Not since the partnership of Hitchens and Fry has there been such an epic crushing of nonsense in a single debate:
Some of my favorite gems from this hearing:
Q1 Chairman: I wonder if I could start with you, Paul, this morning. You actually manufacture and sell homeopathic remedies. Do they work beyond the placebo effect, very briefly?
Mr Bennett: First, I need to correct you actually, I am afraid. We do not manufacture products.
Q2 Chairman: You sell them though?
Mr Bennett: We do sell them.
Q3 Chairman: So you sell them?
Mr Bennett: We do indeed sell them and there is certainly a consumer demand for those products.
Q4 Chairman: I did not ask you that question. I said do they work beyond the placebo effect?
Mr Bennett: I have no evidence before me to suggest that they are efficacious, and we look very much for the evidence to support that, and so I am unable to give you a yes or no answer to that question.
Q5 Chairman: You sell them but you do not believe they are efficacious?
Mr Bennett: It is about consumer choice for us. A large number of our consumers actually do believe they are efficacious, but they are licensed medicinal products and, therefore, we believe it is right to make them available.
Q6 Chairman: But as a company you do not believe that they necessarily are?
Mr Bennett: We do not disbelieve either. It is an evidence issue.
Q7 Chairman: Robert, what is your position? You do manufacture.
Mr Wilson: We do manufacture, yes, and I represent 95 per cent of the manufacturers in the UK. Definitely we believe there is a strong case for the efficaciousness of homeopathic medicines. This is an industry that has been growing strongly. It has been around for 200 years and I think it is worth saying that in France it is a 400 million euro business and in Germany it is the same.
Q8 Chairman: So is prostitution. It does not mean to say it is right, does it? My question to you, Robert, is does it work outside the placebo effect?
Mr Wilson: He has not asked us specifically about the efficaciousness of homeopathic medicines. Boots are a very important retailer; they sell a great deal of these products. You have also got to ask the question, if these products did not work beyond the placebo effect, why do people keep buying them? Leaving that aside, there is a trial out which was literally published in the last —
Q14 Chairman: That was not a serious point, was it? Was that a serious point you were making?
Mr Wilson: Yes, I believe, certainly, that people continue to buy products because they work for them.
So Paul Bennett from Boots admits there’s no evidence that homeopathy is effective but is happy to still sell a product that he admits may very well not work. Awesome. This was epic.
I highly recommend watching the whole thing and you can Read the entire transcript here.