Patrick Holford Responds to Radio 4 Programme and Misses the Point: To Be Fair, So Does Stephanie Fox

Stephanie Fox is handling enquiries for Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University, Head of Science and Education at Biocare and CEO of Food for the Brain. She left the following comment at Dr Ben Goldacre’s site:

Regarding specific issues you have with Patrick’s work I’d suggest if you want to make any progress with correcting anything you understand to be wrong in Patrick’s books or on the website then you write to his book publisher (Piatkus) or 100%health documenting this. Patrick and his publishers can then assess any evidence you send them.

Goodness, is she really feigning to be unaware of the existence of Holford Watch which is full of examples of Holford’s errors? A blog with which Holford has corresponded? How very remarkable. So, Stephanie, please take the time to go through this blog and acquaint yourself with Holford’s errors. If you want any further guidance, do get in touch. Unless you are saying that it is nobody’s job to be concerned with the accuracy of what Holford is telling the public in terms of the scientific research on nutrition. And, do provide the name of the contact person at Piatkus and explain why they would be better at understanding the criticisms than Holford himself. And, to reiterate, Holford was responsible for the errors and has no track record of understanding the documented criticisms of his work.

However, if we may, we still have a problem. We have written to Holford and to members of the FFTB Scientific Advisory Board, we had no response from Holford and little assistance from Professors Philip Cowen and David Smith.

Yes, Stephanie, they ignored us. They ignored our careful, detailed, and thorough analysis of the FFTB Child Survey 2007. What do you suggest that we should do?

And, in January this year, your employer wrote to us:

As I’m sure you appreciate I am not able to spend all the hours in the day checking comments that are made about me on the internet as I prefer to spend my time researching new studies and writing books which I hope will make people healthier. Hence I have created one single website in which I can address the significant incorrect comments I am aware of. [URL to HolfordMyths.com added.]

But, he didn’t address the many issues we raise about his scholarship and his errors, Stephanie. He really didn’t. Seriously, what practical steps can we take to persuade Professor Holford to stop disseminating more of his work, that is as flecked with inappropriate citations and interpretations as the most fervid speaker at Hyde Park Corner, and start correcting it?

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2 Comments

Filed under patrick holford

2 responses to “Patrick Holford Responds to Radio 4 Programme and Misses the Point: To Be Fair, So Does Stephanie Fox

  1. eveningperson

    Answering serious criticisms of your work is as important a part of science as ‘researching new studies and writing books’.

  2. Kat

    Eveningperson, I’d say it was even more important. If there are serious criticisms of your work, as a scientist, it would be a good idea to give them the serious consideration needed, and maybe review your hypothesis before blindly bashing on along a path which may be deeply flawed.

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