Since news of his appointment emerged, senior scientists have spoken up. John Krebs, professor of zoology at the University of Oxford, said: "There is overwhelming evidence that homeopathic medicine is not effective. It would be a real blow for those who want medicine to be science-based if the secretary of state were to promote homeopathy because of his personal beliefs."
Edzard Ernst, former director of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, UK, added: "To praise the positive contribution of homeopathy to the NHS does not bode well for the new person in charge of UK healthcare. One can only hope that with the reality of the new job, there will be a more rational insight in the actual evidence on this topic."
How did Hunt's views on homeopathy emerge? Firstly, he signed a parliamentary document called an Early Day Motion back in 2007, supporting the provision of homeopathic medicine by the NHS. Such motions are used routinely as barometers of parliamentary interest in issues – in this case, spending public money on treating people with aqueous solutions so diluted that they no longer contain a trace of the supposedly active ingredients they began with.