Commentary

The Greens war on natural therapies. Can they be trusted to legalise cannabis?

The Greens war on natural therapies. Can they be trusted to legalise cannabis?

The Victorian election is in just a few days time and many have chosen to support the Greens based on their promise to legalise cannabis. But can they be trusted?

Senator Richard DiNatale, Greens Leader and General Practitioner, recently lost a battle to introduce “offensive” and “disrespectful” labelling on Traditional Medicines which have been used successfully for centuries. DiNatale advocated for mandatory disclaimers on all Traditional medicines to state:

“This traditional indication is not in accordance with modern medical knowledge and there is no scientific evidence that this product is effective”.

His motives are evident in a Senate submission which states “The Australian Greens concur with the concerns of… Friends of Science in Medicine (FOSM)…”, a skeptics group whose platform is “There is no alternative to Medicine”.

The Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie, told Di Natale: “I think it is offensive and disrespectful to those who practice traditional medicine. It’s not consistent with the World Health Organisation… [whom] acknowledges that traditional medicines do have a valid function in the modern medicinal framework,”.

Senator Mckenzie went on to say:

“For some, particularly those using Chinese medicine, the history of practising in that traditional medicine paradigm goes back thousands of years. It’s been extensively refined, practised and documented and in many cases incorporated into mainstream medicine.…[this decision is] arrogant and insensitive to those practising and using traditional Chinese medicines,”.

DiNatale also supported a motion to ban Private Health Insurers from providing extra’s cover for 15 popular natural therapies including Naturopathy, Herbalism, Yoga, Meditation and Pilates. His decision was based on a scientifically flawed review by the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) who claimed these preventive health measures lacked evidence of effectiveness. Despite knowing the NHMRC used unheard of scientific methods which have never been used before or since, and that the NHMRC was the subject of a Commonwealth Ombudsman complaint, DiNatale backed the move.

During the last Federal election DiNatale also made highly emotive attacks on the Health Australia Party, an emerging minor party who he described as being “the most dangerous party” in the country because of their support for natural medicine. The HAP advocates for a holistic approach to the nation’s “health” yet DiNatalie told reporters “They should be called the anti-health party – the quack party”. The HAP, who also advocate for the legalisation of cannabis could not be contacted for comment.

The derogatory term ‘quack’ derived from the American Medical Association who In 1987, were found guilty by a federal court of, “systematic, long-term wrongdoing and the long-term intent to destroy a licensed profession.” They directed their members to boycott chiropractors and sideline them and called them “unscientific cultists” and “quacks”. Is this a message the Greens leader wants to align with?

DiNatale’s action’s can only be seen as a clear agenda to erode confidence in natural medicines which leaves one questioning his intentions to legalise cannabis. Why is DiNatale pushing to legalise one herb while participating in the systemic destruction of public perception on other herbs and Traditional Medicines? Given the published science on natural medicine is more extensive than that of cannabis, will DiNatale also push for similar mandatory labelling on cannabis once legalised?

One can only ponder why the Greens are so anti-natural health.

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