Griffith Uni rejects homeopathy link

Griffith University, having recently launched a candidate malaria vaccine to protect against all known strains of the deadly disease, has definitively rejected any link between the vaccine and homeopathy.

“Our candidate vaccine is not related to homeopathy in any way,” says Professor Michael F Good, chair of the National Health & Medical Research Council, and chairman of the Spinal Cord Injury Network, Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University. “Our approach is science-based.”

Prof Good’s statement was in response to a query from Australian Skeptics about claims made on the website of homeopathy spruiker Homeopathy Plus that the vaccine was an example of homeopathy.

In the press release on the launch, the university announced the opening of the Institute for Glycomics’s new Laboratory of Vaccines for the Developing World, as well as the launch of PlasProtecT™ “whereby ultra-low doses of whole malaria parasites are ‘put to sleep’ using a unique chemical treatment”.

“The sleeping parasite is then injected in very small doses and we have observed very strong immune responses that can protect from multiple strains and species of the parasite, thus potentially overcoming the major hurdle to developing a vaccine.”

Homeopathy Plus, run by homeopath Fran Sheffield who herself is linked to the Australian [anti]Vaccination Network, instantly jumped on the announcement to claim that “Once again, this is homeopathy – an approach homeopaths have used successfully for malaria protection and prevention for centuries.”

Prof Good completely rejected this claim, adding that “Let me assure you that I am no supporter of homeopathy. As Chairman of NHMRC I can also assure you that NHMRC does not support homeopathy.”

But Homeopathy Plus doesn’t stop at claims of spurious links between homeopathy and true science. Its website tells readers how “homeopathy’s ability to protect doesn’t just stop at malaria.”

They can “Learn how it is also being used for:
• Dengue fever in Brazil
• Meningococcal disease in Brazil
• Dengue fever in Colombo
• Japanese encephalitis in India
• Leptospirosis in Cuba, and
• Animal diseases such as kennel cough and bovine mastitis.”

Australian Skeptics supports the use of scientific method in the development of such useful and practical medical treatments as that developed at Griffith University. It seems a shame, then, that others have no restraint in claiming such developments as their own, when they are decidedly not!