Homeopathic association misrepresented evidence to MPs

Scientists are angry that the British Homeopathic Association cited their research to a committee of MPs as proof homeopathy works when their studies showed nothing of the sort.

Martin Robbins in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 11 12.49 For example, the BHA's submission starts by detailing five systematic reviews of homeopathy in general, four of which it claims “have reached the qualified conclusion that homeopathy differs from placebo”.

I spoke to Jean-Pierre Boissel, an author on two of the four papers cited (Boissel et al and Cucherat et al), who was surprised at the way his work had been interpreted. “My review did not reach the conclusion 'that homeopathy differs from placebo',” he said, pointing out that what he and his colleagues actually found was evidence of considerable bias in results, with higher quality trials producing results less favourable to homeopathy.

The third of the four papers, Kleijnen et al, concluded that the data were “not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions”. The fourth, published in 1997 by Linde et al, was updated two years later, and yet the update – which was more critical of homeopathy – was not cited.

Boissel pointed out an even more surprising error: that the two papers he was involved in were actually describing the same analysis. In other words, Mathie managed to take one study that the author emphatically maintains didn't support homeopathy, and present it as two studies that did. I asked Boissel whether he felt comfortable that his work was being presented to the public as evidence in favour of homeopathy. His response was simple: “Definitively no!”

The BHA's other evidence is also riddled with errors.

How shocking. More here.