates that millions of American adults use homeopathic “treatments” each year, shelling out billions of dollars for the (at best) placebo effect.
Bring on the conspiracy theorists, who will reject the report’s clear-cut, damning conclusion on grounds of “mainstream science” being somehow biased, or part of a grand conspiracy funded by the government or the Illuminati or goodness-knows-who.
There’s just one problem. It doesn’t work. There is nothing new about this. Homepathy has been debunked any number of times — just take a look at this 2002 report in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. But never, perhaps, quite as thoroughly or convincingly as Wednesday morning when Australia’s foremost medical research institute released a report debunking a therapy that nearly 4 million Americans used in 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Health.