Monday, 18 April 2011

BBC Breaks its Editorial Guidelines dealing with Homeopathy

The BBC prides itself for its 'balance' and impartiality when dealing with news and current affairs. However, it regularly fails to do so in its dealings with Homeopathy, and the health debate generally, ensuring that its viewers and listeners are not hearing a balanced view of this debate.

It did so most recently during The One Show on BBC1, when it used a spokesperson for conventional medicine, and allowed him to attack homeopathy with all the usual 'denialist' nonsense that is trotted out on such occasions. Some guests, and members of the audience, stood up for homeopathy. But my complaint emphasised that to achieve the merest semblance of balance it was inappropriate to use non-expert guests, and a random audience, to defend homeopathy. This is the BBC's response.

In the ‘One Show’ on 29 March 2011 we again approached the topic of Homeopathy, as we have done on many occasions.

During this discussion, Alex Jones commented that "lots of people are pro-homeopathy - I mean a friend of mine had really bad psoriasis and it did clear it so I suppose there's argument for both sides of it". Monty Don, too, explained that he used homeopathic medicine and expressed his belief that it could offer effective cures.

In making these remarks, both Alex Jones and Monty Don represented the views of many of our audience, that homeopathy can be effective. While these views were made as part of an unscripted, live studio discussion, they were balanced by input from Dr Mark Porter.

Throughout the discussion, he clearly and consistently expressed the opposing view: that homeopathy was a "triumph of marketing over science"; that the idea homeopathy is effective is "bunkum"; that "the evidence shows that it doesn't work"; that "there's not much science behind it" and that such science as there is "is not convincing". He also explained the process of dilution, and that "in most cases the result is so dilute that if you had the whole pill the size of the planet earth you would not have one molecule (of active ingredient)".

Balance is of the utmost importance to our programming and clearly, homeopathy is a subject that can polarise opinion.

I appreciate you feel quite strongly about this matter and I would like to thank you again for contacting us.

So apparently, the BBC are now employing conventional medical experts to counter the views of non-expert supporters of homeopathy! Quite an amazing situation!

The BBC is not alone in it lack of impartiality on homeopathy; the mainstream media in the UK is predominantly anti-natural medicine, and pro-conventional drugs. But as a public service broadcaster, the BBC has more responsibility to provide balance and impartiality, especially in such as important area as health. 

Conventional medical drugs are now the biggest single killer; their 'side-effects' are producing unprecedented levels of chronic disease, and homeopathy is under attack from the ConMed establishment because more are looking for safer, and more effective medical therapies. Put simply, we are a threat to their business!

But their response to my complaint shows that no-one can rely on the BBC to be impartial, especially with regards to health issues. Anyone looking for safer, more effective medical therapies have to look elsewhere for enlightenment.