Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Email to Petco Concerning Homeopathy

I just sent this email to the people at Petco after finding out last week that they send homeopathy, which hopefully people are figuring out is bullshit medicine. Hopefully I get a response. I'll post more if I do, and make a bigger fuss if I don't.

Dear Petco Management,

Last week, my girlfriend and I were shopping for supplies for our cat at your store in Fargo, and I noticed you had a homeopathic remedy for the treatment of worms for sale on your shelves.  Usually I think your store is a great place to shop for pet supplies as I’ve never run in to a problem such as this before, but this was incredibly frustrating for me as someone who both cares about animals and knows about homeopathy. I would think as the operators of store (a very widely used store at that) which is there to help promote the overall welfare of people’s pets, you would have done the research to know that there is no good scientific evidence to indicate that homeopathy works as a medication for anything. At most, it can be connected to the placebo effect but in humans only. Animals do not have the capability of understanding that they are even being treated for a disease, so they can’t even trick themselves in to feeling better. Even with that being said, feeling better is not getting better.  All studies done in an effort to test the efficacy of homeopathy have come nowhere near standing up to legitimate, rigorous scientific scrutiny. Most, if not all, had one, if not several, significant methodological flaws such as: no control group, being single blind, small sample sizes, in addition to not testing the actual effectiveness of the drug e.g., they simply ask the patient “How satisfied do you feel with this product? Rate from 0-10.” That’s not how you test medicine, that’s how you fill out a comment card. If you wish to be responsible vendors of products for pet owners, you should know about the medical trials that a medicine has gone through before you decide whether or not to sell it.

Even more than frustrating, it is saddening, because I know there will be people out there who won’t know what homeopathy is and assume it is an actual, effective medicine that has gone through and passed the necessary clinical trials in order to be sold on the shelves. They’ll go ahead and purchase the homeopathic treatment and give it to their pets, allowing their worms to go untreated, while thinking they are. I’m sure you all know that delaying real treatment for disease, whether you’re human, dog, cat, etc., is a bad approach to getting better. This makes homeopathy more than simply ineffective, it makes it outright dangerous.

The majority of people who are just going about their daily lives don’t have the time, desire, or even know how to go about researching whether or not a medicine sold at their local pet store is approved for use by a legitimate, reputable scientific journal. Your customers trust you to provide them with treatments that are demonstrably effective and when you put something on your shelves like homeopathy right next to real medicine, you legitimize the fake medicine in the unknowing customer’s eye, which is outrageously negligent.

Please, if you are a company that truly cares about the wellbeing of people and their pets, you will do the responsible and morally correct thing and stop offering this phony medicine.


To show that homeopathy has no active ingredients, many organizations have conducted mass overdoses of homeopathic remedies, which are, in fact, water on sugar pills. You can find videos like this all over YouTube, made in an effort to to expose this fraudulent nonsense.

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