These people are mad, quite mad

British organic farmers are being forced to treat their livestock with homeopathic remedies under new European Commission rules branded ‘scientifically illiterate’ by vets.

The directive states that: “it is a general requirement…for production of all organic livestock that (herbal) and homeopathic products… shall be used in preference to chemically-synthesised allopathic veterinary treatment or antibiotics.”

Seriously, when do we get to kill them all?

28 comments on “These people are mad, quite mad

  1. Nothing surprises me anymore from the EU and those who seek dominion over us.The only thing I’ve wanted to see enter the European Parliament for quite some time, is a fully fueled Airbus 380.

  2. Well, if the vets had any gumption, they’d point out this is cruelty. I doubt we could ask the RSPCA to get involved (though if I treated my cat that way, I’d be in chokey).

  3. Never, ever, ever rely on the mainstream media for facts or the truth.

    Being a journalist nowadays merely requires you to be related to someone who is already in the business.

  4. Arthur,
    Thank you for the clarification. I do wish online newspapers would link to the original source: whether the British Veterinary Association’s statement (non-existent, as far as I can tell) or the relevant EU regulation (which can be found online).

    Sadly in this case the Telegraph would merely link to yesterday’s Daily Express, which in turn would link to the Daily Mail a few days earlier. With each step away from the original source, the story is embellished and corrupted further.

  5. AD, shame. I was hoping that this was an admirable if Machiavellian plan by the EU to make organic farming practically impossible. Alternatively a plan to prove that homeopathy just doesn’t work, while at the same time bankrupting hippy farmers – double win.

  6. The directive does seem to use the word “allotropic” though: this is a sure sign of someone who thinks that homeopathy is an actual thing and not just the dangerous scam it really is.

  7. Welll half and half, since the directive clearly expresses a preference for “phytotherapeutic” and homeopathic remedies; the “allopathic” being a fallback.

    And honestly, woo peddlers objecting to woo is funny anyway.

  8. Arthur Dent
    April 26, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Perhaps not surprisingly for the MSM the story is complete bollocks and I am surprised that you were quite so credulous.

    The problem line here is this;

    “. . . when the use of phytotherapeutic, homeopathic and other products is inappropriate.”

    Which means that you can be forced to answer to the government as to why your choice to use allopathic medicine (otherwise known as medicine) was appropriate.

    It sets homeopathic (otherwise known as ‘quackery’) and phytotherapeutic (otherwise known as “does it have a history of repeatable results? Yes? Then its just ‘allopathic’, otherwise its quackery” but I guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue) as the *standard and leaves you open to being questioned (and later, fined/jailed) for not following that standard if enough people won’t do it ‘voluntarily.

  9. Not that the ‘journalists’ didn’t get it completely wrong, just that the directive does place limits on when you can use real medicine and prefers you to fake it first.

  10. There’s a kitten blog I follow where the otherwise sane and compassionate woman running it gets her cat regular acupuncture sessions. It’s sad when people fall for scams, it’s tragic when they inflict them on their pets.

  11. “It’s sad when people fall for scams, it’s tragic when they inflict them on their pets.”

    Perhaps. But I’d be delighted to see a double-blind veterinary study of homeopathic ‘treatments’ on animals, as there’s no placebo effect in veterinary medicine.

  12. There’s no such thing as a placebo effect in human medicine either. The claim of a placebo effect was based on baseline to on-treatment response in patients receiving placebo. When you compare placebo to no treatment the response rate (or magnitude, depending on whether you’re looking at categorical or continuous outcome data) is similar in the two groups.

    So the “placebo effect” in animals would probably be similar to that in humans.

  13. Doesn’t every cattle shed have a trough full of homeopathic remedy straight from the tap?

    (It’s ironic that this is allegedly a reaction to the (mythical) practice of feeding animals antibiotics all the time as a precautionary measure, since in fact most cows are consuming gallons of broad-spectrum homeopathic remedy every day despite having no illnesses whatsoever.)

  14. “There’s a kitten blog I follow where the otherwise sane and compassionate woman running it gets her cat regular acupuncture sessions.”
    Mmmm…
    Sticking needles into a cat
    Not something I’d wish to risk without a suit of armour. And even then… You’re going to be getting out of some time. Very good memories, cats.

  15. As Kate over at smalldeadanimals.com always days, organic is Latin for dowsing in shit. Only difference between first world and third world organic is the latter does not have money to do cement it.

  16. It’s part of a scam to get more money to local councils.

    All those tractors parked outside Holland and Barrett…

  17. BiG

    If there’s “no such thing as a placebo effect”, how in animals can it “probably be similar to that in humans”?

    In any event, though some researchers are sceptical about the placebo effect, most are not. So, even if your post were not logically contradictory, you have overstated your case.

  18. Luke – “I was hoping that this was an admirable if Machiavellian plan by the EU to make organic farming practically impossible. Alternatively a plan to prove that homeopathy just doesn’t work, while at the same time bankrupting hippy farmers – double win.”

    It is not hard to find organic farmers who refuse to treat their cows with anything but homeopathy. I have drunk milk from such a farm. Notice that the EU says “appropriate” which means they have no problems with people doing this. It is more common to find farmers who won’t treat cows with normal medicine unless the cow is really not getting better – and then they separate that cow from the rest so they have an organic herd and a no-longer organic herd.

    Their problems are unlikely to be with the Ministry of Ag or the EU but with Animal Welfare groups. Except Organic Farmers are the good guys so the Rabble won’t bother them. It defeats the purpose of the label “organic” if you change it to mean “organic unless the farmer really wants to give chemicals to his cows”. But still, if treating a cow with mastitis is not animal cruelty, I don’t know what is.

  19. It defeats the purpose of the label “organic” if you change it to mean “organic unless the farmer really wants to give chemicals to his cows”.

    Except ‘organic’ has been changing meaning for years.

    Organic (after it was stolen from organic chemistry) used to mean no ‘artificial’ pesticides.

    Then it mean no ‘artificial’ fertilizer.

    Then it meant your chickens had to get plenty of sunlight and exercise.

    Then it meant that your meat wasn’t raised with *extra* hormones and antibiotics.

    Now it means that you can’t use ‘allopathic’ medicine (read: actual medicine) and you have yo use quack remedies to make yourself feel better while you hope the animal recovers on its own.

    And ‘giving chemicals to the cows’? What do you think homeopathic remedies are? Hint: They’re not chemical free, just free of any chemicals that might be useful to treat the problem.

  20. Agammamon – “Except ‘organic’ has been changing meaning for years.”

    Sure. What used to belong to some beardy weirdies no one took seriously doesn’t any more. They developed a market and made it pay. So big business and the Ministry of Ag, their lap dog, has stepped in and taken it over.

    “And ‘giving chemicals to the cows’? What do you think homeopathic remedies are? Hint: They’re not chemical free, just free of any chemicals that might be useful to treat the problem.”

    Well I was using the English term in its demotic, if very inaccurate, sense. So you knew what I meant. Yes, homeopathy is a complete waste of time. No one here disputes that.

  21. Acupuncture’s an interesting case of non-quackery. Research shows that sticking needles into people does work, but all that stuff about having to put them into precise acupressure points is bollocks. So the Chinese have developed an effective therapy based on an ineffective theoretical underpinning. (I imagine they probably came up with the therapy first and the theory later, and we know doctors like to make theories as complicated as possible to stop the rabble taking their jobs.) So getting acupuncture done to yourself (or your cat) is not deluded quackery, but the person you get to do it may well be a quack.

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