Griffith University Skeptics and Freethinkers

Archive for the ‘Helping our community.’ Category

So who’s up for some skeptical activism at the Woodford Folk Festival?

In GUSSF Events!, Helping our community., Human Rights on December 13, 2011 at 8:07 PM

 A call to action for all Queensland Skeptics:

Sourced from the Skeptimite blog


As you have probably heard, Meryl Dorey of AVN infamy is booked to speak at the Woodford Folk Festival on Dec 29 and 30.  If you are not aware of the situation check out the @drunkenmadman blog and wiki for the facts and links.

What to do?

Step one:
Email, tweet and phone everyone involved to let them know your concerns. The wiki has links with contact details.

Comment on blogs and web articles. The Mamamia article by Peter Bowditch is a great place to start, with more info and comments.

Also spread the word to your twitter followers, facebook friends and so on.

Step two:
Get to Woodford. We need skeptics on site to record (if legally possible) Meryls talk, take notes and per haps hand out fliers.  I hope that someone very capable will be able to ask Meryl some tough questions in the Q&A.

I am thinking perhaps handing out fliers while wearing t-shirts that say “Vaccines Save Lives” or similar might be the way to go. Skeptics can then answer questions from the public in a calm and rational manner.

At this stage, I hope to be there for both days. I am happy to car pool from Brisbane northside, although I only have a two seater.

All feedback, comments and suggestions welcome.

Please get in touch @skeptimite or phil.kent at bigpond.com

 

http://skeptimite.blogspot.com/2011/12/call-to-action-meryl-dorey-at-woodford.html

http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/woodford-folk-festival-allows-dangerous-anti-vax-woman-to-speak/

http://www.mycolleaguesareidiots.com/archive/2011/12/10/A-letter-to-the-organisers-of-Woodford-Folk-Festival.aspx

http://wiki.mycolleaguesareidiots.com/DoreyAtWoodford.ashx#sponsors

 

 

 

 

Australian Atheists needed for Ph.D research

In Helping our community. on October 6, 2011 at 10:25 PM

A Ph.D candidate at the University of Western Syney is currently looking for Australian Atheists to take part in his Ph.D research on atheism and the new atheism. Please do not hesitate to contact him via his e-mail address (a.nixon@uws.edu.au) if you are interested in adding your voice to this research or if you know anyone else that may be interested in participating.

The Rise of the New Atheism?
Alan Nixon
a.nixon@uws.edu.au<mailto:a.nixon@uws.edu.au>
PhD Candidate
University of Western Sydney
Ethics Approval Number: H9065

What is this study about?
This study seeks to examine the importance of modern Atheism to people who are self-proclaimed ‘Atheists’. It aims to explore how people gain meaning from their Atheism. It is especially concerned with how people integrate their Atheism into their sense of who they are or their self-identity, how this affects the feeling of being part of a group and how this affects their lives. The study hopes to give people who have been affected by Atheism or the new atheism a chance to describe their experiences. It also hopes to shed light on the relationship between the current society and Atheism from the perspective of participants.

Who would I like to contribute to it?
I would like to talk to men and women aged 18+ years who are self-proclaimed Atheists or New Atheists.

What’s involved if I agree to participate?
If you agree to participate, you will be asked to be interviewed on one occasion for about 2 hours. The interview will involve discussing (in text, voice or face to face) your experiences as an Atheist and how they have affected your life. With your agreement face to face interviews will be audio-taped and transcribed. The interview can take place anywhere that you feel comfortable to talk, such as in your home or other favourite location or online (e.g. Skype or e-mail).

Please let me know what your preferred interview method will be.

Please note: Details of any illegal activities that you or others may be involved in should not be discussed with the researcher

Will the interview be confidential?
Any personally identifying information you provide is treated confidentially. We will use an alternative name (Pseudonym) to record your contribution and will also change any details that could be used to identify you. Your contact details will be kept in a locked filing cabinet separate from the interview material. Although by default we will keep your information confidential, you can request to have your details (real name) printed in the final document.

Am I able to refuse or withdraw at any time?
Participation in this research is voluntary and you can choose to stop the interview at any time without giving a reason. You can also refuse to answer specific questions. There are no consequences for withdrawing from the interview.

People to contact for information or complaints
If you have any questions about the study, you can contact the researcher, Alan Nixon on a.nixon@uws.edu.au<mailto:a.nixon@uws.edu.au>

If you have any concerns or complaints about the study, please contact the University of Western Sydney Human Research Ethics committee on humanethics@uws.edu.au<mailto:humanethics@uws.edu.au>

 

September features the hugest month of great events yet for Reason Australia

In Embiggen Books, GUSSF Events!, Helping our community., Homeopathy Awareness Week, Modern Day Witchcraft, Responses to the media, Science on August 31, 2011 at 6:59 PM

In the lead up to our much anticipated official launch, Reason Australia are compiling a one-stop calendar of events nationwide that may be of interest to our members, supporters and friends.

If you are hosting or are aware of an event that is not yet featured on the Reason Australia events page, please contact our media and community relations manager via the following email address:

If you are holding or know of an event that is not yet featured on the Reason Australia events page, please contact our media and community relations manager via the following email address:

jayson.cooke@reasonaustralia.org

Please feel free to provide feedback via the above contact as well.

Jayson D Cooke

A BETTER LIFE FOR AFRICANS

In Discrimination, Equality, GUSSF Events!, Helping our community., Human Rights, Leo Igwe, Modern Day Witchcraft on August 13, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Can science aid the battle against superstition?

Can rational thinking stop children being burnt as witches?

 Speaker: Leo Igwe

 Leo Igwe is the founder of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, the Nigerian Skeptics Society and former director of the Centre for Inquiry/Nigeria. He works for the International Humanist and Ethical Union as its director in West and Southern Africa. He also represents the IHEU at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in Banjul, Gambia. He has written numerous articles on human rights, humanism, scepticism and free thought in Africa.

Leo has been arrested and beaten by the Nigerian police and local gangs as a result of his campaigns against superstition, injustices and fanaticism. Recently he spent much of his time rescuing alleged witch children in the south of the country. He will talk about the consequences of challenging such beliefs. He will also discuss the role that scientific and critical thinking can play in improving the life of the average African and the future of the continent.

On 23 August Leo will visit the Gold Coast during a speaking tour sponsored by Australian Skeptics Inc. The Gold Coast event will be held at Gold Coast Little Theatre, 21a Scarborough Street, Southport starting at 7.30 pm.

After the presentation, supper will be served in the GCLT green room. This will be a great opportunity to ask Leo questions and share ideas with other members of the audience.

For catering purposes, bookings are essential.

Contact –

Lilian Derrick: phone 5593 2776 or email: lderrick@bigpond.net.au

Frank Culell: phone 5562 1869 or email: fmculell@bigpond.com

at

Gold Coast Little Theatre, 21a Scarborough St, Southport

Tuesday 23 August 2011 at 7.30 pm.

 

Everyone welcome. Donation of $5 includes supper after the presentation.

Bookings essential

Promotional Flyer

Know your Measles symptoms if you’re heading to the Gold Coast

In Helping our community., Responses to the media, Science on May 9, 2011 at 11:06 PM

The recent spike in measles cases across the Gold Coast this month once again highlights the importance of immunisation. With three confirmed cases of the highly infectious disease all acquired locally, health authorities are urging the public to check their vaccinations are up-to-date.

Vice President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Dr Steve Hambleton advises that measles is highly infectious and amongst those susceptible can spread exceedingly quickly.

“The low vaccination rates of northern NSW and South East Queensland create the potential for a sustained spread of the measles virus. Measles is a very nasty disease, people think it’s mild but it’s not and there are long term consequences. We all worry about pandemic influenza, yet measles is at least 10 times more infections. It’s very serious and can result in long term brain damage, short term death, pneumonia and complications including slow congenital changes in the brain, so it’s just not true to say that it’s a benign disease,”

Gold Coast Public Health Medical Officer, Dr Don Staines, said symptoms usually started around 10 days after infection but sometimes longer.

“The initial symptoms are fever, lethargy, runny nose, moist cough and sore and red eyes, followed a few days later by a blotchy red rash. The rash starts on the face then becomes widespread. Anyone who develops measles-like symptoms should contact their GP for advice,”

“They should call the medical practice first to say they could have measles, so staff can take precautions to avoid spreading the disease to others”,

Queensland Health recommends anyone born during or since 1966, who has not had two documented doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine or had proven measles, should visit their local GP for a free extra vaccination.

How will Gloria Thomas celebrate World Homeopathy Awareness Week?

In 10:23, Helping our community., Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homepathy, Human Rights, Modern Day Witchcraft on April 11, 2011 at 8:27 AM

[Originally posted April 2010]

A subheading in The Australian in September 2009 read:

“BABY Gloria Thomas died an excruciating death after weeks of agony caused by the virulent eczema that eroded her skin, covered her body in wounds and retarded her development.”

The parents of this poor girl refused to seek professional medical care, instead relying solely on homeopathic treatments. This was despite the child’s clearly deteriorating condition and what must have been unimaginable suffering over a period of 5 months. Gloria Thomas died on the 8th of May, 2002 at 9 and half months of age, weighing just 2kg more than her birth weight, her hair having turned grey, her body malnourished, and her skin cracked open.[1]

Unfortunately the preventable death of this infant is far from an isolated case with website http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html detailing a further 437 cases of harm due to the reliance on homeopathic concoctions.[2]

So what is Homeopathy and what do these treatments consist of?
According to the Australasian College of Natural Therapies website:
Homoeopathy is a system of medicine that works by administering patients a dilute dose of a substance that in a crude form would cause symptoms similar to that which the patient is experiencing. Homeopathic medicines often contain active ingredients diluted to a beyond a measurable level.[3]

Unfortunately for proponents of homeopathy and their customers the measurable amount is zero and the end product is nothing more than whatever liquid was used to dilute the original substance. In other words there is no active ingredient in homeopathic products at all, yet they are sold in pharmacies and supermarkets around Australia and the world.

Type homeopathy into a search engine and you will find countless sites promoting so called treatments as an alternative to conventional medicine; supplements and the like for all manner of ailments, most often in what can be considered by their users as authoritative health websites. These web sites often contain links to other claims that are scientifically dubious and often either untested or refuted in controlled conditions.

A 2002 position statement on Complimentary and Alternative medicine presented to the White House by the National Council Against Health Fraud[4] contains the following excerpt from a New England Journal of Medicine editorial:

“There cannot be two kinds of medicine –conventional and alternative. There is only Medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work. Once a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted. But assertions, speculation and testimonials do not substitute for evidence. Alternative treatments should be subject to scientific testing no less rigorous than that required for conventional treatments.”[5]

While Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the body responsible for the regulation of such treatments, advises us that:

“complimentary medicines may only carry indications and claims for the symptomatic relief of conditions (other than serious disease, disorders, or conditions), health maintenance, health enhancement and risk reduction.”

However as the case of Gloria Thomas shows us, even relatively mild conditions if left untreated long enough can be fatal. Even if the homeopathic preparations themselves are not harmful, their use in substitution of proven and scientifically validated treatments can have the direst of consequences.

As prominent Melbourne pharmacy and drug information consultant Ron Batagol is quoted as saying:

“You need to be quite careful that you’re not excluding the urgent need for medical treatment, because coughs and colds can lead to severe bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia and you really need to be looking after these things medically”

Listing with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), is conditional on evidence that

“…must be sufficient to substantiate that the indications and claims are true, valid and not misleading.”

Yet the scientific literature is littered with the results of many years research on the effectiveness and validity of homeopathic treatments and they are overwhelmingly inconsistent in terms of quality, yet consistent with one result, that homeopathic treatments do nothing more than elicit what is referred to as the ‘placebo effect’ in respondents.

Our minds can anticipate expected effects of perceived treatments, creating the often self fulfilling expectation that the respondent is feeling better, regardless of the effectiveness of treatment. It is an expected condition of medical trials that this placebo effect be accounted for and eliminated as a source of potential bias in a study in order to differentiate actual curative effects from this expectation driven subjective response. Unfortunately outside of laboratory conditions and particularly for the non-medically trained public, a placebo response can be seen as a positive health result, but in actuality the root cause of their complaint has not been addressed and may grow worse if effective treatment is not administered.

In 1993 the Council of the Faculty of Homeopathy, London issuing a statement advising

“The Council of the Faculty of Homeopathy, London, strongly supports the conventional vaccination program and has stated that vaccination should be carried out in the normal way, using the conventional tested and proved vaccines, in the absence of medical contraindications.”

Closer to home, the Executive Director of the Australian Natural Therapies Association is on public record as having said that no properly qualified natural therapist would recommend homeopathic ‘immunisation’ as an alternative to conventional immunisation. Yet despite these assertions, UK science written Simon Singh has described the findings of of Edzard Ernst and Katja Schmidt at Exeter University who conducted a survey among UK homeopaths. Emails were sent by the pair to168 homeopaths in which they effectively pretended to be a mother asking for advice about whether or not to vaccinate her one-year-old child against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Singh advises that of the 77 respondents, only two advised the mother to immunize.

In 2009, Dr Ken Harvey, a physician at La Trobe University’s school of public health complained to the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s complaints panel about a group called Homeopathy Plus! for allegedly promoting immunisations for a range of diseases when there is no scientific evidence to back it up.[12]

When asked what he expected to come of the complaint, Dr Harvey said he was not confident the TGA would take any meaningful action was quoted as saying

“It’s a complaint-driven system that doesn’t do anything,”.

Action was taken against the offending websites however in early 2010 which as a consequence of the TGA finding numerous breaches of the advertising code, the investigating Panel ruled for Homeopathy Plus! and http://www.d-n-h.org to remove the misleading material and issue the following retraction on their websites which is to remain for 90 days.

In spite of this finding by the peak regulatory body in Australia, the websites in question still contain the same misinformation that led to this ruling in the first place and the retraction seen above is not to be found.

Just as the situation seems hopeless however, in February 2010, The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee of the United Kingdom, having taken submissions from scientists and homeopaths to determine if homeopathy was effective, and therefore deserving of government funding, released their findings. They advised:

“In our view, the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that
homeopathic products perform no better than placebos”.

“We do not doubt that homeopathy makes some patients feel better. However, patient satisfaction can occur through a placebo effect… When doctors prescribe placebos, they risk damaging the trust that exists between them and their patients”. [17]

The report advises the UK government that the National Health Service should cease funding homeopathy as evidence shows homeopathy doesn’t work and that explanations for why homeopathy works are “scientifically implausible.”[18]

Just weeks prior to this announcement, The New Zealand Skeptics, in conjunction with 10:23, Skeptics in the Pub, The Australian Skeptics and others globally, held a mass overdose of homeopathic concoctions. Predictably all survived the stunt, however in response to the widely televised event New Zealand Council of Homeopaths spokesperson Mary Glaisyer admitted publicly that

“there’s not one molecule of the original substance remaining”

in homeopathic treatments, a fact not commonly shared by the homeopathic establishment.

Public pressure and less than flattering media coverage of the real evidence of homeopathic treatments is on the rise and if maintained, could very well lead to homeopathy going the way of phrenology, relegated to the dustbin of science, or at best a medical curiosity that our grandchildren will read about and laugh. However as Dr Ken Harvey pointed out, the TGA here in Australia is a complaint driven process. With that in mind I encourage everyone who reads this to explore the literature, speak to your Doctors and health professionals, and please forward a complaint to this http://www.tga.gov.au/contact.htm”>link:

The ball is rolling and I believe that this push against non-evidence based treatments can be brought into the public consciousness in such a way that little Gloria Thomas death may help other children and adults alike avoid her fate. The following are just some links to Australian media outlets that could be great public forums for this issue to gain the exposure it needs, the list provided here is by no means exhaustive and local newspapers are always hungry for stories:

http://au.todaytonight.yahoo.com/

http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/

http://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/

http://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/weekend-sunrise/

http://www.kerri-anne.com.au/

http://ten.com.au/the-circle.htm

and this great site for contact details of local members of parliament:

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/find-your-local-mp.htm

If you are not within Australia then simply utilising your preferred search engine will lead you to applicable media in your locale. If we all tell our friends, neighbours, relatives, local media and local, state and federal politicians and anyone who’ll listen, the word will get out. I can’t help but think, wouldn’t it be great if this was the last Homeopathy Awareness Week.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and as always please feel free to provide feedback.

Jayson D Cooke

GUSF

www.gussf.wordpress.com

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6117798570

To make a complaint to the TGA http://www.tga.gov.au/contact.htm

References

[1] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/parents-jailed-for-baby-fatal-neglect/story-e6frg97x-1225780651088

[2] http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html

[3] http://www.acnt.edu.au/index.asp?template=course&coursecode=6HON

[4] http://www.ncahf.org/pp/whcpp.html

[5] Angell M, Kassirer J. Alternative Medicine—The risks of untested and unregulated remedies. New England Journal of Medicine 339:839-841, 1998. http://kitsrus.com/pdf/nejm_998.pdf

[6] http://www.tga.gov.au/cm/cmreg-aust.htm

[7] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/23/2827835.htm

[8] http://www.tga.gov.au/cm/cmreg-aust.htm

[9] http://scepticsbook.com/wp-content/uploads/CRP_Determination_Homoepathic_Immunisation-1.pdf

[10] http://scepticsbook.com/wp-content/uploads/CRP_Determination_Homoepathic_Immunisation-1.pdf

[11] http://www.1023.org.uk/whats-the-harm-in-homeopathy.php

[12] http://www.smh.com.au/national/homeopath-sites-immunisation-claims-criticised-20090924-g4sc.html

[13] http://www.smh.com.au/national/homeopath-sites-immunisation-claims-criticised-20090924-g4sc.html

[14] http://www.skeptics.com.au/latest/news/homeopathy-websites-prosecuted-for-false-misleading-advertising/

[15] http://homeopathyplus.com.au/hplus/immunisation-issues/fact-sheet—-homeopathic-immunisation.html

[16] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/4507.htm

[17] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/4507.htm

[18] http://www.skeptics.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/45.pdf

[19] http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1001/S00073.htm

Cultural Club Sign-Up day at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus!

In GUSSF Events!, Helping our community. on March 4, 2011 at 1:30 PM

As Tuesday the 8th of March 2011 is Cultural Club Sign-Up day on Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus, I’d like to invite you all to join the

Griffith University Skeptics and Freethinkers.

For a meager $1 members are able to gain and share invaluable critical thinking skills, have the ability to publish our heavily trafficked blog, and have fun and gain valuable networking opportunities.

Our members have been interviewed on various radio and news programs, podcasts and in local, national and international media, all of which is a great experience while still studying.

With consumer advocacy and journalistic research in mind, our members have encountered/exposed/challenged climate change deniers, historical revisionists (holocaust deniers), young earth creationists & intelligent design advocates (Evolution deniers), ‘faith healers’, U.F.O proponents, white supremacists and a shocking variety of fraudulent and/or misleading health related products and practitioners.

We are currently looking for members to join our committee for the year to come and it would be great to see some new faces so please feel free to come and say hello on Club Sign-up day!

Our aims are:

To educate and share skills in critical thinking and scientific skepticism.

To investigate and explain paranormal and/or pseudo-scientific claims objectively.

To further the acceptance and application of evidence based reasoning, and critical thinking in all areas of human endeavor.

In fulfillment of these aims we pursue various goals:

• Advance the public understanding and appreciation of the scientific method.

• Explore pseudoscience topics, paranormal beliefs and the supernatural from a scientific/rationalistic perspective.

• Engage in journalistic research to investigate claims and where possible, draw public attention to the results from a natural, scientific perspective.

• Be constantly vigilant of the ethical consequences of skepticism and aware that people hold their beliefs and opinions sacred. We aim to educate, not coerce, understand rather than ridicule and we are open to anyone and everyone, the more the merrier!

We will be holding regular meetings, workshops on critical thinking, skeptics in the pub events and much more as well as continuing to host and promote as many great events as we can. Since forming our group, members have been fortunate enough to attend talks by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Dr Michael Shermer, Professor Ian Frazer, Dr Jay Browning, Professor Richard Dawkins, Professor K. Barry Sharpless, Professor Bill Phillips, Professor Alister McGrath, Professor Harry Messell, Richard Saunders, Peter Booth, Margaret Kitson, Dr Norman Doidge, Professor Matt Trau and many more, but we have plenty left still to come so join today to make sure you don’t miss out!

Jayson D Cooke
Founder and acting President of the GU Skeptics and Freethinkers
0432 039 122
jayson.d.cooke@gmail.com
http://www.gussf.wordpress.org

10:23 Queensland Event this coming Saturday 05/02/11

In 10:23, GUSSF Events!, Helping our community., Homepathy, Responses to the media, Science on January 31, 2011 at 11:36 AM

This coming Saturday 05/02/11 at 10:23am we will be staging our mass ‘overdose’ of Homeopathic products as part of the International 10:23 Challenge 2011.

The goal of this international campaign is to raise awareness of the fact that Homeopathic preparations contain no active ingredients and have been repeatedly shown by the best available evidence to be no more effective than placebos. We aim to discuss this with passers-by in a friendly and approachable way with the goal of aiding consumers to make an informed choice..

We will be meeting up at 9.30am at the two large metal spheres between the Treasury Casino and the Brisbane Library across George Street from the Queen Street Mall. We’re meeting early in order to set up our homeopathic preparations as well as to hand out amongst participants the information sheets and flyers for interested passers-by, and prepare for the arrival of the media. The event will climax with the mass ‘overdose’ at 10:23am were volunteers will consume ridiculous amounts of pre-vetted homeopathic products in front of onlookers, the gathered media, and our own cameras for video to be promptly uploaded online.

I will have limited copies of the official 10:23 leaflet as well as printed copies of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) official position statement on Homeopathy, and a Guardian article by Edzard Ernst.

If everyone else would like to print out and bring along copies of the above to hand out then that would be very much appreciated!

For any media representatives I have prepared a small press kit of information including both the previously mentioned articles as well as Edzard Ernst’s Systematic Review of the Cochrane Database.

Volunteer’s are required to BYO Homeopathic products for the ‘overdose and remember safety first!

Please only use homeopathic products manufactured by a reputable pharmaceutical company and please don’t participate if you have any underlying health concerns.

There are a few cautions when it comes to the pills:
Lactose intolerance/diabetes – some participants may suffer ill effects of the pills, due to underlying illnesses. The amount of sugar in the tablets is quite low, about a teaspoonful, if that, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Clean homeopathy; be cautious, some homeopaths provide pills which are tainted or spiked with other ingredients. Minimise risk by using 30c ‘potency’ tablets. Investigate the pills ahead of time. If you can’t be 100% sure they’re safe, DON’T RISK IT.

Also could we need volunteers to provide:
a. Filming equipment that can be easily uploaded online
b. Someone willing and able to film and upload later that day.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at jayson.d.cooke@gmail.com

And I hope to see you all this coming Saturday.

Jayson D Cooke

Consumers in Queensland to stage homeopathic ‘overdose’.

In 10:23, GUSSF Events!, Helping our community., Homeopathy Awareness Week, Homepathy on January 17, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Consumer rights activists across Australia have today announced their intention to take a mass homeopathic ‘overdose’ next month, as part of a major global protest against the alternative remedies.

Protesters in Brisbane will swallow entire bottles of homeopathic pills on February 5th 2011, in a bid to raise public awareness of the fact that homeopathic ‘remedies’ are ineffective – putting pressure on pharmacists and health-care providers to ensure that products sold as medical treatments actually work.

Jayson Cooke, Queensland spokesman for the group, said: “It’s a terrible irony that Queenslanders seeking remedies are unwillingly purchasing products that are diluted to the point there is no active ingredient. The last thing Queensland residents need right now is to be wasting money on ineffective treatments. Most people aren’t aware that homeopathic pills are not ‘herbal’ or ‘natural’ – even homeopaths agree the pills actually contain nothing but sugar and water. We’re taking part in this protest to show that these so-called remedies are useless, and have no place in health-care today.”

Homeopaths and pharmacists should not be selling these sugar pills to people who are ill – these useless treatments are waste of time and money.”

The demonstration is being organized by local consumer advocacy groups as part of the 10:23 Campaign – a global protest against the homeopathic remedies originating in the United Kingdom. Similar events will be taking place in dozens of countries around the world, with protests announced in Germany, Hungary, Australia and Canada.

Michael Marshall, co-ordinator of the international campaign, said: “We intend to show that there is a growing feeling around the world that enough time and money has been wasted on homeopathic remedies.

In the two hundred years these treatments have existed, there has never been anything to suggest they work – and because they’re nothing but sugar and water, they couldn’t possibly do the things homeopaths claim they can do.

Tens of billions of dollers are spent every year around the world on these ineffective remedies, and when told what they really are, and how they’re made, most people are shocked these useless treatments are still able to be sold to an unsuspecting public”.

The 10:23 Campaign launched a year ago in the UK, with almost 400 protesters taking part in ‘overdose’ events across the country following an admission by Britain’s leading pharmacy that the pills are only sold because consumers will buy them, not because they are effective. The campaign is named after ‘Avogadro’s Number’ – a scientific constant which can be used to show homeopathic potions contain no active ingredients.

Though some would argue dispensing sugar pills may seem harmless, the endorsement of homeopathic potions by pharmacists and health-care providers has grave consequences. As well as undermining public trust in medicine and medical advice, patients with serious conditions can avoid seeking medical attention in the belief that homeopathy can treat their condition. An investigation by the BBC in January 2011 revealed that homeopaths were willing to give travelers ineffective homeopathic ‘preparations’ to use in place of real anti-malarial drugs, as well as ineffective homeopathic alternatives to vaccinations.

The 10:23 Campaign is organising protests in more than twenty three cities across ten counties on February 5th, 2011.

Local contact: Jayson Cooke / jayson.d.cooke@gmail.com / 0432 039 122
International contact: Michael Marshall / contact@1023.org.uk / +44 7841 134 309

What you can do to inform Gold Coast parents, & protect children from ‘Body Brilliant Chiropractic’?

In GUSSF Events!, Helping our community., Responses to the media, Science, Uncategorized on December 5, 2010 at 1:33 PM

At the end of my last post I asked what else we can do about the proliferation of dangerous, erroneous, and pseudoscientific claims that Body Brilliant Chiropractic are successfully pushing in Childcare Centre’s and media aimed directly at Gold Coast parents.

We’ve managed to come up with some suggestions that are not at all time consuming and require no specific expertise! I encourage anyone who finds anything on the Body Brilliant Chiropractic website, that contradicts properly controlled studies and research from medical science (some of which is linked to in my post, but also check out http://www.healthinformation.com.au/ which links to the terrific
Cochrane Collaboration, and PubMed.) to lodge a complaint with the following bodies:

http://www.health.qld.gov.au/quality/consumer_complaints/complaints.asp

http://www.hqcc.qld.gov.au/home/default.aspx

http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/693900

http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/

http://www.tga.gov.au/cm/cm.htm

http://www.chiropracticboard.gov.au/

http://www.caaq.com.au/


http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Notifications-and-Outcomes/Notification-Process.aspx

Also please contact the ‘media’, for instance,

ACA: http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/feedback.aspx
Today Tonight: http://au.todaytonight.yahoo.com/contactform/suggest-story
Prime Gold Coast News:
http://goldcoast.iprime.com.au/index.php/news?sem=google&KNC-Google&cmpid=37129
The Gold Coast Bulletin:
http://www.goldcoast.com.au/gold-coast-bulletin/contact-us.html
The Tweed Daily News: http://www.tweednews.com.au/contactus/
http://www.tweednews.com.au/contact/feedback/

And contact your local Member of Parliament!

This list is far from exhaustive and I’d be very happy to add to it!

It shouldn’t be up to us to do this, but it is so we may as well try to be as effective as possible in raising awareness amongst both the general public & those with the power to regulate.

Jayson D Cooke