Okay, this story made me literally laugh out loud. Terra Medica, a company that makes homeopathic “remedies” (what they actually remedy is unclear), has recalled a bunch of its products because — gasp! — they might contain actual medicine. Clearly, that cannot be allowed.
There are a lot of things hinging on this idea that homeopathic remedies don’t contain any active ingredients in them. One: When manufactured cleanly and correctly, homeopathic remedies should be generally harmless. After all, in the end, they should just be solutions of water and/or alcohol, perhaps mixed into a sugar pill. Two: In part because homeopathic products have been generally recognized as safe, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has mostly chosen not to regulate them. Unless they claim to cure serious conditions, such as cancer, the FDA doesn’t ask homeopathy companies to prove their products are safe or effective.
In this case, however, the FDA found that the process Terra Medica used to make six of its products could introduce the antibiotic penicillin into Terra Medica liquids, tablets, capsules, ointments and suppositories. People who are allergic to penicillin might get severe reactions if they use these products. Terra Medica is conducting a voluntary recall affecting 56 lots of its products, according to an FDA statement.
That’s too bad. They might actually have worked.