The FDA, HCG and Homeopathy

It’s a good thing that the FDA has now determined that HCG diet remedies are illegal. Nevertheless, their response is a bit less than I would like it to be.

Basically, the FDA is telling consumers that HCG diet remedies do not help with dieting or losing weight. All of this is true. What they don’t bother to tell consumers is the reason that these “diet remedies” do not help – they are homeopathic. What that means is that there is probably no HCG in the products being sold, so even if it had diet-helping properties, consumers wouldn’t actually be benefiting from said properties.

The FDA says that dieting to the extreme extents encouraged by the HCG proponents is dangerous. It most certainly is. To eat 500 calories a day is similar to what some anorexics eat, and it is not enough to maintain healthy body function. It is a good thing that the FDA is sharing this information with consumers, but I wish they had gone further.

The FDA should be telling consumers that any “remedy” that is homeopathic is basically a sugar pill or other form of essentially inert ingredients. It is possible that the molecules in the remedy once came in contact with molecules that came in contact with molecules that came in contact with active ingredients, but it’s not very likely. More people need to be sharing with the world that “homeopathic” is a synonym for useless and ineffective. More people need to stand up against people graduating from homeopathic “medical” schools being allowed to call themselves doctors.

Without resistance, consumers will continue to misunderstand the term homeopathic, thinking it is synonymous with holistic (which can be valid when referring to the idea that we should treat the whole person – see the first sentence of this wiki page) or traditional medicine. Cancer patients may continue to fall for the well-intentioned but ultimately ignorant homeopathic cancer treatments. Homeopathy may be harmless when people use it to fight off a cold, but when people die from both homeopathic and other proven ineffective “treatments,” there is a problem.

Come on FDA, get tougher on those homeopathic remedies! Do your job and protect American consumers from useless products that companies claim treat illness. The FDA may not be able to stop people from trying to use prayer to cure sickness, but  they can certainly prevent people from wasting money and precious time on deceitful so-called remedies.

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