30 Oct 2014

MP retracts Ebola homeopathy support

6:28 pm on 30 October 2014

Green MP Steffan Browning has admitted he was unwise to support and then promote a petition calling on the World Health Organisation to fight Ebola with homeopathy.

Steffan Browning

Steffan Browning fronts up to reporters at the Beehive. Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

The petition states homeopathy has a proven track record of treating and preventing serious epidemic diseases, including dengue fever and malaria. It urges the WHO to test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman said it was not something he supported. He did not mince his words.

"I've spoken with Steffan about that and I didn't agree with the petition, the Green Party approach of course is to take an evidence-based approach and leave it to the experts at the WHO about making sure we deal with issues like Ebola," he said.

And Mr Browning could expect no support from his colleague and Greens health spokesperson, Kevin Hague.

"I'm disappointed that Steffan signed the petition. Clearly, experts should be deciding what the best way of tackling the crisis is and actually there's good evidence about what's working."

Mr Browning told reporters he realised it was not the smartest move.

"In hindsight it was probably a pretty unwise thing, it was pretty late at night, yeah I signed it because I'm not opposed to homeopathy and I did not intend it to go onto my Facebook, I'm not about to promote it."

However he said he still believed the WHO should consider homeopathy as one of the options, as it looked at different measures to contain and treat the deadly virus Ebola.

And did he accept that signing the petition was a bit wacky?

"Some people will see it as wacky, for sure, yeah they will."

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