F4HNewsletterDec2014 (download as PDF)
F4H is dedicated to ensuring freedom of healthcare choice for the public, complementary therapists and those providing natural medicine. In recent years non-mainstream approaches to health are being adversely affected because they are faced with arbitrary hurdles put in the way by self-appointed regulatory systems that are institutionally biased in favour of the large food and pharmaceutical companies. F4H supports the principle that promotional materials should be decent and truthful as well as that practitioners should be able to practice in a non-hostile environment – therefore enabling the general public access to healthcare that does not follow mainstream allopathic approaches. We are not against the regulation of advertisement and marketing, we do however feel this must be in a context where a regulator has professional expertise in the discipline under adjudication.
Censorship and freedom of speech curtailed in the name of ‘ decency , honesty and truthfulness’
Is getting put on the naughty list by the ASA Ltd becoming a badge of honour? More and more practitioners, writers and distributors of natural products are fighting back. This week an interesting case has come to light. Zoe Harcombe writes and talk about obesity, diet, nutrition. She challenges the current dietary advice, she talks about cancer and diabetes and calorie counting among other things and conflicts of interest! It’s fair to say she isn’t afraid of a fight.
Interestingly Zoe doesn’t ‘sell’ anything during these discussions and when she decided to become a little more visual through presenting some of the ideas round obesity, fat and carbohydrates on video, the ASA Ltd decided to get in touch!
The ASA and Trolls work together to censor progressive thinking.
She was shocked to find out that a private limited company in England felt it could in fact tell you to ‘amend’ your materials based on its own private regulations. In an article titled “The ASA and Trolls work together to censor progressive thinking” she looks at who the ASA are, how they operate and the trolls behind them. She talks about the arbitrary interpretations that the ASA Ltd throw at you to legitimise their statements, and how they are involved in censoring freedom of speech through their antics. Visit her blog where she takes the ASA Ltd to task and looks at length at the slippery slope of censorship – the approach that has been taken against her by the ASA ltd in recent months to get her to stop talking. http://www.zoeharcombe.com/blog/
“Who is in the Driving Seat” asks Karin Mont, MARH – Chair of the Association of Registered Homeopaths
Over the last couple of decades, we have witnessed a huge increase in the powers conferred to the regulation industry. We are told that regulation is there to offer us protection, but it frequently fails to deliver on this promise, as demonstrated by numerous high profile examples. …
For instance, we have witnessed the collapse of our global banking system, identified inexcusable systemic failures within our policing system, which have resulted in the exploitation of thousands of children going unreported for years, and patients dependent upon a range of NHS services have experienced consistent neglect and abuse. These are all areas where statutory regulation has been in place for many years and where it has indisputably failed to protect the public.
Regulation can also be used as a tool to promote a particular agenda, or protect vested interests. The activities of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), when investigating complaints made against homeopaths and other CAM practitioners, provide a classic example of regulation being misused, in order to promote a particular agenda. …
The ARH has given serious consideration to applying for accreditation of our register (AVR) via the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). Last year we attended a special PSA workshop dedicated to exploring and understanding the implications of becoming an accredited register, and we studied the PSA standards in depth.
Our conclusion was that we already have quality standards in place, which we consider to be proportionate to the potential risk posed to the public when consulting with a registered homeopath
Rest of Article will appear in Newsletter on website.
We found it difficult to identify any actual (as opposed to hypothetical) benefits which AVR might confer. We have (for example) National Occupational Standards for Homeopathy (NOSs), which describe the practice of homeopathy according to clearly defined criteria. These standards, which meet the requirements generally considered necessary to uphold the principles of best practice, have been used to inform how we regulate our profession for over ten years. We believe that quality practice results from standards which are profession specific, and which change as a profession evolves. However, standards which pertain specifically to a particular profession, such as homeopathy, fall outside of the remit of the PSA, whose only concern is to uphold generic standards which can be applied across the spectrum, to all the health professions it regulates. Normally, this single focus might not matter, but the PSA is so keen to prove its credentials as a ‘robust’ regulator, that it appears to have taken on board every spurious ‘concern’ voiced by Sense About Science (SAS), and other anti-CAM vigilantes. …
Society of Homeopaths cannot say their system of medicine works
Last year, the Society of Homeopaths (SoH) announced their intention to apply for AVR. Their application was successful, and the SoH was granted AVR in September 2014. Now they are obliged to comply with, and implement, the PSA requirements, as outlined in a 20-page report. Signing up to the establishment model of regulation comes at a price. Registered members of the SoH are not allowed to use their AVR status to promote homeopathy as a system of medicine which actually works! … SoH members will be expected to comply with ASA rulings on marketing and promotional materials, and the SoH will check members’ websites at random, to offer advice / support if they consider a website to be in breach of the CAP Code. It is not clear what sanctions would be taken against a member who refused to make changes to a non-compliant website. What is clear is that the SoH will not be in a position to support a member who chooses to challenge an ASA ruling. So even if a website is legal, decent, truthful and honest, and contains correct information about homeopathy, including references to quality research, if the ASA considers the CAP Code has been breached, the website must be changed or the member may face a disciplinary hearing.
To read the full article go here
Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed a “yoga minister” to his government on in November this year, Shripad Yesso Naik will promote the traditional medicines and practices of Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy and homeopathy in government.
Modi practices yoga daily and is so passionate about yoga that he asked the United Nations in September to consider an international yoga day. He also discussed the ancient Indian discipline with Barack Obama during a recent visit to the US.
Modi is a follower of Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu monk who played a key role in introducing the Indian philosophies of vedanta and yoga to the Western world. He’s also credited with bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century.
Vivekananda first shot to fame at the world parliament of religions in Chicago in 1893. In his speeches, he called for tolerance and the end of religious fanaticism. He built up huge demand, and people flocked to his lectures.
The swami went on regular tours of the US for years. During that time, he spent long periods with followers at the country home in stone ridge Swami Vivekananda died at the age of 39, but his legacy lives on at ashrams around the world — and with his influence over Narendra Modi. In many of the Indian prime minister’s interviews, a statue of the swami can be seen in the background.
When Modi was young, he wanted to join the organisation that Swami Vivekananda started in India. But in the end, the monks apparently convinced Modi that his talents would be better served in politics.
Please get in touch with us if you have any interesting information with regards to the ASA, Nightingale Collaboration or other things you feel will be of interest to us. We also use social media, particularly Facebook, which we update a few times a week. We update Facebook weekly with the ASA adjudications for our sector. We are now getting a steady flow of new ‘Likes’ and as always work hard to get the message out there about the threats to Natural Health.