Announcements > Monday, February-07-2011

Toronto Skeptics Down Useless Meds

On February 5th 2011, the Committee for Free Inquiry (CFI) and its Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS) participated together with the  Association for Science and Reason (ASR) in the worldwide 10:23 Challenge.

The Toronto participants gathered around 12 PM at Yonge and Dundas, where the demonstration took place.

The attention-getter of the 10:23 Challenge consisted of a number of participants intentionally overdosing on a homoeopathic product. The message was clear: if homoeopathy works, participants should die like fruit flies in a bucket of insecticide.

The participants were not suicidal, nor were they deranged. This was simply intended as a demonstration that homoeopathy is not all it seems. In fact, it is nothing more than an elaborate placebo (sugar pill).

After overdosing on homoeopathic products sporting such inauspicious labels as Gelsemium sempervirens (related to strychnine), Arsenicum album (arsenic), Belladonna (nightshade) and Mercurius solubilis (mercury), the participants were none the worse off, except maybe for a predictable sugar rush ensuring that they were all in high spirits.

During the demonstration, onlookers could also hear an explanation of what homoeopathy is, what its principles are, how homoeopathic products are manufactured -including a demonstration of the homoeopathic dilution cum succussion process- and why homoeopathy can be dangerous -even deadly- despite its lack of active ingredients.

Although there was heavy competition for the publicís attention from the Canadian Skip Patrol Systemís demonstration, the Toronto version of the 10:23 Challenge managed to get quite a bit of attention and it seems that we can rest assured that public awareness of homoeopathy and its dangers has increased as a result.

Let the message be clear and unambiguous: Homoeopathy: thereís nothing in it.

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