The ‘Science-based Homeopathy’ (SbH) blog applied for prestigious HONcode certification from Accreditation certification body ‘Health on Net Foundation‘ (HNF), a Switzerland-based non-governmental organisation accredited by World Health Organisation, in March 2013. The HONcode team asked for various additional information for checking out the compliance of SbH blog according to 8 principles of HONcode which was readily provided and displayed on the blog to the satisfaction of HONcode Team.
After 7 months of intense scrutiny, both manual and Robot Marvin, the HONcode team was happy to award HONcode certificate of Accreditation to ‘Science-based Homeopathy’ blog with effect from 1st Oct 2013 for providing reliable, trustworthy, credible and quality health and medical information. The validity of the certificate is initially for 2 years. It is an honour to have HONcode certification. The Science-based Homeopathy blog is proud to showcase its certificate.
We are happy to join the league of US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic and American Cancer Society in holding this credential.
The Homeopaths are encouraged to apply for free HONcode certification for their websites [click to tweet]. I can assist them in complying with the HONcode guidelines.
UPDATE/EDIT: 2nd July 2014
After 4 months of award of certification, in February 2014, a self-confessed skeptic of Evidence-based Homeopathy from UK, Dave Briggs realise that the ‘Science-based Homeopathy’ blog has been awarded the prestigious HONcode certificate for its site. And soon the message spread to the whole s(k)eptic community. They were dumbfounded. They started a mischievous campaign to malign ‘Science-based Homeopathy’ by complaining to Health on Net Foundation in droves led by their ringleader Alan Henness (UK). They carpet bomb the HNF by their hate emails telling them that homeopathy is not a medicine…blah, blah, blah….
The HNF contacted me in this regard and sought clarifications on many issues which I provided. Ultimately all issues were resolved except one that they said, ‘Science-based Homeopathy Blog is not balanced as it has no negative studies to show’, the very site which they deemed complying before skeptics pressure. Arguments and Counter-arguments followed for the next 5 months (Feb-June 2014), but they buckled under skeptics’ pressure and temporarily suspended my hard-earned HONcode certification pending an audit, on 29th June 2014 which is shown by the removal of red colour in HONcode logo. As per HONcode, the SbH blog will be recertified upon completion of an audit.
UPDATE: 11 July 2014
HNF on 9 July via email told me that they have decided to permanently suspend my certification and they did it on 11 July 2014.
UPDATE: 14 July 2014
On 25th April 2014, I reported to HNF about two homeopathy-skeptic sites which were in direct violation of HONcode guidelines.
- Homeowatch has never received any HONcode certification but has been depicting the HONcode certification on its site since April 2012. A real genuine HONcode logo has month and year mentioned. Blatant misuse of HONcode name.
Do you know which fake HONcode certification Homeowatch is using on its site: Expired HONcode certification of Quackwatch.
Bolen Report on Stephen Barrett
When contacted, HNF did not answer/heed to emails. When an official complaint was registered/lodged on 26th May 2014 (Ticket number: 2014052610000041) at Health on Net Foundation’ site, this was the response I got
Response received from HNF on 27th May 2014
“We will be contacting them regarding this. We thank you for having brought this to our attention.”
Response received from HNF on 29th June 2014
“As we said, we are in touch with Homeowatch about their illegal use of the HONcode logo.” and
“Quackwatch is a valuable resource as it takes a hard stand on the ‘quacks’ out there trying to provide healthcare and advice to unsuspecting patients.”..…”HON is undergoing an update of the reevaluation process which will be in place mid of 2014.”
The Way Forward
HONcode certificate for Quackwatch site should go into REEXAM unless new HONcode system comes into effect. But HNF refused to do that. In my case, they did not even listen to my side of the story first and immediately removed my logo and certification and send it to REEXAM. Till date, no action was taken by HNF neither against Quackwatch nor Homeowatch.
UPDATE: 31 March 2015
Instead of penalising Homeowatch and Quackwatch, they have been awarded HONcode certification from 1st March 2015 onwards for 1 year
The whole episode just point out two facts
1. HONcode’s bizarre defense of the Homeowatch and Quackwatch at all cost.
2. The immense pressure the HNF faced from the skeptics (from UK) of homeopathy
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