Following recent discoveries that prescription drugs - including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones – have been found in drinking water across the U.S., it has just been revealed that another team has found homeopathic drugs in American tap water:
In the course of a five-month inquiry, our teams tested the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas for numerous homeopathic remedies including Arsenicum Album, Belladonna, Kali Carbonicum and Aurum Metallicum. Despite multiple testing scenarios, and despite using the most advanced and sensitive equipment available, we were not able to find even one molecule of the homeopathic remedies in any of the tap water samples we examined. While this would not be a problem with conventional medicines, homeopathic remedies are stronger the more dilute they are. This means that samples of water we tested containing zero molecules of, for example Arsenicum Album, would be Arsenicum Album at the maximum strength possible. Homeopaths believe this could present real risks to the American public who could be unknowingly consuming many different powerful homeopathic drugs combined in their morning tea or coffee.
How did no molecules of homeopathic drugs manage to get into the drinking supply? The exact reason is unknown, but it is thought that a big homeopathic corporation probably flushed some water down the sink. American waste water treatment plants remove all but trace contaminants from the drinking water supply, but currently they have no way to even recognize drugs at homeopathic dilutions, let alone to not remove the molecules they don’t contain. Even more shockingly, the federal government has not set safety limits for not containing no molecules of homeopathic drugs in drinking water. Only now are people asking, "why not?"
Homeopaths were quick to respond to the reports. When asked what to do if you suspect your drinking water is contaminated with homeopathic drugs, a leading homeopath responded "whatever you do, don't dilute it, that'll only make things worse". The Society of Homeopaths - the body responsible for policing homeopathic ethics - was quick to take action against the persons they considered responsible. They immediately threatened to sue any internet Service Provider who allowed the story to be published. Out of habit, Netcetera told The Quackometer to remove all his homeopathy posts.
Many independent scientists are skeptical that pure water with no molecules of a drug, can cause any harm. Stephan Nouvelle, of the Neoroblogica website, was quoted as saying:
Such homeopathic notions have no basis in reality, and modern scientific investigations of homeopathic remedies, coupled with two centuries of science confirms the common sense idea that dilution weakens potency. The EPA is just trying to frighten the American public with this absurd story about zero molecules being potentized and dangerous.
But Nouvelle was in the minority.
However, it appears a solution may be to hand. A homeopath, writing in The Grauniad, noted:
The EPA seems to think that homeopathic remedies are prepared by diluting substances. They omit the critical component of shaking ('succussion') between serial dilutions. This means that for a homeopathic remedy to be potentized, it has to be shaken by a qualified homeopath who then charges you a lot of money for doing so. Without this shaking and.. er… the money going to the homeopath… it’s just tap water.
The EPA concludes from this that tap water is safe to drink - just as long as you don’t let a homeopath near it or pay them any money. Which is good advice at any time.