Bad Science Watch

Bad Science Watch

April 19, 2013 12:00 ET

Pull Licenses of Nosodes, Health Canada Urged

Watchdog Supports National Immunization Awareness Week By Fighting Homeopathic "Vaccine Alternatives"

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 19, 2013) - Bad Science Watch is contributing to National Immunization Awareness Week 2013 by reminding Canadians that homeopathic "vaccine alternatives" do not work and will not protect them from disease. They say Health Canada's approval of these products, known as 'nosodes', is weakening national immunization efforts, and they are calling on Health Canada to revoke the products' licenses. The watchdog's 'Stop Nosodes' campaign is supported by the BC Center for Disease Control, Alberta Health Services, the UBC School of Population and Public Health, and a number of prominent scientists.

Nosodes are homeopathic preparations made from diseased tissue, pus, blood, or excretions of a sick person or animal. The material is diluted over and over again in water or alcohol until there is often none left in the end solution. The end result is often sprayed on pills made of milk sugar and allowed to dry.

Health Canada currently licenses at least 82 nosode products that are used by homeopaths and naturopaths to prevent dangerous diseases like measles, whooping cough, polio, and tuberculosis. There is no good evidence that these preparations can prevent disease at all, yet Health Canada promises Canadians that these products have been determined to be "effective".

Low vaccination rates have led to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases across Canada in the last few years; in the UK a massive ongoing outbreak of measles in an under-vaccinated region has led to 800 sick children. Bad Science Watch fears a repeat of this scenario in Canada if more people forgo vaccination, or choose ineffective nosodes instead of vaccines.

"By licensing nosodes Health Canada undermines its own policies and is working against its own efforts to promote vaccination," said Michael Kruse, campaign director and co-founder of Bad Science Watch. "We must stop putting Canadian families at unnecessary risk and ban these products."

The Stop Nosodes campaign website, www.stopnosodes.org, features an open letter to Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq that has been signed by over 170 scientists and healthcare professionals from Canada and abroad including Dr. Paul Offit, the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Prof. Edzard Ernst, the world's first Professor of Complementary Medicine, from the University of Exeter.

Bad Science Watch is an independent non-profit consumer protection organization that advocates for good science in public policy. More information can be found at www.badsciencewatch.ca and www.stopnosodes.org. National Immunization Awareness Week runs from April 20th to the 27th.

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