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Organic Consumers Association

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My Turn: Consumer Reports Is Off-Base on Natural Medicine

‘Did you see the article in Consumer Reports on naturopaths?” my friend asked.

I had not yet received the March issue, which to my dismay has a front-page headline, “The Health Risks of ‘Natural’ Medicine”. My friend knows I’m an avid supporter of our local naturopathic doctor. The article cautions its members to think twice when considering a naturopath.

As a long-time subscriber to Consumer Reports, I appreciate the fact they are not beholden to any manufacturer whose product they test. The magazine and its reports are the first place I turn to when I’m considering purchasing a new car, mattress or other tangible consumer product.

But, when it comes to health and nutrition, Consumer Reports lags behind. It took the magazine many years before it included natural and organic foods in its reviews, and to acknowledge they often taste better, and are better for you. When it comes to natural vs. conventional medicine, they sadly remain in the Dark Ages.

The current article, “How ‘Natural’ Can Hurt You,” is filled with misinformation, such as: “Naturopathic practitioners resist drugs and surgery” and “Many keystones of naturopathic care, such as homeopathy and intravenous vitamin treatment, haven’t been scientifically proved.”

Consumer Reports warns of using unlicensed naturopaths. The same could be said of using any unlicensed practitioner. Buyer beware! There are quacks in every profession. The author quotes several known skeptics of alternative medicine, but not a single naturopathic doctor or patient.

Our local naturopath is a licensed medical professional, an ND. She is well versed in both conventional and alternative medicines. She interfaces with New London Hospital and Dartmouth Hitchcock, and recommends surgery and conventional medical tests when appropriate. Medicare and other insurance cover most office visits to her, just as they cover visits to an MD.

Unlike an MD, she’s normally right on schedule, and takes 30 to 60 minutes for an appointment. You sit and talk with her, face to face.

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