Mark Hanna

Mark Hanna is a consumer advocate, intersectional feminist, amateur astronomer, and science lover living in New Zealand. He writes primarily about consumer protection with a focus on the alternative health industry, but also about other topics that he finds interesting or frustrating.

Ethical Pharmacy Practice 5: Looking for Leadership - Honest Universe

Aug 12, 2015

Pharmacy by russellstreet on Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0 In New Zealand, the Pharmacy Council is legally responsible under section 118(i) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 for setting standards of ethical conduct for New Zealand pharmacists. As part of this, they’ve written a Safe Effective Pharmacy Practice Code of Ethics, which requires that: YOU MUST: Only purchase, supply or promote any medicine, complementary therapy, herbal remedy or other healthcare product where there is no reason to doubt its quality or safety and when there is credible evidence of efficacy. Safe Effective Pharmacy Practice Code of Ethics Section 6.9 Last November, a case was brought to our attention at the Society for Science Based Healthcare of a salesperson in an Auckland pharmacy … Read More

Pluto and Charon Up Close - Honest Universe

Jul 16, 2015

I was born in June 1989. Just 2 months after that, the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew past Neptune on its way out of our solar system and for the first time ever we saw real close up pictures of the solar system’s outermost giant planet. Of course, I was too young to remember this, but […]

Ethical Pharmacy Practice 4: Paving the Way - Honest Universe

Jun 19, 2015

This year has not been a good year for homeopathy. There have been many blows to the industry in the form of more research finding it ineffective, position statements from organisations of health practitioners discouraging its use, and successful complaints to regulatory authorities. And this trend shows no signs of abating. In March, the Australian […]

Natural Curiosity - Honest Universe

Jun 09, 2015

On the second Wednesday of every month, there’s a great Twitter chat on science communication in New Zealand: #SciCommNZ Unfortunately I’m always busy on Wednesday evenings while this is going on, but I’ve tried to participate as much as I can by joining in late and reading through each discussion. The questions that have been […]

Then and Now: The New Zealand Complementary Medicines Industry - Honest Universe

May 31, 2015

In 2007, the Ministry of Health undertook a review of the “complementary medicines industry” in New Zealand, and found that a significant majority of companies weren’t complying with consumer protection legislation. The review was never made public, but when I saw it mentioned in a recent article in North & South magazine I asked the […]

Press Council Complaint: Homeopathy in the Wairarapa Times-Age - Honest Universe

Apr 14, 2015

In February this year, an article was published in the Wairarapa Times-Age (both in print and online) headlined Use of natural remedies is on the rise. The article discussed some specific cases of so-called “natural remedies” being used to treat serious diseases, such as intravenous vitamin C for leukaemia and homeopathy to treat various forms […]

Finding Power and Balance: Proving and Disproving Claims - Honest Universe

Apr 09, 2015

I’m very happy to have had an article published on the website of the New Zealand Science Teacher, the official publication of the New Zealand Association of Science Educators. My article is about applied kinesiology, I’ve embedded the introduction below and you can read the whole thing on the NZST website: Finding Power and balance: […]

100% Natural and Chemical Free - Honest Universe

Mar 13, 2015

This afternoon, the Advertising Standards Authority released their decision to uphold an interesting complaint regarding advertisements for a couple of cleaning products on a website. Here is the ASA’s description of how the products were described on the website: The Wendyl’s website (http://wendyls.co.nz/) for “100% natural cleaning and beauty products” advertised their products as having […]