Skeptic James Randi challenges sellers of scam medications as hundreds stage worldwide "overdose" on homeopathic pills
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.—To expose a scam industry that endangers and rips off millions of consumers a year, world-renowned conjuror, escape artist, and skeptic James Randi has put one million dollars on the line.
In a video statement released at 10:23 a.m. (ET) today, Randi joined hundreds of consumer advocates in more than 25 countries in exposing so-called homeopathic remedies—scam medications with no active ingredients that are sold by major retailers with no warning to customers. Demonstrators around the world swallowed homeopathic products by the handful, in a worldwide day of action inspired by a lecture by James Randi in which he downed an entire bottle of homeopathic sleeping pills to show they had no effect.
In his message, Randi issued a one-million-dollar challenge to the manufacturers of homeopathic products to prove their claims, and challenged major drug retailers like CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens to stop tricking consumers into paying real money for fake medicine.
"Consumers have the right to know what they're buying," Randi said. "No one should walk out of a drugstore with a homeopathic product without knowing these basic facts: there is no credible evidence that the product does what it says; there is not one bit—not a single atom—of the claimed "active ingredient" in the package; and no U.S. health agency has tested or approved the product. It should be a crime for retail corporations to profit by denying the public this critical information about the products on their shelves."
See Randi's statement at www.randi.org. (Permalink)
The homeopathic "overdose" demonstrations around the world were organized by the 10:23 Campaign, a network of skeptical groups which aims to raise awareness of the truth about homeopathy. Events in nearly a dozen U.S. cities were supported by the James Randi Educational Foundation.
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James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world's most feared skeptic and investigator of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. He has appeared countless times on The Tonight Show, been the subject of a one-hour PBS show, and received a fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is the author of The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim-Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural.
The James Randi Educational Foundation was established in 1996 to expose charlatans and help people defend themselves from paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. The JREF offers a still-unclaimed million-dollar reward for anyone who can produce evidence of paranormal abilities under controlled conditions. Through scholarships, workshops, and innovative resources for educators, the JREF works to inspire this investigative spirit in a new generation of critical thinkers. | www.randi.org