On July 31 2015 the Canadian Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, issued a statement detailing changes to the labels on homeopathic nosodes that are used as alternatives to vaccines. The labels on all of the 121 nosodes approved by Health Canada's Non-Prescription and Natural Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) should now read as follows:
"This product is neither a vaccine nor an alternative to vaccination. This product has not been proven to prevent infection. Health Canada does not recommend its use in children and advises that your child receive all routine vaccinations."
This is a welcome change to the standard. However, Bad Science Watch maintains that the products should be de-registered and pulled from the shelves as this change does not prevent homeopaths and other CAM providers from prescribing them as vaccine alternatives.
That being said, this is another victory for science advocacy in Canada. Our Stop Nosodes campaign made the dangers of nosodes a great public interest and forced Health Canada and now the minister to stop ignoring the problem.
The statement by Ms. Ambrose also announced that the NNHPD would no longer approve homeopathic cough, cold, and flu medicine for children under 12 without scientific evidence. This is in response to the CBC Marketplace documentary that received NNHPD approval for a fake homeopathic cough medicine. Bad Science Watch and its adviser Dr. Brian Foster PhD advised CBC heavily on this episode. While it sounds promising, this is evidence that the Minister missed the point of the documentary entirely and the NNHPD regulations will continue to make it very easy to get other categories of ineffective and therefore dangerous medicines approved without any good evidence that they work.
Thank you to all of you who added your voice to the Stop Nosodes campaign. We will not stop fighting the bad science and policy at the NNHPD, but we need your help: please consider donating today.