Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good news on quackery

Two pieces of unrelated good news about alternative medicine in South Africa and the developing world...

First, a couple of weeks ago the Voice of Young Science (part of the British Sense About Science charity) wrote an open letter to the World Health Organization to ask it to issue clear guidelines on the use of homeopathic preparations for five serious diseases. The WHO has now responded by saying it does NOT recommend homeopathy for the treatment of HIV, TB, malaria, influenza or infant diarrhea. The Voice of Young Science has written to health ministers (pdf) informing them of the WHO's position.

Second, as the Treatment Action Campaign reports, the Advertising Standards Authority of Southern Africa (ASA) has ruled in favor of a complaint against a company selling a herbal remedy called Revivo advertized as a cure for HIV and AIDS. This is great news -- skeptics should make an effort to issue more complaints, and hopefully ASA will continue to side with science.

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