Delegates reject statement against homeopathy

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AVMA delegates rejected by a 9-1 margin a proposal to identify homeopathy as ineffective.  

The Connecticut VMA proposed establishing an AVMA policy that would discourage the use of homeopathy, but only 10 percent of the vote by the AVMA House of Delegates favored the proposal. Although the topic was open for discussion prior to the vote, no delegates spoke in favor of or against the resolution.

But Dr. Karen Bradley, the delegate from Vermont, said during an HOD reference committee meeting earlier in the day that the AVMA should be an inclusive umbrella organization for veterinarians. She did not think AVMA leaders should debate the worth of each modality.

In the same committee meeting, Dr. Kenneth E. Bartels, the delegate from Oklahoma, likened the use of homeo­pathy to use of laser-based therapies. He has administered the latter since the 1980s and is among veterinarians who are writing the evidence base for that modality.

In an interview after the meeting, Dr. Clark K. Fobian, AVMA president, noted that the AVMA Council on Research found no scientific basis for use of homeopathic treatments. But he thinks the scientific community and regulatory authorities, rather than the AVMA, should decide whether use of homeopathic remedies is appropriate.

By deciding not to take a position discouraging the practice of homeopathy, “AVMA is in no way saying it is a valid, legitimate treatment modality” or otherwise assessing its validity, he said.