Mr David Tredinnick MP sponsored an Early Day Motion in support of a campaign by the Homeopathy Research Institute (sic) which called on the government to fund research into homeopathy. The exact wording of the EDM is as follows:
That this House welcomes the campaign by the Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI) to place homeopathy research on the national agenda as a credible scientific field of inquiry; notes that the HRI is an innovative charity that does not promote the practice of homeopathy itself, but rather promotes and facilitates scientific research into homeopathy,of which the most controversial aspect is the use ofhighly diluted medicines; acknowledges that, in the UK, the practice of homeopathy has been part of the National Health Service (NHS) since its inception, and since thattime homeopathic medicines have been prescribable to patients; observes that the Faculty of Homeopathy Act 1950 states that the public has access to homeopathy under the NHS so long as patients demand it and doctors are trained to provide it; and calls on the Government to facilitate research into this important area to ascertain the effectiveness of homeopathy.
A tweet by Andy Lewis brought this to my attention and I was intrigued to note that my MP, Ronnie Campbell was one of the thirteen signatories. This prompted me to email Mr Campbell.
Dear Mr Campbell
I am contacting you because I am concerned about your support for EDM 1820 Homeopathy Research Institute Campaign which aims to “place homeopathy research on the national agenda as a credible scientific field of inquiry.” I wish to draw to your attention the fact that homeopathy has been the subject of many research projects and has been found to have no useful outcomes beyond that of the placebo effect. Given the current state of our knowledge what useful purpose would be served in spending scarce resources investigating something we already know to be psuedoscience?
As one of your constituents, I urge you to reconsider your support for EDM 1820.
Shortly after I sent my email the EDM was withdrawn. The reason seems to be that the basis of the EDM (Faculty of Homeopathy Act 1950) is in doubt. Andy Lewis has dealt with this issue in The Quackometer.
I received the following reply from Mr Campbell:
Dear Mr Warren,
Thank you for your e-mail received in the office regarding the above subject, the contents of which have been relayed to Ronnie Campbell MP and noted.
This is to confirm that David Tredinnick MP who is the primary sponsor of the EDM has stated that as there may be a minor inaccuracy in the EDM, he has withdrawn it and it will be re-tabled when corrected. The issue is whether Nye Bevan’s commitment to public access to homeopathy was contained in the Act or made in a speech.
Ronnie will look at the EDM once re-tabled and give it careful consideration before adding his name.
For the moment, the EDM is dead but it seems likely that it will be revived in another form very soon.