This project was finished in June 2013. We would like to thank all of our volunteers and supporters who helped make this a national story and build the capacity of Bad Science Watch to confront this important issue. We are completing a final report, a public version of which will be available soon. As well, this project will serve as the start point for a future campaign to promote good science in natural health product regulation.
The website www.stopnosodes.org will remain live to continue to argue for better regulation of homeopathic nosodes.
Update: April 2013
Our public portion of this project, the website www.stopnosodes.org, is now live. Please visit it to learn more about nosodes and find out how you can contribute to our efforts to protect Canadians from infectious disease.
In February 2013, Bad Science Watch submitted a comment on the “pre-cleared” monograph on homeopathic nosodes at the Natural Health Products Directorate. The submission can be found at the link below:
A number of homeopathic nosodes, promoted by many homeopaths as vaccine “alternatives”, are currently approved by Health Canada for sale under the Natural Health Products Directorate. Their approval implies efficacy similar to vaccines, when the really provide no protection at all, and it contradicts Health Canada’s own clear pro-vaccination policies.
When misinformed Canadians choose nosodes instead of vaccination they contribute to decreasing vaccination rates, increasing our communities’ susceptibility to outbreaks of easily preventable diseases like we are currently experiencing with pertussis, commonly known as “whooping cough”.
This goals of this project are to:
1. Identify and reach out to political, regulatory, and professional stakeholders at the federal and provincial levels.
2. Pressure Health Canada to de-register homeopathic nosodes and not approve any future products in this category.
This project is now fully staffed.
Michael Kruse, chair
Michael is an advanced-care paramedic in York Region, just north of Toronto, Ontario. A theatrical lighting designer as well, he re-trained in 2005 as an EMT-Paramedic Specialist at the University of Iowa and as an advanced care paramedic at Durham College. Michael is currently enrolled at the University of Toronto working towards an undergraduate degree in physiology. Michael has been active in the science advocacy community for 3 years and blogs at Skepticnorth.com. He is committed to a compassionate defense of science for the betterment of all Canadians.
Kimberly Hebert, M.Sc.OT
Kim is a Registered Occupational Therapist currently in Ottawa, Ontario. She holds a psychology degree from Mount Allison University and an neuroscience degree with honours from Dalhousie University. In her spare time, she is an amateur astronomer and a member of the Royal Astronomical Society. Her work with Bad Science Watch is motivated by interest in consumer protection in the information age. She hopes for improvement in the regulation of healthcare products that are sold directly to consumers who, while attempting to make the best decision for themselves, may be inundated with information of questionable quality and context.
Christopher Jang, Ph.D.
Chris is a postdoctoral research fellow studying the biochemistry behind human circadian rhythms at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He was born and raised in Vancouver, and completed his bachelor’s in biochemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He then went back to British Columbia to complete his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of British Columbia, where his doctoral work was devoted to characterizing mechanisms that viruses use to take over host cells. Chris has also taught undergraduate biochemistry at both the University of British Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, and in his spare time, works with the Canadian Science Policy Centre.
Matthew Lloyd, B.Sc.
Matthew is a practising Kinesiologist working with patients who have been injured in the workplace and in motor vehicle accidents. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University. Following graduation, his focus shifted from athletics to chronic pain, as the scientific understanding of chronic pain conditions is incomplete and current effective therapy options are extremely limited. He became interested in science advocacy through his ongoing critical appraisal of many of the treatments offered to patients experiencing long-term pain.
Ken Milne, M.D., M.Sc.
Ken is a practising physician at the South Huron Hospital in Exeter, Ontario where he is the Chief of Staff and Chief of Emergency Medicine. He is an expert in evidenced based medicine (EBM) and is a member of Best Evidence in Emergency Medicine (BEEM) group at McMaster University where he also teaches future physicians about EBM. Dr. Milne trained as an MD at the University of Calgary after graduating with a MSc. in physiology from the University of Western Ontario, where he is now an adjunct professor. Dr. Milne is also the recipient of a number of awards, including a recent fellowship at Oxford University studying the teaching of EBM and is a Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Dr. Milne is currently the vice-chair of the Ontario Medical Association’s Rural Section.
Raffi Pirjanian, B.A.
Raffi is a professional physiologist, specializing in strength and conditioning of elite athletes, based out of the Greater Toronto Area. He graduated from York University’s Specialized Honours Kinesiology and Health Science program and is currently the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Canadian Women’s National and Junior National Field Hockey teams. The use of evidence, gathered through proper usage of the scientific method, is the foundation of his beliefs.
Dianne Sousa, B.A.
Dianne holds a degree from the University of Guelph in criminal justice, public policy and social psychology. She became involved in the science advocacy movement after becoming disillusioned with the addictions counselling field. Topics of interest include alternative medicine and it’s regulation in Canada, pseudoscience and the law and science activism.
Shawn is the lead programmer with a hospital research department, mostly dealing with web-based research tools. He is an enthusiastic participant in the fledgling Halifax science advocacy community and maintains the Halifax Science and Skepticism calendar at HalifaxSkeptics.com.
Project Announcement Press Release
Evidence for Homeopathic Medicines Guidance Document -Health Canada
Pertussis Outbreak in Alberta:
Nosodes for Major Communicable Diseases Approved For Sale by Health Canada:
|Vaccine Preventable Disease||Approval Details and References|
|Anthrax||The nososde is known as “anthracinum” (http://www.abchomeopathy.com/r.php/Anthr). Currently not approved as a single ingredient remedy, though one product is currently approved with “anthracinum” as a homeopathic ingredient: “Myp-Tox” NPN 80007603. Approved indication: “Homeopathic medicine”. No information as to specific use of this product is available online. License Holder is “Aperture Energetics Inc” (http://www.physicaenergetics.com/http://www.physicaenergetics.com/index.php?target=pages&page_id=Nosodes)|
|Diphtheria||The nosode is known as “diphtherinum” (http://www.drpitcairn.com/homeopathic-alternatives-to-vaccines/). 5 approved products with “diphtherinum” as an ingredient, 1 as a single ingredient remedy (NPN 80006760). 4 of the approved products have “homeopathic medicine” as the indication. “Dtp Toxinum” (NPN 80032577) has the following approved indication: “Nosode Preparation to be used on the advice of a healthcare practitioner.” (Note: a search of this recommended use or purpose indicates that there are only 2 products approved with this indication. See Influenza below)|
|Measles||The nosode is known as “morbilinum” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Morbillinum-Nos/a934.html). There are 5 products approved with this ingredient, 1 as a single ingredient remedy. All have their approved indication as “homeopathic medicine” excelpt “Tegor Bio 88″ (NPN 80033856) – “Nosodes and homeopathic remedy to be used on the advice of a health care practitioner.”|
|Mumps||The nosode is known as “parotidinum” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Parotidinum/a2346.html). There is one product that is approved with this ingredient as a “homeopathic remedy”. Interestingly there are 4 products that have “parotidinum” as its brand name, but contain a mystery part of a rabbit instead.|
|Pertussis||The nososde is known as “pertussinum” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Pertussinum/a1001.html). There are 9 products with this as an approved ingredient, all with the approved indication as “homeopathic remedy or medicine”, except “Dtp Toxinum” (NPN 80032577). See Diphtheria above.|
|Pneumococcal||This nosode is known as “pneumococcinum” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Pneumococcinum-Nos/a2380.html) and also “Klebsiella pneumoniae” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Klebsiella-pneumoniae-Nos/a935.html) Total of 5 products with these ingredients. “Tegor Bio 87″ (DIN-HM 80033800) and “Muco Coccinum” (NPN 80032574 – see influenza above) have approved indications like “Nosodes and homeopathic remedy to be used on the advice of a health care practitioner.” No product has only “pneumococcinum” as a single ingredient, 2 have “Klebsiella pneumoniae” as a single ingredient.|
|Polio||This nosode is known as “poliomyelitis” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Poliomyelitis-Nos/a1074.html). There is one product with this as an approved ingredient: “Tegor Bio 88″ (NPN 80033856). See infuelza above.|
|Rabies||This nosode is known as “lyssin”, “lyssinum” or “hydrophobinum” (http://abchomeopathy.com/r.php/Lyss). There are 4 products that have it as an ingredient, all as a single ingredient, all with the indication “Homeopathic remedy”. 3 of 4 products have their status listed as “discontinued”.|
|Influenza (Flu)||The nosode is known as “influenzinum” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Influenzinum/a505.html). Currently there are 18 products that have influenzinum as an ingredient, both on its own and in combination. All but two are indicated for use as a “homeopathic medicine/remedy”. The other approved indications are for “Spir-sec” (DIN-HM 80029114) – “Remède homéopathique Recommandé pour les symptômes associés à la trachéite, laryngite, pharyngite tels que toux sèche douloureuse, irritante, spasmodique ou brûlante, sècheresse du larynx et de la trachée.” and “Muco Coccinum” (NPN 80032574) – “Nosode Preparation to be used on the advice of a health care practitioner.” (Note: a search of this recommended use or purpose indicates that there are only 2 products approved with this indication. See diphtheria above.|
|Tetanus||This nosode is known as “tetanotoxicum”or “tetanotoxinum” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Tetanus-Nos/a1938.html). Currently there is one product approved with this ingredient: “Dtp Toxinum” (NPN 80032577). See diphtheria and pertussis above.|
|Typhoid||This nosode is known as “typhinum”, ‘typhoidinum” and also “salmonella typhi” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Typhus-abdominalis-Nos/a1919.html. One product in the database is listed as containing “salmonella typhi” in combination with other ingredients: “Tegor Bio 87″ (DIN-HM 80033800). See pneumococcal above.|
|Tuberbulosis (TB)||This nosode is known as “tuberculinum”, “tuberculinum bovinum” and “tuberculinum aviaire” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Tuberculinum-bovinum-Nos/a856.html. There are 12 products in the NHPD with this as an ingredient. All except one are single ingredient remedies with the indication “homeopathic medicine”. The exception is “Tegor Bio 87″ (DIN-HM 80033800). See pneumococcal above.|
|Varicella (Chickenpox and shingles)||This nosode is known as “herpes zoster” (http://www.remedia.at/homeopathy/Herpes-Zoster-Nos/a919.html). There are 3 products in the NHPD with this as an approved ingredient, all in combination. 2 have the indication “homeopathic medicine”. One “Tegor Bio 88″ (NPN 80033856) has a more specific indication. See measles above.|
|EXTRAS (these are other approved ingredients that are used as nosodes)||Micrococcus tetragenus, mucotoxin, coxsackie, Epstein Barr, herpes simplex, mononucleosis, stapthylococcinum, streptococcinum, botulinum, eneterococcinum, botulinum, Pseudomomas aeruginosa, Scarlatinum, Chlamydia trachomatis, Aspergillus Niger, Candida albicans, Medorrhinum, psorinum, Vaccinotoxinum|