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This photo taken on Feb. 6, 2009 shows a collection of homeopathic treatments in the office of homeopathic practicioner Begabati Lennihan, in Cambridge, Mass., including preparations made with robinia, castor bean, silver phosphate, and clippings of Wintergreen and rosemary. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

The US government will require homeopathic medicines to say they don't work


The Federal Trade Commission ruled that all homeopathic remedies must carry labels indicating they lack scientific evidence of their effectiveness.

Remedies that can prove their effectiveness must do so. 

Homeopathy is the belief that symptoms of the disease can be treated with very tiny doses of substances that also cause that symptom. It has been largely debunked by modern science but is still very popular in some circles. In 2015, a study found homeopathy was ineffective at treating any condition.

For the vast majority of OTC homeopathic drugs ... there are no valid studies using current scientific methods showing the product's efficacy.
FTC release

A ruling in 1988 allowed marketers to sell homeopathic products over the counter without proving they actually worked.  Now, to avoid accusations of false advertising, homeopathic medicine have disclaimers about its effectiveness on the label.

Homeopathyt 2.jpg
In this photo taken on Feb. 6, 2009, an employee holds a vial of a treatment made with sulphur from a cabinet of homeopathic treatments in the office of homeopathic practitioner Begabati Lennihan, in Cambridge, Mass. Like other homeopaths, Lennihan considers not just symptoms but also temperaments, favorite foods, even dreams. She took conventional nurse's training to bolster her homeopathic credentials. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

And just to be safe, the FTC also ruled marketers can't "undercut" the disclaimers with "additional positive statements or consumer endorsements." (Pictured: A homeopathic medicine made from sulfur.)

Science writers praised the FTC's stance.

One doctor outright referred to homeopathy as a "sham" outright.

What do you think of the FTC's decision?

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