Feeling Good Down Under

No, this isn't a salacious blog entry. I was talking with some local skeptics about a somewhat encouraging article from Australia. Apparently, companies there that manufacture "natural" health remedies will now have to prove that their nostrums live up to their claims.

Some have asked: who is responsible for doing the tests? From what we can glean from the news items, it appears that the companies themselves will carry out the trials...

Government Inspector: So, have you managed to verify your claims?

Company President: Yes, we have indeed demonstrated that our herbal preparations make people feel good!

Government Inspector: Glad to hear it. Here's your certificate. G'day.

[Inspector exits stage left]

Company VP: Uh, sir? I don't remember proving that our stuff makes people feel good.

Company President: Sure we did. Many times.

Company VP: When?

Company President: Every time we go to the bank!

I'm hoping the products will be tested with proper scientific rigour. In such case the Australian taxpayer will have to foot the bill. That will cause some whining, but sometimes you just have to spend money.

At first glance it would seem to be be cheaper to dispense with sheep dogs and have your flock guarded by dingoes.

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