Sellers of Homeopathic Flu Remedies Spreading Lies and Misinformation
On October 29, 2015, Bad Science Watch sent out the following release, cautioning Canadians about misleading and unsubstantiated claims made by sellers of Homeopathic remedies. Health Canada’s letter to Bad Science Watch, which acknowledges and concurs with Bad Science Watch’s findings, can be found here.
TORONTO, ONTARIO—(Marketwired – Oct. 29, 2015) – With the start of influenza season in Canada, Bad Science Watch is warning Canadians not to trust websites that are selling homeopathic products claiming to treat or prevent the flu. This warning is supported by a recent ruling by Health Canada, which confirmed the presence of misleading advertising on websites of sellers of homeopathic remedies.
In November of 2014, Bad Science Watch produced the report « Review of Canadian Sellers of Homeopathic Flu ‘Vaccines’ (Nosodes) » and submitted what they felt were violations of the Canadian Food and Drug Act, which prohibits sellers from making misleading or scientifically unsupportable claims for these products. Bad Science Watch received a confirmation on October 13, 2015 from the Marketed Health Products Directorate at Health Canada that our concerns were merited and they are taking steps to stop these misleading claims.
Using homeopathic products to treat or prevent the flu, or as a « vaccine alternative », is not supported by any scientific evidence and no products have been licenced in Canada for these indications. This has not stopped several manufacturers from making claims like « It’s a natural homeopathic alternative to the flu vaccine and does not have any side effects and is safe for everyone. » These products, such as Boiron’s Influenzinum 9C, must be able to show that they do not contain any active influenza material in order to be licenced as a nosode.
This past August 2015, under pressure from Bad Science Watch and public health groups, Health Canada strengthened the warning labels on these products, but this has not stopped homeopaths and naturopaths from prescribing them for this purpose.
« We urge Canadians to be extremely wary of these products, » said Michael Kruse, chair of the board of directors for Bad Science Watch. « They have no active ingredients and do not protect you from contracting the flu, which can be very dangerous. We hope that sellers recognize this and remove any misleading claims from their website. » A review of the websites after the Health Canada letter revealed that some of the distributors had changed their language or removed the products entirely, but others still contained the misleading language.
The eight flu vaccines approved by Health Canada are the only proven way to prevent influenza. The complete Bad Science Watch report can be found at the link below.
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