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Letter: Research into alternative medicine is alive and well

Emma Brooker says: "Health-Watch defines itself as `pro- science' and aims to dispel the miasma of woolly thinking and half-truth which, it claims, hangs over the world of alternative health".

Perhaps HealthWatch should take heed of the British Medical Journal of October 1991 in which it was recorded that 85 per cent of medical procedures are scientifically unproven. Not to mention that the pharmaceutical companies who fund most research in this country may be biased and have a vested interest in promoting their products.

I suggest that HealthWatch contacts the Research Council for Complementary Medicine in order to access a plethora of research. Reputable complementary practitioners are fully qualified and accredited and aim to promote safety and efficacy in their practices. However, there are good, bad and indifferent practitioners in both allopathic and complementary fields.

It is important that both complementary and allopathic practitioners are seen to be working within certain prescribed parameters in order to be taken seriously within the context of accepted methods of research discipline. It would also be useful if research funding was spread more equitably.

Peta Trousdell

Brighton, East Sussex