Norwegian fish farmers are in a stir over some impending rules from the European Union that would require them to treat ailing fish with homeopathic medicine.
According to The Local, homeopathy is an alternative medicine practice wherein illnesses are treated by using herbs and minerals diluted in water to such an extent that they can no longer be detected. Regardless of how few molecules of the herb are detectable in the water, homeopathy maintains that the water remembers it, and therefore it can be used as a treatment.
The scientific director of the Norwegian Veterinary Association says this is completely ridiculous.
“We think it’s totally unacceptable from a scientific point of view because there’s no scientific basis for using homeopathy,” he said. “If you start using homeopathy, you prolong the time when the animals are not getting adequate treatment and that’s a threat to animal welfare.”
The impending EU rules for organic aquaculture would require any farmers to use homeopathic medicine as a first resort, and state that mainstream treatments can only be used twice a year if the fish are to be legally designated “organic.”
The Norwegian Veterinary Association has called on the government to retract all references to homeopathy from the upcoming regulations, but it does not sound like there is much chance of that happening.
“This is an EU regulation, and so it should be taken verbatim into Norwegian regulations. It is not allowed to be changed,” said a representative of Norway’s Food Standards Agency.