Mass overdoses in Boots on January 30th - why not join in?

19 January 2010


The thing with pre-planned mass overdoses is that they rarely end well. We’re thinking about Jim ‘Jonestown’ Jones, we’re thinking about Marshall ‘Heaven’s Gate’ Applewhite and we’ve got our fingers crossed for Celebrity Big Brother 7.

But a mass homeopathic overdose should be okay because, let’s face it, homeopathy is almost certainly a towering skyscraper filled with old bollocks. For those who aren’t sure what it is, the principle of homeopathy states that what ails you will also cure you… as long as its only a tiny speck of it and it’s mixed with fucking loads of water.

Sounds mad doesn’t it? It is – and we’re fully expecting a bunch of comments from outsiders telling us why it isn’t mad, but take no notice of them. They’re possibly mad too.

What is equally mad is that Boots the Chemist sell homeopathic remedies. They might as well be flogging other ridiculous 18th century shit like hairshirts or joss sticks (we know).

Anyway, back to the mass overdose. At 10:23am on January 30th, more than 300 homeopathy sceptics will each glug down an entire bottle of homeopathic ‘pillules’ (trans. useless shit): “in protest at Boots' continued endorsement and sale of homeopathic remedies, and to raise public awareness about the fact that homeopathic remedies have nothing in them.”

What could potentially be a terrifying scenario will unfold before the eyes of customers and staff in Boots stores across the country, with the possibility that the protestors will be dropping like flies – only they won’t because they’ll be taking a load of useless old shit (“Ah, but did they mix it with enough water?” an anti-sceptic sceptic will inevitably say.)

So if you don’t want to bear witness to suicidal carnage, avoid your local Boots on January 30th . Oh, and if you feel poorly, go and see a doctor eh?

TOPICS:   Scams


  • Mr G.
    Or maybe crowds of people will suddenly get inexplicably better. No.
  • Hahneman
    These people are idiots. Everybody knows that the pills aren't going to harm you - that's the whole point. Why the hell should Boots not sell them if people want to buy them? I use homeopathy and in my experience it works very well for certain things - I don't care if it is the placebo effect in action or not : it works for me, so why shouldn't I buy the stuff? If it doesn't work for you, fine, don't use it, but don't stop me. (And yes I do know all about Avogadro's number and the physics and chemistry involved : probably a lot more than you do)
  • Martin
    @Hahneman The problem is that it's an exploitative industry that makes claims without any kind of scientific proof that their products work any better than a sugar pill. Boots stocking their product lends them an air of credibility that they don't deserve (Boots 'Professional Standards Director' have even said publically that they know they don't work). If you've made an informed decision about taking them that's fair enough, but there are plenty of people out there without the level of knowledge that you have.
  • ElBuc
    I think the point being made is that a retailer is selling something which gives the impression it will treat ailments when what they are getting is sugary-chalk pills. I imagine the idea is also to get the ball rolling with regard to homeopathy still being used as a treatment in the NHS. It should be banned under the trades descriptions act as far as I'm concerned.
  • ElBuc
    From the website linked in the main body: "Figures obtained last year by More4 News revealed that the NHS spends around £4 million per year on homeopathy, money which could have paid the salaries of almost 200 nurses!"
  • ElBuc
    And: "Last year, Boots admitted that they don't believe homeopathy works. They said they stock it because "customers believe it works""
  • David
    I hadn't realised just what this is until now. I feel sufficiently educated now to confirm that this is, indeed, bollocks. I wouldn't say that GlaxoSmithKline etc are much better - most of the real drugs prescribed by doctors are done so to shut patients up and few of them work properly without side effects. It's all bollocks, bloody bollocking bollocks.
  • NellieIrrelevant
    Boots isn't a charity. For years they sold 'diabetic chocolate' knowing damn well it had more sugar in it than regular chocolate and cost more. Anyway this 'protest' is a totally pointless exercise because if people are dumb enough to believe homeopathy they'll just persuade themselves the point the 'protest' is making was invalid somehow. It's like trying to persuade evangelicals that the Bible is less than literally true...
  • The S.
    Are they buying the bottles from Boots?
  • Sir P.
    One has to wonder if there will be a fleet of ambulances required on the 30th or if the poor unfortunates will have time to get to A&E on the bus. Or walk. Or pop in next week when it's not so busy 'cos Saturdays are murder in A&E.......
  • Nobby
    They sell anti-ageing cream too. But you still age if you use it.
  • Nobby
    If anyone wants to join in, on 29th January I will be emptying homeopathic sweeite tubs in Boots and filling them with paracetamol. I get the 10:23 part, but why January 30th?
  • Mike
    I'm not saying whether it does or doesn't, to be honest if it helps anyone suffering from any ailment it can only be a good thing. But since you've stated homoeopathy doesn't work, then one can assume you have your own proof to back this up? Other wise your just as bad as the homoeopathy quacks.
    • Andy D.
      Fuck that Mike, it's like God - the burden of proof rests with you.
  • Allen
    The Challenge Sceptic James Randi is so convinced that homeopathy will not work, that he has offered $1m to anyone who can provide convincing evidence of its effects. For the first time in the programme's history, Horizon conducts its own scientific experiment, to try and win his money. If they succeed, they will not only be $1m richer - they will also force scientists to rethink some of their fundamental beliefs.
  • MattWPBS
    Mike. I assert that you beat your wife. Prove that you don't.
  • andy y.
    boots sell 4 useful things.soap,toothpaste,paracetomol and nappies.The other 8725 items are toss.A few homo mixes won't make much difference
  • Jon
    Read Ben Goldacre's book "Bad Science" for some interesting information about homeopathy. The whole busioness of water being able to retain the "memory" of the homeopathic remedy to the point that it can be diluted to a level of concentration that would be physically impossible is particularly silly. After all, in London they estimate that each galss of tap water has been recycled seven times. If water is able to retain the "memory" of what has been in it, then the water company would effectively be forcing me to drink the urine of several other people. call me picky, but I don't imagine that they would be aloowed to do that. However, I must admit that I did once get relief from my hayfever from a homeopathic remedy. I opened the pill container, took out the cotton wool wadding at the top and stuck half of it up each nostril. Served as an effective barrier against pollen. The pills were just a waste of money.
  • Brian
    Hi, my name is Brian. I'd like to point out homeopathy has nothing to do with homo[sexuals], as the other poster is insinuating.
  • Mr G.
    Nobby wrote: "If anyone wants to join in, on 29th January I will be emptying homeopathic sweeite tubs in Boots and filling them with paracetamol." Hey Nobby, why don't we fill them with a cocktail of LSD, Crystal Meth, E's & Viagra? Think of the entertainment value!
  • Jon
    Nobby: you won't be able to fill homeopathic "sweetie tubs" with paracetamol because of course they would never sell you that many in one go.
  • Mike H.
    @Mike - an analysis of homeopathic 'drug' trials published in The Lancet in 2005 concluded: "Biases are present in placebo-controlled trials of both homoeopathy and conventional medicine. When account was taken for these biases in the analysis, there was weak evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies, but strong evidence for specific effects of conventional interventions. This finding is compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects." In terms of evidence, I think that's pretty clear.
  • Savocado
    burden of proof
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