The last week has seen an extraordinary series of investigations published across the UK press, exposing the anti-vaccination claims of homeopaths in the UK.
Last Monday, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens wrote the PSA to express his concerns over their reaccreditation of the Society of Homeopaths, with his forthright letter making headlines in the Mail, Telegraph, BBC, Guardian, Independent and Times – the latter of whom published a powerful Leader calling for the Society to be stripped of its PSA accreditation.
The next day, the Daily Mail published an investigation which showed the homeopathic pharmacy Ainsworths – a manufacturer who carry a royal warrant – were selling homeopathic vaccines for measles and polio, along with a guide on how to use those ‘nosodes’ in place of proven vaccines. The story prompted a column from the Daily Mail’s resident doctor, Dr Max Pemberton, outlining just how dangerous this advice is when put into practice.
Over the weekend, both the Daily Mail and The Telegraph published undercover investigations into anti-vaccine advice given by homeopaths during face-to-face consultations with patients, with The Telegraph going on to expose how Facebook are profiting from offering targeted advertising to homeopaths who wish to promote homeopathic vaccine-alternatives to new parents.
Most pertinently for us, the Daily Mail also published on Saturday an investigation revealing that board members of the Society of Homeopaths had shared anti-vaccine misinformation to social media, prior to receiving reaccreditation by the PSA. Good Thinking is currently challenging the PSA accreditation of the Society of Homeopaths, based in part on the anti-vaccine position of many of the Society’s registrants.
Our Project Director, Michael Marshall, explained:
“Quite simply, this kind of anti-vaccine misinformation puts the health of the public at risk. We have seen recently a number of homeopaths spreading the untrue claim that vaccines are dangerous, and that the supposed dangers caused by vaccines can be cured by homeopathy, but it is deeply disturbing to see these falsehoods shared by leaders of the Society of Homeopaths themselves.
“If the Society is not even able to prevent their own board members from spreading dangerous scaremongering, it raises serious questions as to how seriously the organisation takes its duty to prevent their registered members from misleading and endangering the public.
“This is an organisation that is accredited by the PSA and holds its kitemark, which its member homeopaths are also permitted to display. The PSA advises that the public can avoid ‘bad apples’ by only choosing healthcare practitioners who are members of bodies holding its kitemark, and that this is the best way to find competent and trustworthy healthcare professionals. These posts demonstrate that this is simply not the case, and that PSA should urgently rethink its decision to accredit the Society of Homeopaths.”
Good Thinking’s legal case against PSA accreditation of the Society of Homeopaths is still ongoing – you can help support the case with a small donation at crowdjustice.com/case/gts-cease-psa/.