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What Happened To Barbara O'Neill

What Happened To Barbara O’Neill

The Controversial Career of Barbara O’Neill

The Controversial Career of Barbara O’Neill

Background and Rise to Notoriety

Barbara O’Neill, an Australian native born on July 28, 1953, emerged as a prominent figure in the realm of alternative medicine. Despite lacking formal qualifications in any health-related fields, O’Neill positioned herself as a naturopath, nutritionist, and health educator. Her career, active from 2004 to 2020, was marked by the promotion of controversial and often dangerous health practices. These activities were primarily conducted through wellness retreats and seminars, including those held at Seventh-day Adventist Churches.

O’Neill’s husband, Michael O’Neill, is the founder of the Informed Medical Options Party, a political group known for its anti-vaccination and anti-fluoride stance. This connection further fueled the controversies surrounding her practices.

Legal and Professional Repercussions

In 2019, the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) in New South Wales took decisive action against O’Neill following numerous complaints from both the public and health professionals. The commission’s investigation revealed that O’Neill had advised cancer patients to reject chemotherapy in favor of using bicarbonate of soda and promoted other unsafe practices such as the consumption of unpasteurized goat’s milk for infants. As a result, she was prohibited from providing any health-related services.

The HCCC’s findings underscored O’Neill’s lack of qualifications and her failure to meet the expected standards for unregistered health professionals. This led to a prohibition order, effectively banning her from practicing within the health education field across several Australian states and online.

Controversial Health Claims and Advice

O’Neill’s public presentations and online content have attracted significant attention and criticism for promoting unproven and potentially harmful treatments. She claimed, without evidence, that cancer could be treated as a fungus with baking soda. Additionally, her stance against vaccination and conventional antibiotics has been widely discredited by the medical community.

Her recommendations extended to infant nutrition, where she dangerously suggested alternatives to breast milk, such as unpasteurized goat’s milk and homemade almond milk concoctions. These suggestions were not only scientifically unfounded but were also deemed hazardous by health experts.

Ongoing Activities and Investigations

Despite the prohibition order, O’Neill has continued to be active, particularly outside of Australia. Reports indicate that she has conducted wellness programs in the United States and the Cook Islands, charging substantial fees for attendance. This has raised concerns about her circumventing the legal restrictions placed upon her in Australia.

Furthermore, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission launched an investigation into the Misty Mountain Health Retreat, a charity run by O’Neill and her husband. The charity, which received government grants and tax concessions, was scrutinized for potentially breaching Australian charity law.

Public and Professional Response

The medical community and regulatory bodies have consistently criticized O’Neill’s practices. Health professionals have highlighted the dangers associated with her advice, particularly concerning cancer treatment, vaccination, and infant nutrition. The public’s response has been mixed, with some supporting her alternative approaches while others condemn her for the potential risks involved.

Following the prohibition, O’Neill has attempted to appeal to her supporters through online petitions and public statements, asserting that her “health truths” will prevail despite the opposition.


  • What exactly did Barbara O’Neill promote?
    Barbara O’Neill promoted alternative health practices, including the use of bicarbonate of soda for treating cancer and unpasteurized goat’s milk for infants.
  • Why was Barbara O’Neill banned from practicing?
    She was banned due to her dangerous health advice and lack of proper medical qualifications, as determined by the Health Care Complaints Commission.
  • Can Barbara O’Neill still conduct health seminars?
    As per the HCCC’s prohibition order, she cannot conduct health seminars or provide any health-related services in several Australian states and online.
  • What is the Informed Medical Options Party?
    It is a political group founded by O’Neill’s husband, known for its anti-vaccination and anti-fluoride stance.
  • Is there any scientific backing to O’Neill’s claims?
    No, O’Neill’s claims lack scientific evidence and have been widely discredited by the health community.

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