Consumer rights activists worldwide are being challenged to participate in a global 'overdose' on homeopathic pills, in order to raise public awareness that the remedies are in fact worthless.
The '10:23 Challenge', scheduled to culminate worldwide in February 2011, is a follow-up to the protest staged by the 10:23 Campaign in the UK, which saw almost 400 demonstrators take to the streets across UK to voice their concern at the sales of the pills in leading pharmacy 'Boots', and the support for such 'remedies' on the NHS.
Michael Marshall of the 10:23 Campaign explained the plans for 2011: "This year has been a great year in the UK for raising awareness of homeopathy – with doctors, pharmacists, politicians and – above all – members of the public speaking out against this discredited 'treatment'.
"However, the case against homeopathy extends far beyond the UK - all around the world, people are being told that homeopathy is a valid form of treatment, and often with tragic consequences. It's a global problem, and it requires global action.
"This is why we're announcing the 10:23 Challenge for 2011 - we want to show global unity by gathering protesters from more than 10 countries, and more than 23 cities. Our aim is to have more than 1023 activists publicly gathering over the weekend of 5th-6th February, to make a statement: Homeopathy - There's Nothing In It.
“Of course, safety is our number one concern – not all homeopathy is prepared as honestly and cleanly as the manufacturers state, and can include real ingredients which could be potentially dangerous. With this in mind we urge anyone wishing to get involved to prepare their own homeopathic remedies, or contact the 10:23 Campaign for more information (email@example.com)”.
While International participation is yet to be announced, the challenge will culminate in a demonstration in Manchester on February 6th, at the 'QED: Question. Explore. Discover.' event, with over 300 protesters participating in the largest ever single demonstration against homeopathy.
The 10:23 Campaign is an international movement headed by the Merseyside Skeptics Society, which aims to raise awareness of homeopathy, a multi-million pound industry based on a long-discredited 18th century ritual, selling remedies to the public which have no scientific basis and no credible evidence for their efficacy beyond the placebo effect.
While dispensing sugar pills may seem harmless, in reality the endorsement of homeopathic potions by leading health providers can have grave consequences. In September 2010, a BBC investigation discovered registered homeopaths administering ineffective 'alternatives' to the MMR vaccine, and in 2002 9-month old infant Gloria Sam died from serious infections after her eczema - a condition commonly treated by homeopaths - was treated with homeopathic remedies.
Mr Marshall concluded: "Homeopathy has had more than two centuries to prove itself a useful remedy, but the results consistently come back negative. In the meantime, people are being fooled into believing these pills work, often causing genuine harm. This is unacceptable, and on February 5th, we're going to demonstrate how strongly people feel about this issue."
For more information about the 10:23 Challenge, visit www.1023.org.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.