Patrick Holford is an ex-Professor: he has resigned his Visiting Professorship at Teesside. UPDATE: Teesside’s Cactus Clinic also ceases to operate

HolfordWatch has just learned that Patrick Holford has resigned his post of Visiting Professor at Teesside; a call to Teesside confirms that the reception don’t have a record of any Professor Holford at the University. We don’t have any more details at the moment: we will post information as it arrives.

Clearly, this is good news: Holford does not produce professorial-standard work. We trust that Holford will update his CV ASAP, and that Teesside will soon put out a press release to clarify the situation.

It should, however, be emphasised that – while there is much excellent work on nutrition carried out at Teesside, in the School of Health and Social Care – there remains real cause for concern. For example, Teesside’s Cactus Clinic (in the School of Social Sciences and Law) suggests that children with ADHD might identify food intolerance “using a simple pinprick of the finger”; however, there is (unfortunately) no reliable pin-prick test that can diagnose the range of food intolerances.

We are pleased to hear that Holford has resigned his Visiting Professorship at Teesside. However, we would emphasise that there is much work for Teesside to do if they are to repair the damage to their reputation: there is a real need for the University to end its association with non-evidence-based approaches to nutrition, and instead work to enhance its reputation for good quality research which can feed into evidence-based practice.

UPDATE: We have now received an e-mail from a reliable source, telling us that Teesside’s Cactus Clinic has ceased to operate. This is welcome news: while it is always sad to think that people may lose work, it was not appropriate for Cactus to apply non-evidenced-based approaches to treating children as seemed to be the case with the nutritional assessment programme, and having it act in this way was not good for Teesside’s reputation. We are awaiting confirmation as to the details of this change: for example, whether Cactus will continue to function in any form away from the University. There is no information about the closure or change of affiliation on the Uni of Teesside Cactus Clinic information page.


Filed under ADHD, allergies, allergy, Holford, patrick holford, University of Teesside

81 responses to “Patrick Holford is an ex-Professor: he has resigned his Visiting Professorship at Teesside. UPDATE: Teesside’s Cactus Clinic also ceases to operate

  1. UKdietitian

    I presume this was Teeside’s way of allowing a disentanglement without much egg on ones face?

  2. jdc

    Good news! I look forward to reading more on this.

  3. Very interesting news. I do hope Tesside had not entered into any financial agreement with the ex-professor.

  4. Wulfstan

    Is there a competition? There must be a competition.

    Stephanie Fox or Fuel/Re-Fuel, if approached for a comment would say:

    “Patrick Holford has resigned to spend more time with his…”

    My vote:

    “abacus, following the ruthless expose of the lamentable state of his arithmetic, never mind his understanding of statistics”.

    One wonders if various people at Teesside found the errors documented on this blog to be rather more persuasive than Stephanie Fox.

  5. Wulfstan

    Knowing what a stickler for detail and accuracy the Ex-Professor is, one expects amendments to the FFTB conference programme to happen pretty quickly. [/piety]

  6. Claire


    Regarding the pinprick test for food intolerance, I think the BSACI would support your view:

    ” * Allergy self-testing kits should be interpreted with advice from trained healthcare personnel and IgG food antibody tests should not be used to diagnose food intolerance in the absence of stringent scientific evidence. “

  7. You never know, he might retain the title on an unofficial “roving” basis – i.e. keep using it.

    See, for instance, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, who is still listed as Professor on the JACM website, even though I recall David Colquhoun saying many months back that said editor was no longer associated with Oxford Brookes Univ.

  8. Thanks – hard to know who made the decisions here. I’m sure we’ll know more in time, though – and, of course, if anyone has more information, feel free to get in touch (in confidence, if you’d like).

  9. pv

    Do I detect a bit of schadenfreude?
    Hope so!

  10. Kim Jobst and Patrick Holford – Professors without a portfolio.

    They could have a TV series, The NutriProfessionals, Sort of. It would be a hit. They would drive around in a Smart Car that is powered by fish oils and gets a turbo-boost assist from dropping effervescent vitamin C into the water tank rather than nitro.

    If they ever had engine trouble, they would only need to diagnose the issue using applied kinesiology and fix it with the Q-Link of which they are both so fond. No need for SatNav – after all, Holford is an expert dowser

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  13. LeeT

    Is there any further information about Mr Holford’s departure from the University of Teeside? You tell us that we should rightly be wary of the claims made by nutrition therapists. I am just wondering if there is any source you can link to.

    Mr H’s website still has the following information: “Myth: Patrick Holford is Dr Patrick Holford (…) He is Visiting Professor at the University of Teesside, in the School of Social Sciences and Law.”

    He has had more than a week to change it. Perhaps at some point in the next ten days he can either: (1) admit he has resigned from Teeside or (2) state that his resignation is a myth

    Look forward to seeing what he and Stephanie Fox decide to do ….

  14. Lee- afraid we haven’t got any more information about Holford’s departure from Teesside, and the University does not appear to have posted an announcement on their website. We’ll post more information when we get it – and if anyone would like to let us know any more about this situation, in confidence if necessary, they would be welcome to e-mail us.

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