Letter: Research into alternative medicine is alive and well

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The public interest is best served by neither an inherently oppositional organisation like HealthWatch nor by individual practitioners protecting their patch ("Quackbusters under seige", Review, 24 November). For more than 10 years, the Natural Medicines Society has worked to protect alternative therapies from ill-informed attacks, and to insist on high standards within the field. This has included an emphasis on rigorous scientific testing, something also promoted by the respected Research Council for Complementary Medicine. The view that alternative medicine is scientifically untested, promulgated by HealthWatch and its supporters, is simply untrue. Thousands of clinical trials, laboratory experiments and other tests, most of a high standard, have been conducted over the past few decades in hospitals, universities and other establishments. Ample databases of this work are available from the RCCM, the British Library and elsewhere.

Denis MacEoin

Natural Medicines Society

Newcastle upon Tyne