Tiddles the cat enjoys better protection from charlatans than you or I

THE GUARDIAN: I am about to embark on a series of lectures, debates and discussions to promote the paperback publication of our book Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial. The first event is a public debate organised by King’s College School of Medicine: “This house believes that complementary and alternative therapies do more harm than good.”

One of the therapies under discussion will be homeopathy, and the evidence from clinical trials suggests that homeopathic pills are nothing more than placebos. Bearing in mind that homeopathic remedies are generally so diluted that they contain no active remedy, it seems obvious they can be nothing more than placebos. However, if previous outings are anything to go by, it will not be very long before someone at the King’s College debate sticks up a hand and says: “Homeopathy must work, because it helped my pet cat!”

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