David Tredinnick MP is perhaps the worst example of scientific illiteracy in government. His questions in parliament have promoted homeopathy, radionics (healing via a kind of psychic remote control) and astrology. He has been involved in campaigns to promote herbalism. He has been described by some MPs as the "Right Hon. Member for Holland and Barrett".
- 1 Alternative Medicine
- 2 Abortion
- 3 Mitochondrial Donation
- 4 Faith based Adoption Agencies
- 5 Policymaking On Drugs And Alcohol
- 6 Same-Sex Marriage
- 7 References
- 8 External links
David Tredinnick is the current chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare.
In a November 2006 debate in Parliament Mr Tredinnick spoke on various forms of alternative medicine:
- "During [the 1997] Parliament, we introduced as a private Bill — I did not do so myself, but I sat on the Committee that considered it — the legislation regulating osteopaths, who were seen as being outside the health service. In the 1992 Parliament, chiropractors came forward with a Bill, which was passed successfully. As a result, osteopathy and chiropractic, which used to be seen as out on the wings of medicine in Britain, are increasingly part of its structure and fabric."
- "Those colleagues who recently saw on television the [top of the] head of a patient in a Chinese hospital being removed for brain surgery using just acupuncture will surely need no further evidence."
- "When she looks at integrated health care, the Minister should also bear it in mind that complementary medicines are very cheap. Compared with the cost of drugs and other services offered by the NHS, they offer very good value. The parliamentary integrated health care group met last night, and Committee Room 8 was full. One of the homeopathic doctors present said that his prescriptions often cost only 16p each. Osteopaths and chiropractors use only their hands, and acupuncturists use sterilised needles, with no big drugs bill attached. Healers just use their energy, so there are terrific cost savings to be made."
- "With homeopathy, for instance, a remedy might be so diluted — perhaps one part in 200 — that it almost cannot be analysed. In theory, it should be weak, but in fact it gains power from being diluted. I have used homeopathy many times over the years, but I have never been trained in it. Even so, I once looked at the relevant research and prescribed — if I may use the term without insulting the hon. Member for Wyre Forest — a certain remedy for a child who had grommets inserted to deal with glue ear. The treatment was successful after one application, and the problem never recurred."
In an October 2009 speech in Parliament Mr Tredinnick said:
- "Attacks have also been made on the efficacy of homeopathy. A letter was sent to the World Health Organisation warning against the use of homeopathy, but it ignored the very clear randomised, double-blind trials that proved that it is effective in the particular area of childhood diarrhoea on which it was criticised. Will the Government therefore be robust in their support for homeopathy and consider what can be done so that it is used more effectively in the health service?" 
To put this into context, according to the World Health Organisation, diarrhoea kills 2.2 million people a year. Tredinnick thinks we should treat them with magic sugar pills.
- "The General Chiropractic Council has been bombarded by complaints from bloggers—spurious complaints I would say—which it is obliged by law to investigate."
The complaints in question reported chiropractors who were making claims unsupported by scientific evidence.
- "There are now people who teach, such as Jane Ridder-Patrick, who published "A Handbook of Medical Astrology". They look at aspects of the subject and how it affects people's health. Whatever one believes personally, the issue is one that we should look into and consider."
- "A number of disciplines were mentioned and I could have referred to radionics, for example, for which a double-blind trial is almost impossible, yet it is very popular because people believe that it gives them the ability to get remote healing. We need to think out of the box here. As with healers who can do remote healing, it is no good people saying that just because we cannot prove something, it does not work. The anecdotal evidence that it does is enormous."
(Plenty of info and links on  - anyone fancy summarising and stuff on here?)
In February 2010, following the publication of the House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee's report "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy", Tredinnick proposed Early Day Motion 908: Science and Technology Committee Report on Homeopathy, which was critical of the report.
On 25th February, Tredinnick raised a point of order in the House of Commons concerning the report:
- On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I want to raise the issue of the advice given by Clerks to Select Committee Chairmen. It is my belief that the advice the Clerks provided to the Science and Technology Committee Chairman was inadequate, in that the evidence taken by the Committee in its evidence check on homeopathy was biased, as they did not call representatives of the homeopathic profession and instead chose a professor who did not represent the alternative medicine world. They chose the one person who would give an answer that suited those who were in opposition.
On 21st June 2010, Tredinnick proposed four Early Day Motions supporting homeopathy. Three of the EDMs were based on cherry-picked scientific papers, when the overwhelming majority of science indicates that homeopathy is no more effective than placebo. The Motions were:
- EDM 284: BMA Annual Representative Meeting Motions on Homeopathy,
- EDM 285: Effect of Homeopathic Remedies on Breast Cancer Cells,
- EDM 286: Homeopathic Medicines in the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Depression,
- EDM 287: Homeopathy and Chronic Primary Insomnia.
On 29th June 2010, Tredinnick proposed EDM 342: British Medical Association Motions on Homeopathy.
In July 2013, Mr Tredinnick proposed EDM 323: Successful Use of Homeopathy in Farming which noted "positive results from the homeopathic remedies" used on sheep and called for "a study into the level of homeopathic usage by farmers, what results have been achieved and what potential homeopathy offers for prevention of disease amongst livestock".
In February/March 2006 Mr Tredinnick purchased computer software (£210.33 inc VAT) and three sessions of training (£470 inc VAT) from Crucial Astro Tools, claiming the costs on his Parliamentary expenses. Liberal Democrat bloggers claim to have seen a letter to a constituent from Mr Tredinnick stating the purchases were for work purposes and "I was looking at the relationship of Astrology to Indian Ayurvedic medicine and wanted to see if I could relate it to English Herbal medicine as taught by Culpepper who considered all plants to have Astrological correspondences. To do this I needed to improve my understanding of Astrology."
In November 2009, Mr Tredinnick spoke at a meeting of the Astrological Association of Great Britain. An Association member reported:
- "He had obviously had personal experience of how incredibly astrology works, having had his chart read at a time of personal stress and health difficulty. His knowledge and understanding of the subject was amazingly lucid, which could only make his argument to non-astrologers and his colleagues that much more convincing. He seems very intent on getting Astrology recognised by the National Health Service as a valid complimentary therapy and has already taken one opportunity to speak up in Parliament to that effect!"
In May 2008, David Tredinnick proposed Early Day Motion 1549: Herbal Clinic at The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. The motion stated:
- That this House welcomes the opening of the first NHS herbal clinic at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital (RLHH); notes that the clinic is staffed by highly qualified conventionally-trained doctors with additional qualifications in complementary medicine; further notes that herbal medicines can be used for a wide range of conditions, acute and long-term, alone or as a complement to other treatments; considers that herbal medicine is particularly helpful in treating skin and digestive disorders, allergies, joint problems, stress and recurring infections, thus saving funds and resources in NHS primary care facilities; observes that the clinic only uses herbal medicines produced to the highest standards and approved by UCLH's Use of Medicines Committee; welcomes the RLHH's aim to integrate clinical excellence in complementary therapies with the best of conventional medicine; and calls on the Government to establish a network of integrated healthcare clinics encompassing herbal medicine at the existing regional homeopathic hospitals.
Tredinnick has also signed EDM 1103: Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (2005), and EDM 295: Statutory Registration of Herbalists (2009), both of which are concerned with maintaining availability of herbal medicines.
Integrated Medicine Adjournment Debate
On 2nd June 2010 Tredinnick called an adjournment debate on integrated healthcare, covering some of the same material in an article promoting the debate. He praised the use and cost-effectiveness of alternative medicine, talked of an "attack on the homeopathic hospitals", looked forward to changes that would allow GPs to commission services on behalf of patients, spoke in favour of regulation and registration with the CNHC ("OfQuack"), and gave examples of the use of alternative medicine in other countries.
Science and Technology Select Committee
Interview shortly after his appointment to the Committee: http://www.researchresearch.com/index.php?option=com_news&template=rr_2col&view=article&articleId=1293622
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report of October 2007 had found no good evidence of change since the limit was set in 1990, and hence no new reason for a reduction. However, it acknowledged that this was only one of many factors to be taken into account when legislating, and did not make any recommendations as to how MPs should vote.
In February 2015 David Tredinnick voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.
Faith based Adoption Agencies
In 2007, David Tredinnick signed Early Day Motion 742 calling on the government to exclude "faith based" adoption agencies from the Equality Act to avoid such agencies being forced to consider gay couples.
Policymaking On Drugs And Alcohol
David Tredinnick signed Early Day Motion 2244 calling for Government policy on alcohol and drugs misuse and harm to be based on scientific evidence. The motion came shortly after the sacking of Government drug adviser David Nutt by Home Secretary Alan Johnson in 2009.
- Biography on Conservatives.com
- BBC Politics page
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: David Tredinnick MP
- Biography on Parliament.uk website
- TheyWorkForYou.com - David Tredinnick MP
- Voting record at PublicWhip.org.uk
- Wikipedia biography