A certain teapot has just eviscerated the whackloons at Freedom4Health (whose batshit crazy prose is almost certainly the work of William Alderson and his merry band of delusional homeopathists).
But there is so much comedy gold in such a small webshite that I feel another potshot is merited, especially since so few articles by reality denialist cretins actually permit of a one word rebuttal.
Nothing. Thanks for asking.
Oh, it was rhetorical. Carry on then, if you must.
1. The ASA is acting beyond its remit and effectively attempting to act as a regulator of what constitutes medical practice.
False. They are ruling on the claims you make, which fall squarely within their remit. They don’t cover doctors, but you’re not doctors, you are medically unqualified quacks selling fake medicines with claims to cure real disease. In a just world you would be prosecuted for fraud and practising medicine without a license. You get off very lightly.
2. The ASA is not basing its decisions on “the available scientific knowledge” (CAP Code 12.1), or even on the dominant paradigm of evidence based medicine (EBM).
False. They are basing their conclusions on the best scientific evidence – to summarise:
- There is no reason to suppose homeopathy should work
- There is no way it can work
- There is no proof it does work
We understand you are in denial about this. the problem is your end. We’ve seen your version of the “best available evidence” – it includes fraudulently claiming that a “case study in research misconduct” is an official Health Technology Assessment by the Swiss Government. You wouldn’t know a fact if it bit you on the arse, which is in fact pretty much what has happened here.
And please spare us your Kuhnian special pleading. EBM is not a “paradigm”, it’s a way of improving the practise of medicine.
3. The ASA is adopting the radical view that only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are ‘objective’ and have validity, and that patients’ reports on their own health are ‘subjective’ and invalid, even when backed by other evidence. This position is not only unscientific but is extremely hazardous to the health of patients. 85% of the information required for diagnosis comes from what the patient says. In addition, about 50% of RCTs of medicine as a whole are inconclusive. The MHRA ‘yellow card scheme’ exists precisely because ‘objective’ trial results are not reliable guides to the reality of clinical practice.
False. The ASA is adopting the entirely reasonable approach that if you want to make extravagant claims to cure disease, then you have to prove them to the same standard that anyone selling an actual medicine would have to (and bear in mind that if homeopathy was medicine it would be illegal to advertise to consumers anyway).
The MHRA yellow card scheme exists because any medicine that has an effect, can have a side-effect. Homeopathy is exempt because in the “potencies” normally used it has no effect, side or otherwise.
4. The ASA is refusing to permit publication of evidence of effectiveness in clinical practice, even when the evidence is gathered by national health services from thousands or millions of people, and even when nature of the evidence is clearly identified.
False. They permit the use of credible evidence. You have none. The problem is your end.
5. The ASA has admitted that it does not have the competence to assess evidence relating to holistic/natural/integrative medical practice.
Red herring. This only became an issue because you tried to snow them with bollocks like the “Swizz report”; they therefore retained an expert, who saw right through you. Sucks to be you.
6. When the ASA does employ the services of ‘experts’, their qualifications, career path and financial interests have previously been almost entirely allied to conventional medical pharmacology, with no evidence of any training or qualifications relating to the subject therapy.
Red herring. Nobody advertising homeopathy is free of a much more serious conflict of interest. Your entire livelihood depends on asserting the legitimacy of something that lacks any plausible basis in reality.
7. Faced by evidence which contradicts its arguments, the ASA has redrafted the arguments, ignored the evidence, or even redrafted the complaint(!) in order to retain the same conclusion. One complaint was radically redrafted after seven months of correspondence, despite the fact that the ASA requires that “Complaints must be made within three months of the marketing communication’s appearance”.
False. The ASA were merely unswayed by your Gish gallop. Sucks to be you.
8. The ASA makes claims without producing any evidence to support them, and then bases its conclusions on such unsupported claims.
False. That’s homeopaths you’re thinking of.
9. The ASA uses slanted language. The investigation team consistently slants its presentation of marketers’ cases negatively by stating that they ‘believe’ that their evidence supports their statements, and ‘believe’ their conclusions to be true. On the other hand, the investigation team positively slants its own opinions by ‘considering’ its own statements to be the case, even when these are opinions unsupported by any evidence, and by ‘concluding’ from these opinions as though they were based on sound evidence.
False. The ASA uses reality-based descriptions in plain language. Not blunt language (they don’t actually come right out and say you’re a bunch of weasels) but the language used is accurate and fair.
10. The ASA investigation team presents the ‘prosecution’ case to the ASA Council; the investigation team has complete control over the presentation of the ‘defence’ case; and the investigation team also recommends the judgement. This is a fundamentally flawed approach to justice, especially in the context of the other issues outlined above.
Red herring. This is not a quasi-judicial process. The council exists to oversee the work of the ASA staff, the staff do their job, the Council checks their working. That siad, I don’t think you’d do any better with the council: you only seem to get any traction when you can leverage an insider who shares your delusions, such as David Tredinnick (Holland & Barrett, Con).
11. The ASA intimidates advertisers, who are mainly self-employed therapists, with language that makes the ASA sound like a government agency, when in fact they are a private limited company created by the advertising industry.
False. The ASA mainly rules against large faceless companies. If you want to put yourself in the firing line by making quack claims, don’t expect to be given special treatment because you profit personally and individually from the quack claims.