Xenophon defends candidate’s genital acupuncture comments

Running for the South Australian seat of Kingston, Damian Carey said his research showed genital acupuncture can cure infertility and he believed the government should be promoting it as a cheaper treatment option than IVF.

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“That’s one thing that an intelligent government would be promoting, as much as possible,” he told the ABC.

Mr Carey, who describes himself as a Chinese medicine doctor, outlined the theory in a paper entitled ‘Treatment of Qi and Blood Deficiency in Infertility’. 

The paper claims acupuncture in the perineum – the area between the anus and genitals – could help prevent “sub-healthy” children being born.

The paper also discusses the ability of “Assisted Reproductive Technology” to “artificially override the normal physiological filtering of unhealthy gametes, leading to the potential for generations of sub-healthy ART children to be born”.

Nick Xenophon said his party’s candidates are entitled to their own views, but that the party would not be endorsing genital acupuncture without validation from clinical trials.

“Damian Carey is an acupuncturist of many years standing, who has a very good reputation – but it doesn’t appear that there is any scientific evidence that would essentially say that there would be a direct link between treatment and dealing with these issues.”

“Obviously he is very passionate about these issues, but in terms of scientific studies, in terms of medical trials, there is no basis to say that. And if you look at what Damian has written, he is not saying that either.”

Senator Xenophon said the party will not be campaigning on a platform of promoting genital acupuncture.

“This election will not be fought over the benefits – or otherwise – of acupuncture. It will be fought on issues involving government accountability, transparency in relation to jobs, manufacturing jobs in particular,” he told SBS World News.

“It will also be fought on the whole issue of predatory gambling – which the major parties have ignored.”

Polling shows the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) stands to gain at least two and as many as six Senate seats in South Australia; and the major parties have cautioned people against voting for NXT candidates.

Lower House seats could also be picked up by NXT, depending on whether the major parties preference each other.

The vulnerable seats include the seats of Liberals Christopher Pyne, Jamie Briggs and retiring MP Andrew Southcott.

Labor MPs Mark Butler, Kate Ellis and Amanda Rishworth could also potentially lose their seats to the NXT.

Labor frontbencher Kate Ellis said voters don’t necessarily know what candidates for microparties stand for.

“With formal parties, you can look up and see what their clear policy positions are on a range of things,” she told the Australian.

“What we’ve seen with these candidates [from NXT] is that we have some quite extreme views that many voters would not be aware of when they go to the ballot box,” she said.

Nick Xenophon said policies on shipbuilding and steel industry, in particular the fate of Arrium, will determine which major party gets his preference flow.

“The major parties need to be aware of the dire straits that South Australia is in, in terms of jobs, in terms of the looming closure of General Motors Holden as a carmaker in the state by 2017. It will have very significant flow-on effects.”

“The Coalition did make a very clear promise in 2013 that there would be 12 subs built in Adelaide. We’re yet to see that promise being brought into fruition. We’re yet see any contracts.”

The federal government’s decision on the successful bidder for Australia’s new fleet of 12 submarines is set for Thursday.

Alongside the South Australian bid, three international bids are being considered from companies in Germany, Japan and France.