We’re Not Backing Down from Walmart

September 11, 2020

The next step in our case against Walmart and homeopathy.

Snake oil profiteering has emerged as a genuine crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, exemplifying what we at the Center for Inquiry have been saying for years: Pseudoscientific medicine is dangerous, and those who profit from it must be held accountable. 

That’s why we launched our groundbreaking consumer-protection lawsuit last year against the world’s largest retailer, Walmart, for its deceptive sale and marketing of homeopathic health products. Shelving and listing homeopathic medicine alongside real, evidence-based products, under signs and online listings reading “Cold & Flu Remedies,” Walmart is deceiving its customers by equating real medical treatments with the fakest of all fake medicines. 

In May, Walmart convinced a D.C. Superior Court judge to dismiss our case on two grounds. First, that CFI lacked standing because we were not a consumer protection organization. Second, that we failed to show the harm of Walmart’s deceit. If that sounds ridiculous to you, it should. Homeopathy wastes consumers’ money, fails to treat any condition whatsoever, and in the worst cases can result in sickness or even death. 

And as for CFI’s standing, well, you certainly know better. For more than forty years, CFI has stood on the side of consumers, fighting for science-based medicine over quack alternatives, combatting pseudoscience and misinformation about vaccines and other health issues, and advocating for stricter regulation of homeopathic products. 

For goodness sake, we’re the home of Quackwatch and the Society for Science-Based Medicine!

This week, the Center for Inquiry submitted its appeal to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. You can read our brief here. Leveraging its nearly unlimited financial resources, Walmart will keep trying to skirt the issues, but the facts are not so easily dismissed: They deliberately confuse consumers so they can make a profit from selling them fake medicine. We intend to hold them accountable.

Help us keep up the fight against pseudoscience and snake oil. Support CFI today!

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.