May 24, 2018
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SB 826, which passed the Michigan Senate 24 to 10 on May 17th, creates a license-granting board made up of alternative medicine practitioners to bestow the state’s formal approval upon naturopaths, allowing them to perform physical examinations on patients, order and perform clinical tests, treat lacerations, and prescribe scientifically unproven—and often dangerous—treatments ranging from homeopathy and hydrotherapy to musculoskeletal manipulation.
“This bill is dangerous because it legitimizes fake medicine,” said Jennifer Beahan, executive director of CFI Michigan. “It would give the state’s blessing to unqualified practitioners of pseudoscience and their baseless remedies, meaning more people will waste their money and risk their health by pursuing quack treatments.”
“The stated tenets of naturopathy are no different from those of conventional medicine (first do no harm, prevention, treat the cause rather than the symptom, etc.),” said Dr. Harriet Hall, a retired medical doctor and Fellow of CFI’s Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. “They provide common-sense advice about health (diet, exercise, etc.), but they stray far beyond the bounds of science. Despite their claim to emphasize prevention, they discourage evidence-based preventive measures like vaccination and water fluoridation. What naturopaths do that is good is not different from what medical doctors do—and what they do that is different is not good.”
As Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch has said, “They choose from a smorgasbord of implausible, pseudoscientific, untested, disproven, unethical, and dangerous treatment methods.”
The Center for Inquiry is leading the effort to see tougher regulation of homeopathyat the national level, spurring both the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to take a tougher stance against the manufacturers and marketers of this unproven and useless pseudoscientific practice from the eighteenth century.