What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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"Every year Britons spend around £4.5 billion on treatments ranging from aromatherapy to yogic healing, with one in five visiting one of 150,000 alternative therapists. This huge business came under official regulation for the first time on January 19th [2009], when the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC to its friends, Ofquack to critics), partly financed by the Department of Health and inspired by Prince Charles's Foundation for Integrated Health, opened its doors…..Unlike the bodies that oversee doctors and nurses, the CNHC takes no interest in whether its practitioners' efforts actually work…..In the Journal of the Scottish Law Society, Douglas MacLaughlin, a Glaswegian lawyer, points out that consumer-protection laws new in 2008 specifically forbid false claims that a product can cure a disease. This could make life difficult for purveyors of alternative medicine, much of which does not work or has never been tested. That one part of government licenses alternative medicine while another bans its main sales pitch reflects a wider chaos." The Economist (22nd January 2009)