Dietary supplement company funds Michigan naturopaths' licensing bill

Dietary supplement company funds Michigan naturopaths' licensing bill

Emerson Ecologics is a naturopath's dream.  From its website, it sells many products naturopaths use in their daily practices, such as tests to diagnose the fake diseases naturopaths have invented, like "adrenal fatigue" and "chronic yeast overgrowth." It also sells dietary supplements, homeopathic remedies (including injectable homeopathic substances), ayurvedic products and so forth.

Naturopaths and other "integrative practitioners" can conveniently order diagnostic tests, supplements and other products they've prescribed for patients from Emerson Ecologics and make a profit, a practice that would raise a huge howl of protest if medical doctors did the same with drugs, or any other product, for that matter. It would, in fact, be unethical.  Physicians can't accept lunch from the drug rep but it's ok for naturopaths to make money from selling supplements they prescribe and tests they order?

Expansion of naturopathic state licensing is an obvious source for increased income for Emerson Ecologics, a fact apparently not lost on the company. On March 31, the company sent out a press release announcing its $10,000 "grant" to the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians (MANP) to assist in their lobbying efforts.

The MANP itself is no stranger to accepting corporate dollars from companies which directly benefit from their practices by selling the kind of dubious lab testing and dietary supplements naturopaths use daily.

Michigan House Bill 4531 would license naturopaths with as broad a scope of practice as any in the U.S. except Oregon. It has made it through all the necessary House committees and is now before the full House.

The bill would allow naturopaths to diagnose and treat and patient of any age with any disease or condition. It buys into the false notion that graduating from a naturopathic school and passing the naturopathic exam is sufficient to allow naturopaths to practice with close to the same scope of practice as an MD or DO primary care physician.Michigan naturopaths would be able to call themselves "physicians" and could

  • Order and perform lab tests
  • Order diagnostic imaging
  • Prescribe and sell dietary supplements and homeopathic remedies
  • Prescribe prescription and non-prescription drugs if on the naturopathic formulary
  • Use hydrotherapy, which would include colon hydrotherapy
  • Prescribe barrier contraception and durable medical equipment
  • Use routes of administration that include injections and IV

Naturopaths would be regulated by a Board of Naturopathic Medicine, which would control the naturopathic formulary

Michigan legislators have apparently fallen for the party line that naturopaths are gentle souls who can help patients with healthy lifestyles and help prevent chronic disease, all at a lower cost than conventional medical care. Of course, they've never come up with a shred credible evidence that they can actually do these things consistently and effectively. 

What they actually do in practice is the most appalling quackery. Michigan legislators should  take a look at the Naturopathic Diaries blog run by Britt Hermes, a former naturopath herself. They should search for posts on "naturopathy" or "naturopathy vs. science" on the Science-Based Medicine blog. Only then will they know what they are really voting on. 

Points of Interest 05/08/2016
Points of Interest 05/06/2016

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