Jan. 30th, 2010

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We set off for Leeds this morning, on a bitterly cold but brilliantly bright day, with the aim of taking an overdose of arsenic pills in a public demonstration.

Luckily the pills were nothing more than homeopathic arsenic where the supposed active ingredient is diluted to the point of non-existence leaving only a surprisingly crunchy little sugar ball behind. The event was organised by 1023 and Sheffield Skeptics joined forces with the Leeds group to protest outside the Leeds branch of Boots the Chemist who are happy to sell these pills for £5 a go despite describing them in the obligatory small print as having 'no approved therapeutic indications' (in other words they don't do anything).

We paid off the local busker who was playing maudlin Elvis songs and downed our pills at 10:23 exactly and I am happy, though not exactly surprised, to report no instances of sudden death from poisonous overdose. The event was filmed for local tv news and the other events round the country also got plenty of coverage on the media and the internet. It also seems to have got up the noses of the Homeopathic lobby, which is hardly surprising - a £40 million pound a year business based on selling sugar pills is a nice little earner by any standards. If anybody wishes to spend their money on things like this, then good luck to them, but there should not be any funding from the NHS (£12 million pounds would go a long way in these cash strapped times) and high street retailers should not be selling them to an unwary public in contravention of their own code of conduct on the sale of medicines.

Anyway, it was a fun event, and it seems to have at the very least raised a bit of awareness, if only at the local pub that we decamped to afterwards for a reviving coffee and bacon sarnie (we're not called the skeptics in the pub for nothing, you know).

Homeopathy - there's nothing in it!

#ten23 There's nothing in it. on Twitpic

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thermalsatsuma

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