Green MP Steffan Browning was slammed by the public opinion and has subsequently been stripped of one of his portfolios after he suggested fighting Ebola with homeopathy.
I have to admit, I couldn’t help a chuckle on finding this out. I mean, the fact that a Member of the Parliament of a developed country suggests treating one of the most contagious and dangerous diseases in the world with a technique with no scientific merit is so absurd you just couldn’t take it seriously… if it wasn’t real.
Last week, Mr Browning signed a petition started by Australian Fran Sheffield which called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to “End the suffering of the Ebola crisis. Test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks.” Uhm, yeah, homeopathy doesn’t have any effect on human health aside for a placebo and other purely psychological effects. If you’re still not convinced yet, feel free to check out the linked articles – I’ve explained (and quote scientific studies) time and time again how it doesn’t work.
But back to the situation, I’m glad to say that Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said the party caucus had decided to remove Mr Browning’s responsibility for the natural health portfolio. They say it’s part of “rebuilding confidence” in the party. I was hoping the move was about supporting real science and fighting bogus claims… but it’s better than nothing.
Mr Browning accepted the decision, even though he said he doesn’t oppose homeopathy “on a personal level” – something which he clearly doesn’t, seeing as he signed a petition promoting it in the fight against Ebola.
“We are in politics and issues come up. But I am real happy to get on with my other portfolios and you’ll see me perform on those.”
I’m just curious when (or rather, if) we’ll start seeing demotions like this in other countries… like, you know, the USA?