11 Aug 2010

Rural women organisation gets Bent Spoon award

7:48 am on 11 August 2010

Rural Women New Zealand is defending an enterprise award it made to a homeopathic animal remedy business, after strong criticism from the New Zealand Skeptics group.

Homeopathic Farm Support, which supplies more than 200 organic certified products to farmers, won the supreme prize in this year's Enterprising Rural Women Awards.

That hasn't impressed the Skeptics, who in turn have presented Rural Women New Zealand as well as Fonterra with their Bent Spoon Award for gullibility and a lack of critical thinking.

New Zealand Skeptics chair Vicki Hyde says many members, including vets, are concerned that Rural Women New Zealand has applauded the use of what she describes as magic water containing no active ingredients for treating serious cattle ailments.

They are also concerned that this practice is apparently supported by a third of farmers supplying Fonterra.

However, Rural Women New Zealand president Liz Evans says the award is about recognising rural women entrepreneurs and is not an endorsement of homeopathic or any other products.

Ms Evans also takes exception to the suggestion that the award compromises animal welfare, which she says is a high priority for Rural Women New Zealand.