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.