Ahvaz petition to stop regulating CAM

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Whyohwhy (July 20, 2014, 17:00:04 PM):
Oh dear! I just don't understand why people feel so strongly that complimentary and alternative medicine should be exempt from being regulated. I bet these same people who might sign this petition are also shouting for better ingredient lists on food and labeling of items as GMO, but are happy to blissfully take whatever water or herbal concoction their various CAM practitioner suggest with no idea what is in it or whether it may be harmful or not or even do anything at all. The only homeopathic medicine I will take is an ice pack on a bruise. If I did take anything herbal, I'd want to know what was in it, what the correct dosage was and any side effects and possible interactions, and if there was any good quality evidence it works, and I just don't understand why anyone doesn't want the same.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/South_African_Minister_of_Health_Stop_the_Crackdown_on_Natural_Health_products/?dfodCbb
Whyohwhy (July 20, 2014, 20:01:58 PM):
Whoops, just seen my typo *Avaaz
Rigil Kent (July 20, 2014, 20:56:20 PM):
In principle I don't like it when things are regulated. It smacks of yet another bureaucratic branch sticking out at right angles from an already lopsided governmental tree, and bearing a crop of new civil servants armed with inspector's badges and rubber stamps. Who needs to be paid. With our money. And that at the cost of the traditional herbalist scraping a living flogging his roots on the sidewalk. And who probably hasn't poisoned anyone yet.

In particular I don't want to see something regulated to death that is essentially harmless to those who have the common sense to avoid it. It interferes with natural selection.

Moreover, there may well be something to these traditional plant cures. I know of at least two modern medicines that can trace their origins back to early botanical wisdom, and I suspect there may be a net advantage in letting the populace experiment with our rich plant heritage. It may lead the way to formal research. The misanthrope in me view neither humans nor guinea pigs as a particularly threatened as a species.

So on these grounds I sympathize with the petitioners, but whether I'll actively support them is another matter.

Rigil

brianvds (July 21, 2014, 04:15:47 AM):
I tend towards Rigil's views here: I am happy to let Darwin sort out CAM. Especially in South Africa - do we REALLY want even more of our current government?

As for Avaaz, I once signed one of their petitions, years ago. Can't even remember what it was about anymore, but since then they have notified me of dozens or even hundreds of such petitions. They are the world's prime launch pad for fashionably leftish bandwagons.
Whyohwhy (July 21, 2014, 09:40:42 AM):
I hear what you both say, but why should alternative "medicine" not be held to the same standards of backing up their health claims as readl medicine is required to do?

It is false advertising really.

My real issue with CAM is when the desperate are suckered in, when someone has chronic pain or cancer or something that real medicine might not be able to help with, they get lured in by false promises, and a desperate person is then easily taken advantage of by something we all know cannot help at all. I get angry when people treat their children with CAM and say "oh, I wouldn't use it for something serious like pneumonia" - who is going to diagnose their child? A homeopath who is not qualified to do so and may completely miss that the child is actually ill?

I think CAM should be held to the same standards as anyone else making claims about effectiveness, I don't think that it is over regulation to require some basic minimum standards are adhered to.

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