Prof Tylee of the Institute of Psychiatry has done a lot of interesting work, focusing in particular on depression and primary care. He has also been linked with Holford for some time. However, something strange has happened to Holford’s Wikipedia entry: someone with the username ‘Patrick James Holford’ modified the entry to remove Tylee’s name, and stated that he was doing this “to be factually correct and to delete the name of Andre Tylee as requested by Prof Tylee”.
This is a peculiar change to make (and of course we can’t be sure if this was the real Patrick Holford, or he was accurately reporting Tylee’s request). For starters, Holford’s online profile states that “[t]ogether with Professor André Tylee…[Holford] formed the special interest group in mental health and nutrition, now operating as the charitable Food for the Brain Foundation [FFTB].” The Institute of Psychiatry’s website appears to back this up:
Professor Tylee has set up a national special interest research group on nutrition and mental health which meets quarterly at the IoP and is currently planning both research trials and public campaigns. Psychologist and nutritionalist Patrick Holford, a best selling author and leading spokesman on nutrition, food and health…is involved in this group.
Another article by Tylee [PDF file, p13] states that “I have been helping Patrick Holford
a well published nutritionist to set up a national awareness campaign…which includes a project to improve the nutrition of schoolchildren.” Tylee was previously listed on the FFTB website as a member of their ‘scientific advisory board’; however, his name is no longer there.
Naturally, I’m pleased if Tylee has decided to disassociate himself from Holford and FFTB: I think that this would be a very wise move. However, the way to do this is not by trying to efface evidence of past links with Holford and FFTB (aside from ethical implications, the Internet will prevent this from being remotely effective). Instead, Tylee needs to make a clear statement – laying out where he feels that Holford and FFTB have gone wrong, as what positive alternative approaches Tylee would advocate. Of course, we would be happy to reproduce such a statement on Holford Watch – if Tylee would like us to.
All of us have made mistakes, and I’m sure that many of us have been in associations that we now regret. However, if an eminent figure such as Tylee is now trying to get away from one prominent association, he needs to publicly acknowledge what went wrong – so that others can learn from his mistakes.