Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Boiron and Oscillococcinum: fairy dust diluted out of (non)existence

You know the details of how homeopathy is supposed to work, right? If not review this and come back when you're done...

That was the serious version, this is the not so serious version...

Boiron, a company that sells homeopathic nostrums, has threatened Italian blogger Samuele Riva who dared point out that there is no active ingredient in Oscillococcinum (which anyone can see by understanding basic chemistry, how homeopathy works, and reading the back of the package).

Many people don't know what homeopathy is or say "What's the Harm?" and it is showing up on more and more pharmacy shelves, like Walmart, CVS, Target. So I'm posting this not only to contribute to the Streisand Effect, but also to raise awareness of the fact that there are major retailers selling homeopathic products.

And to the people at Boiron... if you want me to link to your site instead of the other sites when I'm talking about Oscillococcinum, then that would be advertising and I expect a large sum of money. If you want bloggers to give up our free speech rights, and not say bad things about you when it's in the public interest, then you can take all that money, put it in a blender and grind it up to dust. Then put a ml of it into 99 ml of water (hope that water doesn't have any memories of money that might have been in it before), do the magical shake-shake-shake...take 1 ml of that put it into a different 99 ml of water, repeat the shaking... repeat that about 200 times and send that last 100 ml to me...I'll be the richest person in the Universe!

* The thing in the title about "fairy dust diluted out of (non)existence" comes from Steven Novella's article at Science Based Medicine about Oscillococcinum.

** Time Magazine seems to agree. Homeopathic flu remedies is the #1 thing they say you should stop buying. I didn't mention that Oscillococcinum is being sold to treat "influenza-like symptoms". Many people might mistake that to mean that it treats influenza, which isn't what it's claiming. There are homeopaths who claim there are homeopathic treatments for influenza, which should be a crime. It can be dangerous to lead people to believe that it treats the flu...people die from the flu.

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