Oppose Federal Legislation That Would Protect Homeopathic Drugs From FDA Regulation

Brad Roth
2 min readAug 25, 2023

In Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology, Russ Hobbie and I don’t talk about homeopathy (thank goodness!). A homeopathic medicine is one that has been diluted with water multiple times (for example, 30 dilutions, each by a factor of ten), until not even a single molecule of the active ingredient remains. Proponents of homeopathy believe that the water “remembers” the original ingredient. This, of course, conflicts with everything scientists know about water. If you believe physics underlies medicine, you should reject homeopathy.

Why bring up homeopathy now? I recently received an email from one of my favorite organizations — the Center For Inquiry (CFI) — calling on people to oppose federal legislation that would limit the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to regulate homeopathic drugs. Rather than repeating everything the CFI said, I’ll simply quote from their website. I already wrote my Congressman about this issue.

CFI calls on our supporters to help defeat a pro-homeopathy amendment being proposed for the federal appropriations bill H.R. 4368. The homeopathy lobby is pushing hard for this amendment, and we need CFI supporters to voice their opposition to their members of Congress.

Homeopathy groups such as Americans For Homeopathy Choice (AFHC) are lobbying strenuously for Appropriations Amendment #4. This amendment would bar FDA enforcement of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act against new homeopathic drug products as long as a product complies with “standards for strength, quality, and purity set forth in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States.” In other words, it would replace much-needed federal regulation with the industry’s own standards.

CFI has consistently pointed out that homeopathy is bunk science that does not work beyond the placebo effect. Homeopathic products are typically diluted to the point that no active ingredients remain. It is quack medicine and consumer fraud.

The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia’s standards of quality are not medically valid. Yet the amendment would exempt homeopathic products from FDA regulation and oversight if they comport with those standards. This amounts to an argument of “No need for federal regulation, we can regulate ourselves with our own standards even if they constitute medical fraud” — or, more succinctly, “Let the fox guard the henhouse, please.” (Indeed, CFI has tussled with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia before.)

At the moment, AFHC and the homeopathy lobby are seeking additional co-sponsors in the House of Representatives for their amendment. This is where CFI’s supporters come in.

We need our supporters to mobilize and contact their members in the House of Representatives immediately. Please let them know, in no uncertain terms, that homeopathy cannot and must not escape federal regulation. It is crucial to keep Appropriations Amendment #4 out of the federal appropriations bill.

Homeopathy, quackery and fraud, a TED talk by James Randi.

Originally published at http://hobbieroth.blogspot.com.



Brad Roth

Professor of Physics at Oakland University and coauthor of the textbook Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology.