Homeopathy—the idea that one can heal oneself with illness-inducing substances in tiny quantities—is basically a bunch of quackery practiced by delusional people who take their own lives in their hands and might just as well take a sugar pill instead, according to Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council. "There are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective," declares the fairly blunt report, which also recommends that health insurers stop subsidizing homeopathic remedies and that pharmacies not stock them. "People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness." The report reviewed hundreds of studies on homeopathy, notes CBS News, and found no evidence that it's more effective than a placebo.
"I have no problems with private colleges wanting to run courses on crystal-ball gazing, iridology, and homeopathy, and if people are crazy enough to pay for it, it’s their decision," one doctor tells the Guardian, but he thinks governments shouldn't approve them. The Australian Homeopathic Association, not to be deterred, urged the NHMRC to find an approach that "respects and advocates patient choice." It's not the only blow to homeopathy of late: A Canadian study on homeopathic treatment for kids with ADHD came under heavy fire earlier this month from the scientific community for, as the Toronto Star puts it, "legitimiz(ing) a pseudoscience." (Critics of the practice have previously staged a "mass overdose.")