Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy - Science and Technology Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by Oliver Dowding (HO 48)

  May I take the opportunity to very briefly explain why homoeopathy should be retained?

It's easy to be cynical, and take the line that you don't think that there is anything in it other than water, or if it's on a pill that it's just a sugar pill. May I respectfully suggest that just because it's beyond our ability to understand the mechanism it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist or doesn't work.

  I believe that millions of pounds are being invested in the Large Hadron Collider, and much of the finance will have originated from this country. Commendable though it may be to investigate such things, had one taken the view before the investment began that we didn't know how it worked, or whether it worked, that therefore we weren't going to undertake the investigation, all that money could have been saved.

  For 15 years, I treated over 300 dairy cows, and 200 of their offspring, almost entirely using homoeopathic remedies. I had two herdsmen who barely had an exam pass between them. They learned very quickly what to do, when to do it, and which remedy would resolve which problem, using their many years of built-up stockmanship and an occasional education, and some book reading, to understand their animal and match remedy to ailment. We did not cause animals suffering, or have welfare problems, and often came out in the top half of research projects undertaking assessment of efficacy of treatment of illnesses.

  Of all the animals we treated, to my knowledge none were pathogenic liars, none were fakes, and in fact, I don't think any of them ever knew what we were treating them with. Had they done so, that would've been a fascinating discovery!

  How big a scientific study does one need to undertake to prove the efficacy of the science? I might add that alongside treating this large number of cows I have also seen many people treated very successfully with the same remedies. I recently came across a college lecturer in conventional agriculture, who had constantly teased me about my persistence with homoeopathy, rubbishing it at every opportunity, simply because he couldn't understand it and deemed it to be illogical. After many years with a persistent hacking cough, one of his grown-up children persuaded him to go to a homoeopath, and the ailment literally disappeared within 24 hours. He doesn't know how the mechanism works, but he doesn't care, because it made him better. You don't know how your computer works, but just as many of us don't know how many other things work, of which we are perfectly happy to deploy every day, our lack of knowledge doesn't stop by utilising the product.

  The same goes for the mechanism by which many drugs operate, in that we don't know exactly how they work in all cases, but it doesn't stop us using them. Unfortunately, we also don't know why in some cases, the use of conventional medication has unexpected side-effects, or when multiple doses are used they react in a way that we don't expect. That also doesn't stop us using them.

  I believe some people consider that the homoeopathic industry has undue influence due to its size. Surely that cannot be the case? If it is, surely we have a right to question the influence of the allopathic drug business? If you care to ask and I'll give you some examples.

  I thank you for reading this, and although you may be finished with formal settings, I would be happy to make any submission you like, to ensure your knowledge is complete before you adjudicate.

Oliver Dowding

Shepton Farms Ltd

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