Homeopath told to stop making false claims

Homeopath told to stop making false claims

A homeopathy practice with a history of false advertising has again been told to stop making claims that have no basis in reality.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against the Christchurch-based Homeopathy Centre.

According to its website, homeopathy can help with various medical conditions including bladder infections, the flu, sore throats, sinus problems, ear infections, strep throat and "minor injuries". It does this by "restoring the vital force of the patient" using diluted "plant, mineral and animal sources".

There is no scientific evidence homeopathy does anything, and complainant Mark Hanna of the Society for Science Based Healthcare said the Homeopathy Centre was "exploiting consumers' lack of knowledge" and their belief in the "superstitious".

"There are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective," said Mr Hanna, "yet many New Zealand homeopaths still claim in advertisements that they are able to effectively treat certain health conditions with homeopathy."

The ASA upheld the complaint after the Homeopathy Centre declined to put forward a defence of its claims.

It said the Homeopathy Centre had breached principles two and three of the Therapeutic Services Advertising Code:

The Homeopathy Centre also declined to comment on the ruling when called by Newshub.

It's not the first time the centre has been pinged by the ASA. In March it settled a complaint by removing claims from its website that homeopathy could reduce adverse reactions to vaccines.

And in May last year, after an earlier complaint from Mr Hanna, the ASA forced the Homeopathy Centre to backtrack on claims the treatment could "repair injuries, mend broken bones, heal broken skin and basic coughs and cold without any medicine".

Mr Hanna said he was pleased with ASA's decision, but "disappointed the Homeopathy Centre seems to have ignored my complaint".

"I hope this time they will comply with the ruling," Mr Hanna said.