Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Friday, 22 March 2019

CEASE Therapy for autism in the UK news today - it doesn't treat or cure autism

1. Listen
The BBC will run a piece* early this afternoon on Radio 4's You and Yours about a bogus treatment for autism, called CEASE Therapy aka 'Complete Elimination of Autistic Spectrum Expression'.

Listen to it on BBC Radio 4 from 12.15pm today Friday 22 March 2019, or catch up later

Read You and Yours' post about the story "Advertising watchdog rules fake autism 'cure' adverts must stop"

CEASE rests on the false idea that vaccination causes autism and uses homeopathy and supplements to try and "detox" children from the imagined negative effects of the vaccines. Not only is it nonsense it's also harmful and medically neglectful (encourages diarrhoea as a process to eliminate toxins),  a safeguarding concern (vulnerable children and families involved) and offensive (implying that autism should be eliminated). There is no need for it, and it's great that awareness is being raised.

2. Watch
The BBC also referenced CEASE on their Breakfast television show. You can watch it again on iPlayer (you may need to register) until tomorrow (Saturday, at 9.15am), from 19 minutes into the programme (6.18am on the programme itself).

3. ASA
The Advertising Standards Authority's CEO Guy Parker published a blog post today about the action the ASA has been taking against homeopaths who are offering CEASE therapy and who are referencing it in relation to autism. Last year the ASA sent out an Enforcement Notice to 150 CEASE homeopaths pointing out the problems with offering the therapy, this notice has also been published today. Five homeopaths have been referred to Trading Standards but not yet added to their Referrals page.

Why so-called CEASE Therapy claims to 'cure' autism really have to stop

Metro have also picked up the story.
Guardian too.

The ASA have previously adjudicated against two practitioners offering CEASE therapy - Teddington Homeopathy
and Elle Fox (trading as Bubbling Life).

4. SoH / PSA
The Society of Homeopaths is one of several membership societies for homeopaths but is the only one regulated by the Professional Standards Authority. SoH members are already required to adhere to ASA's guidelines but last year the PSA had to step in and address problems with some members' claims about CEASE.

The response by the SoH to the ASA's action has been described as "staggeringly inadequate" because there have been "discussions taking place on how the therapy might be renamed" instead of addressing the underlying nonsense. This merely "(e)ncourages CEASE quacks to continue as before, while hiding from ASA." 

Today (and over the weekend) Oxford University's Lady Margaret Hall is hosting the SoH's AGM and conference (on fertility and pregnancy).

5. See also
CEASE Therapy on Wikipedia
• Westminster Autism Commission (PDF) on other harmful interventions on autism (CEASE not included)

*"We report on what's being done to stop a bogus treatment which claims to cure autism in children. The Advertising Standards Authority has told You & Yours it’s served enforcement notices on 150 homeopaths who offer so-called CEASE therapy. The treatment claims to purge heavy metals, vaccines and antibiotics from a child’s system. The National Autistic Society says there's no cure for autism and it's wrong to claim it can be cured. We speak to a mother who tried the treatment for several months and now regrets it. The Society of Homeopaths say there are discussions taking place on how the therapy might be renamed to make claims aren't made that can't then be substantiated."

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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).