Who regulates Homeopathy?

Not it’s effectiveness, but the claims of how often and in what way the different solutions are diluted. What’s to stop me from putting tap water and food coloring in a small bottle and charging $39.95 for homeopathetic “medicine”?

There’s FDA requirements to what you can claim on the label and a requirement to register as a manufacturer. As long as you meet the labeling requirements (which seem mostly about claiming what it can do) you’re fine.

Leaving aside the irony about wondering if the water you’re being sold as medicine is real water being sold as medicine…

In the herbal/supplements business it’s exceedingly common for the product to not contain what it says on the box it contains and/or have significant additions, sometimes in the form of actual drugs.

Here’s a piece from the New York Times entitled “The 1993 Snake Oil Protection Act”. Not sure this is a factual answer, but it might send you the right direction.

Who do you register with, and does the group you register with actually go around making sure all those different companies putting out homeopathetic potions and pills go through all the necessary steps? It seems to me that it would take a very large group of people to regulate that many companies.

There’s one guy at the U.N… He watches over the entire industry.

He is…The Most Powerful Bureaucrat In The World.
:wink:

That is disheartening, to say the least.

The regulations for homeopathy are very, very ,very, very tiny.

I used to work for a company that didn’t do homeopathy, but did make nutritional supplements, which are similarly unregulated. You know, capsules of “natural” products - echinacea, St. John’s wort, that sort of thing.

When I worked there, we had a lab manager that actually cared about doing things right, but for a long time previously, that wasn’t the case. The old lab manager used to set expiration dates on our products by putting on his coat, walking across the street to Wal-Mart, and looking at the dates on competitors’ products. Then he’d put our dates out a few months longer.

As a side note, the company I worked for entered bankruptcy while I was there, not long after we started taking lab work seriously. It’s easy to criticize that don’t do proper regulatory work when they’re not forced to, but remember that this work costs money - a lot of it. If you choose to be a good corporate citizen and go above and beyond what is strictly required by law, then you’re going to get undercut by competitors who don’t bother. That’s why regulation is needed, and self-policing is never going to work.

The FDA Is Under More Pressure to Regulate Homeopathic Products

Again, this thread isn’t about whether or not the potions and pills work, so let’s not go down that path. I would like to know if anyone is making sure that they are diluting their concoctions they way they claim on the labels-is there an official agency that has a record of actually punishing companies that cheat, or do most /all homeopatetic companies get a rubber-stamp “seal of approval”?

Actually, considering that some of the things that are diluted to get to the plain water are unsafe if undiluted, if anyone is really using these things in any amount, there does need to be regulation to make sure it really is minuscule.

As far as “Why can’t I just use tap water?” Every ounce of me wants to say “You can,” but the fact is that it’s not honest. There’s a rabbinical rule that kosher butchers cannot sell non-kosher meat to gentiles if the gentiles think it is kosher (back when the scandals about how filthy slaughter shops in general were, came out, a lot of gentiles started buying kosher meat). There is absolutely no difference to a gentile whether a piece of meat of kosher of not, because there is nothing better about kosher meat (except in the rare case of the non-kosher butchers being notoriously sloppy and slovenly, but that has nothing to do with kashrut). However, it does have to do with honestly. It’s wrong to profit from gentiles by unloading your unkosher cuts at kosher prices.

I want the homeopaths to be kept honest, because I want everybody to be kept honest. If we make an exception for the homeopaths, because, well, it’s BS, then someone could think something important to me is BS and decide to fake-regulate it. I don’t know what that would be, but it could happen.

I’ve been trying to find a case where the government has come down on any company that makes homeopathetic goods for taking shortcuts in manufacturing, and so far I’ve come up with nothing. Is the entire industry squeaky clean when it comes to how they manufacture their goods…or is that aspect of Homeopathy just not being monitored?

You know, there’s got to be a way to combine the notion that every glass of water you drink has a few molecules from Jesus’ blood with homeopathy, and make a colossal pile of money…

It’s impossible to regulate homeopathy because their 50x Dilution products contain not one single molecule of the original agent. You can watch their factory and see them do a 50x dilution while being observed but you cannot randomly test their final products and determine if it’s been done or not.

But does the government even do surprise spot-checks to see if the companies go through processes at all?

If you tested and found some of the original agent, that would be a violation, right?

The regulations on homeopathy have been diluted to 100X, thereby ensuring that they are the most effective consumer protections ever invented. :slight_smile:

Seriously, the FDA’s general rules are the only thing I can think of. Short of showing that you were actually harmed by what you took, the regulations mainly focus on the claims they make about the product.

You mean there is such a thing as imitation water?

In Canada, sadly, it is regulated by the same federal agency that regulates drugs - though under a different set of regulations (the Natural Health Products Regulations).

I say “sadly”, because giving them a license gives them a legitimacy that is totally spurious.

The regulations and guidelines all look like legitimate science-based regulatory documents. Homeopathic “natural health products” have to “prove” safety and effectiveness, just like drugs. It is only when you examine the details that you realize that the “proof” of effectiveness is allowed to be … pure BS.

I can point out details if there is any interest. It’s a pathetic story, really.