Fury as Royal Chemist backs homeopathy over vaccination
THE Queen’s chemist has been condemned as‘ dangerous and irresponsible’ for claiming homeopathic remedies can provide a ‘complete alternative to vaccination’.
Ainsworths, which has two royal warrants, prints and sells a book for new mothers which claims homeopathy ‘will strengthen the child’s immune system more ably than any vaccine’.
The 114-page guide, which has the coat of arms for the Queen and the Prince of Wales printed on its cover, also claims that vaccine-preventable infectious diseases including mumps and measles can be treated homoeopathically.
In addition, the pharmacy sells tablets which are often promoted by other homeopaths as alternatives to vaccination for serious diseases including measles, polio and meningitis.
Last night leading doctors criticised Ainsworths for promoting ‘irresponsible antivaccine propaganda’ and putting the health of children at risk. It now faces calls for its royal warrants – meaning it has supplied products to the two royal households for at least five years – to be withdrawn.
Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, yesterday warned that homeopaths are spreading ‘misinformation’ about jabs which pose ‘a significant danger to human health’.
The Ainsworths book, the Mother & Child Remedy Prescriber, costs £4.95. It promises to ‘help parents through the emotional and physical challenges of pregnancy, childbirth and baby/infant stages’.
In a section titled ‘Vaccination’, the ‘selfhelp’ booklet says: ‘Homeopathy offers two clear options for mothers confronted by the emotional pressure to have their child vaccinated. The first is as a complete alternative to vaccination, the second is damage limitation for the ill effects of conventional vaccinations administered.’
It continues to explain how ‘ remedies based on childhood diseases’ including measles, mumps, rubella, polio and meningitis can f orm ‘ an alternative preventative programme’.
But Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, said its royal warrants should be withdrawn ‘as a matter of urgency’.
He added: ‘Ainsworths has a long history of promoting the most i rresponsible anti-vaccination propaganda. It is hard to think of any UK enterprise for which royal warrants are less justified.’
Ainsworths, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House all declined to comment.