Manitoba NDP Interim leader Flor Marcelino has been reported to Health Canada for distributing guyabano leaves to friends and strangers and suggesting that they cure cancer.
The province’s Health Minister, Kevin Goertzen, reported the politician after she admitted to distributing the natural health product to friends and strangers. And no, Flor Marcelino isn’t a doctor. The Minister claims that there are regulations for distributing natural products and that legislators should be held to a higher standard when it comes to promoting them.
The main issue is that guyabano leaves are often marketed by kooks to cure cancer and naive, desperate and gullible people buy into it and believe it’s true. And that could affect someone’s decision to go to the doctor for viable medical advice. So this is both a regulatory and morality issue.
As a result of being reported, the interim leader has said that she will stop engaging in promoting the product. And according to Marcelino, Health Canada “affirmed that this was a common situation for products of a cultural value to individuals and that my statement should resolve the matter.”
Health Canada states that the guyabano leaf is a source of anti-oxidants and contains no medicinal ingredients that would cure cancer. Science and technology have come a long way since the 1400’s when witches made special potions to cure ailments. Sure, some natural remedies may work in some instances, but cancer is a serious illness that needs to be treated by professionals. And prolonging that treatment because a person might believe they’ve found a miracle cure can be detrimental.