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Complainant Name:
Society of Homeopaths

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Guardian

Complaint:

Ms Paula Ross, Chief Executive of the Society of Homeopaths, complained that an article about homeopathy was inaccurate and misleading when it stated that homeopaths were “killing patients”.

Resolution:

The Commission considered the complaint and recognised the newspaper’s argument that the specific claim had to be understood in the context of the article when read as a whole, noting its position that the reference sought to sum up the points made in a lengthy, polemical article about homeopathy. Nonetheless, the Commission was concerned that the article had moved from what appeared to be a legitimate argument (that homeopaths could be seen to be endangering lives, something with which others may have disagreed) to a serious claim which had not been fully substantiated.

In the circumstances, the Commission took the view that the newspaper’s offer of an opportunity in which to respond to the allegation – in the form of a letter for publication – represented a sufficient form of remedial action. While the complainant did not wish to take up the newspaper’s offer, she considered that the complaint was resolved on this basis.

Report: 77



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