The largest retailer in the world has been prosecuted for allegedly adopting deceptive marketing practices regarding its homeopathic products.
The Center for Inquiry (CFI), a non-profit educational organization, filed a lawsuit against Walmart last month alleging that the retail chain “uses marketing, labeling and product placement to falsely present homeopathic products as equivalent alternatives to science-based drugs, and to represent homeopathic products as effective treatments for specific diseases and symptoms. ”
In its lawsuit, Center for Inquiry – which prides itself on promoting reason, science and critical thinking about religion – accuses Walmart of giving consumers the impression that homeopathic products, such as Boiron Oscillococcinum and Equate Homeopathic Earache Drops, are as effective as the other “sciences”. based on “products” in the treatment of certain diseases. The lawsuit also claims that Walmart has decided to place homeopathic products on top of the FDA-approved “tested” drug, making it difficult for customers to easily distinguish between the two.
Walmart has preyed on the public’s ignorance to pass off its homeopathic products as proven medication
“Walmart sells homeopathic products alongside actual medications, in the same sections of its stores and under the same signs,” Nick Little, Vice President and General Counsel of CFI, told Forbes. “On its website, research on cold and flu remedies or infant dentures gives pages filled with homeopathic unwanted products, an incredible betrayal of customer trust and abuse of power. titanic of Walmart. ”
Homeopathy is based on the idea that the body can heal itself with natural substances such as plants and minerals, according to WebMD. Homeopathic doctors often dilute these ingredients with water or alcohol in a process called “potentiation” – a procedure supposed to transfer the healing power of the ingredients. End products are frequently used to treat common diseases such as allergies, migraines and depression.
The science behind homeopathic products, however, remains fragmentary.
In 2012, a review conducted by the National Complementary and Integrative Health Center of the National Institutes of Health revealed that the use of certain products “may have undesirable effects, some of which may be serious”. Three years later, the Australian Government’s National Board of Health and Medical Research determined that there was no conclusive evidence to prove that homeopathic products were effective.
In an interview, Little hinted to Forbes that Walmart has largely used public ignorance to make its homeopathic products a proven drug.
“Walmart can not claim not to know that homeopathy is snake oil because it runs its own pharmacy business and makes its own homeopathic products,” he said. “So, whether it’s a scientifically proven cure such as aspirin or denatured junk food, like homeopathic teething tablets for babies, Walmart sells the whole product under its own Equate brand.” is the same for Walmart. “
Little’s organization has already sued CVS for similar reasons.
In response to Little’s accusations, a spokesman for Walmart said the retailer was taking the charges seriously.
“We want to be the most reliable retailer and we ask our suppliers to provide products that comply with all applicable laws, including labeling laws,” said the spokesperson. “Our Equate private label homeopathic products are designed to include information directly indicating that the claims are not based on accepted medical evidence and have not been evaluated by the FDA.”