Labelling Homeopathic Products

Earlier this year the UK’s MHRA opened a consultation to help them decide how homeopathic products should be labelled when sold to the public. As expected, Ben Goldacre — devoted critic of homeopathy, pseudoscience and general quackery — suggested a label of his own and asked his readers for further suggestions.

Some of the suggestions were truly fantastic (and proved that I couldn’t come up with an original joke, no matter how hard I tried), and so Goldacre published some of the best suggestions for homeopathic labelling in his column for The Guardian:

On instructions, we have “take as many as you like”, since there are no ingredients. The proposed belladonna homeopathy pill ingredients label simply reads “no belladonna”, which is a convention the MHRA could adapt for all its different homeopathy labels. Other suggestions include “none”, “belief”, “false hopes”, “shattered dreams”, and “the tears of unicorns”.

For warnings, we have: “not to be taken seriously”, “in case of overdose, consult a lifeguard”, and “contains chemicals, including dihydrogen monoxide“. This, of course, is a scary name for water, which became an internet meme after Nathan Zohner’s school science project: he successfully gathered a petition to ban this chemical on the grounds that it is fatal when inhaled, contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape, may cause electrical failures, and has been found in the excised tumours of terminal cancer patients.

The comments on both articles are real gems for those in need of a laugh today.

via @IrregularShed