Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

US Mandates “No Evidence” Labels for Homeopathic Products

By Justin Coleman

Before advocates of science get too excited, though, a number of caveats may limit its effect.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an enforcement policy statement requiring the marketers of homeopathic products to “effectively communicate the lack of scientific evidence” on product labels (http://tinyurl.com/h8yzsla). This is the first time in the USA that homeopathic products will legally require a label stating that they don’t work.

Numerous submissions to the FTC report cited the National Health and Medical Research Council’s 2015 Statement on Homeopathy (http://tinyurl.com/zztzm4q), which concluded there is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective for any health conditions.

At the time, the NHMRC review copped some flak from both sides. Some evidence-based proponents argued that spending a couple of million dollars to confirm what we already knew was a waste, while homeopathy advocates argued that the report’s conclusion was, well, just wrong. This concrete outcome – regulating the world’s most profitable homeopathy market – must now provide a fillip to the hard-working NHMRC reviewers.

Although the evidence overwhelmingly supports the new FTC policy, much of their report deals with legal issues, possibly pre-empting industry arguments that regulating advertising...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.