Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Saturday, 30 January 2010

Liverpool anti-homeopathy campaigners stage protest

Homeopathic pills
Campaigners say homeopathic pills are "worthless"

Campaigners gathered outside a Boots in Liverpool, staging a protest against the sale of homeopathic remedies.

The demonstration, organised by the Merseyside Skeptics Society (MSS) saw protesters take a mass "overdose" of harmless homeopathic remedies.

Campaigners have called on the company to withdraw all of the treatments which they say are "scientifically absurd".

A spokesman for Boots said it followed advice from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on complementary medicines.

Proponents of homeopathy say it is a system which triggers the body to heal itself, with the use of very highly diluted substances.

'Nothing in them'

Michael Marshall, from the MSS, said: "We believe that they shouldn't be selling sugar pills to people who are sick.

"Homeopathy never works any better than a placebo. The remedies are diluted so much that there is nothing in them."

Protesters also gathered outside Boots branches in Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Leicester and Birmingham.

The Society of Homeopaths said treatments were "person specific" and based on taking a series of small doses, so it did not expect any reaction in the protesters unless one already had symptoms matched to their remedy.

Mr Marshall said consumers trusted Boots and it should not sell the remedies alongside mainstream medicines.

Paul Bennett, professional standards director at Boots, said: "Homeopathy is recognised by the NHS and many health professionals and our customers choose to use homeopathy."

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