June 2010
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Amendments to Mr. Tredinnick’s bonkers EDMs

Some more follow-up to the Early Day Motions (EDMs) tabled in the House of Commons by David Tredinnick MP, that I blogged on last week.

Recap: David Tredinnick MP, staunch advocate of homeopathy and sundry “alternative” therapies, tabled four EDMs in parliament earlier this week. One was a motion condemning the British Medical Association’s stance that homeopathy should no longer be funded on the NHS. The other three were motions welcoming scientific “peer-reviewed” papers which at first glance appear to support homeopathy in the treatment of moderate to severe depression, insomnia, and (most worryingly) breast cancer. On closer examination, they do no such thing. Tredinnick was also on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 attempting to justify his position and was soundly torn apart by Simon Singh. Tredinnick made so many nonsensical statements that Singh did well to focus his argument on the few main points (given that the debate, such that it is, was being conducted in the public rather than scientific arena). The remainder of the points are dealt with here.

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David Tredinnick on Radio 4’s Today Programme (+ buzzer)

Following on from yesterday’s analysis of one of the three papers for which David Tredinnick tabled an Early Day Motion yesterday, there’s been some follow-up. The University of Texas paper on breast cancer had already been comprehensively scrutinised (see here and here), and now the Durban University of Technology paper has also received […]


A quick lesson on type-II errors (false negatives)

David Tredinnick, MP for Bosworth and staunch advocate of alternative therapies (such as homeopathy) in the House of Commons, is at it again. He has tabled three Early Day Motions proposing that the House welcome the findings of three separate trials of homeopathy that report “positive” results. One of them (a particularly nasty one since it relates to breast cancer, a very serious and life-threatening disease) has already received a proper fisking. One of them is so laughably easy to debunk right from the abstract that I’m going to do so here. (I haven’t read the third yet, but I would be surprised if it’s not similarly nonsensical).

The glaring howler in the paper, Homeopathic Individualized Q-potencies versus Fluoxetine for Moderate to Severe Depression: Double-blind, Randomized Non-inferiority Trial, by U.C. Adler and colleagues at the Faculdade de Medicina de Jundiaí, Homeopathy Graduation Programme, Department of Psychobiology [what’s that when it’s at home?], Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, is statistical, and leaps out at the reader right from the abstract. Read the rest of this entry