The Commonwealth Ombudsman has closed its seven-year investigation into Australian Government research institute (NHMRC) for misleading the public about the evidence on homeopathy, without providing a verdict as to whether NHMRC is guilty of scientific misconduct.

In August 2016, the Australian Homeopathic Association (AHA) made a formal complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman against the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The complaint, investigated under the PID (aka Whistle-blower) Act, aimed to hold NHMRC accountable for bias, misconduct and ultimately misleading the public in their inaccurate 2015 report on homeopathy.

The Homeopathy Research Institute (HRI) provided expert input to the investigation detailing the flawed scientific methods used by NHMRC to produce their homeopathy review.

The Ombudsman’s Office publicly announced on 4 August 2023: Despite our best efforts, it was not possible to engage an expert (or experts) to provide independent advice to our Office on this subject. In the absence of independent, expert scientific expertise we have not been able to conclusively determine those matters of scientific methodology.”

Rachel Roberts, Chief Executive of HRI, said:

The use of unprecedented and flawed scientific methods by NHMRC is at the very heart of this case. It is therefore extremely disappointing that the Ombudsman could not find any scientific experts, sufficiently free from bias – either for or against homeopathy – who were willing to take on the role of judging the validity of the methods used by NHMRC.

Since the NHMRC report on homeopathy has been widely quoted, it is profoundly regrettable that, despite a seven-year investigation, the scientific misconduct case against NHMRC remains unanswered.

Further information

HRI is a UK-based charity dedicated to promoting high quality research in homeopathy at an international level.

Information on the Australian Report story:

Chris Connolly, HRI Communications Manager
Tel: 07737 985153 | Email: