By Rina Raphael
Walmart is being sued for selling questionable alternative remedies.
The Center for Inquiry (CFI), a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that “pseudoscience is prevented from harming society,” filed a complaint Monday on behalf of residents in Washington, D.C., against the giant retailer. The organization claims the superstore deliberately “creates a false and misleading impression in customers regarding homeopathic products, presenting them as an equal alternative to science and evidence-based medication.”
The retailer sells over 1,000 homeopathic drugs–ranging from cold and flu relief to stress aids–both in-store and online. Homeopathy refers to alternative remedies made with natural substances, like plants and minerals, that aren’t regulated or verified like traditional medications or prescriptions. It follows the philosophy that the body can heal itself by virtue of “like cures like,” i.e., you can treat a condition with small, diluted doses of substances that cause the symptoms. For example, small doses of allergens such as pollen might be used to treat allergic patients.
“It’s a very specific type of pseudoscientific nonsense,” says Nick Little, vice president and general counsel of the Center for Inquiry.
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