Friday, 25 June 2010

A letter to my MP

Dear Mr Redwood

write again as your constituent to ask for your support in preventing the waste of NHS funds on ineffective treatments.

At a time when we need drastic cuts in Government spending, it is important to ensure that the NHS only funds treatments of proven efficacy. It is, therefore, extremely disappointing to see four Early Day Motions from David Tredinnick calling for support for disproven quackery: 

EDM284 [Bma Annual Representative Meeting Motions On Homeopathy]
EDM285 [Effect Of Homeopathic Remedies On Breast Cancer Cells]
EDM286 [Homeopathic Medicines In The Treatment Of Moderate To Severe Depression]
EDM287 [Homeopathy And Chronic Primary Insomnia] 

It is not simply the case that homeopathy is unproven; it has been proven not to workThese EDMs fly in the face of the advice of the Science and Technology Select Committee to cut homeopathy – a 200-year-old pseudoscience – from NHS funding. I applaud the committee, and their reliance on evidence to come to a solid conclusion. 

In contrast, the studies cited as proof of the effect of homeopathic treatments in EDM284, EDM285 and EDM286 are in fact riddled with deep and significant flaws. Given that EDM285 applauds the use of homeopathic substances to treat breast cancer – a claim which I am told would be illegal if made by a UK practitioner – it’s clear to see how support for this motion could lead to real and significant harm.

I welcome the actions of Julian Huppert MP, who has tabled clear and reasonable amendments to these misguided motions, amendments which correct their inaccuracies and redirect them back in line with real science and evidence. These amendments are titled as follows: 

EDM284A1 [Bma Annual Representative Meeting Motions On Homeopathy]
EDM285A1 [Effect Of Homeopathic Remedies On Breast Cancer Cells]
EDM286A1 [Homeopathic Medicines In The Treatment Of Moderate To Severe Depression]
EDM287A1 [Homeopathy And Chronic Primary Insomnia]

I therefore urge you to consider the issues and the serious ramifications to both the taxpayer in funding disproven treatments on the NHS, and to the overall health of the nation in recommending pseudo-medicine for such serious issues as severe depression and breast cancer. If you agree that cancer, depression and other illnesses should only be treated with modalities that have been proven to work, I urge you to sign EDM284A1EDM285A1EDM286A1 and EDM287A1.

Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,


UPDATE - 26/6/10:

I just received this email:

From REDWOOD, John
Date Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 2:07 PM
Subject RE: Effective health treatment

Thank you for your email. EDMs are never debated and have little impact.

That's it. Disappointing, to say the least. Thrice I have emailed John Redwood with my rationalist concerns and thrice he has refused to sign the EDMs. I can't fault the man for inconsistency. 


  1. I very much doubt you'll get a response.
    If you'd have titled it ' damn those horrible unwashed immigrants' you might have had more luck.

  2. I'll post any response here.