YorkTest, Hardman & Hart: there’s a difference between the BMJ and Nutrition and Food Science

A surprising mistake?

A surprising mistake?

HolfordWatch recently remarked on YorkTest’s chutzpah in selectively quoting from the recent Which? investigation. In the normal course of events and commenting, there has been some discussion of the lamentable Hardman and Hart audit of YorkTest customers. There has been a lot of confusion about whether the study was a clinical trial (no, it wasn’t) and even some confusion about where it was published: in some literature, YorkTest has been implying that it was published in the BMJ…
A surprising mistake?

A surprising mistake?

If you consult pages 10-11 of the YorkTest brochure: Is what you eat making you ill? YT34 04/07 (biv446), you will read about YorkTest’s evidence. There are summaries of relevant publications.

YORKTEST are the only laboratory in the world to have a clinically validated test. This has followed over 25 years of the highest quality ‘double blind’ clinical trials that have been published in numerous peer reviewed medical journals, including the British Medical Journal, the Congress of Headache Care Migraine Study and the Gut Journal (International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology).

There are many canards in there that are not the subject of this post. We are highlighting YorkTest’s implication that the Hardman and Hart study was published in the BMJ when it was actually published in an industry magazine, Nutrition and Food Science with no peer-review.

The papers are discussed in Myth: You can diagnose food intolerance or allergy with an IgG blood test.

The papers that YorkTest summarise are:

Atkinson W, Sheldon TA, Shaath N, Whorwell PJ. Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Gut. 2004 Oct;53(10):1459-64.

Rees T, Watson D, Lipscombe S, Speight H, Cousins P, Hardman G, Dowson, AJ. A Prospective Audit of Food Intolerance Among Migraine Patients in Primary Care Clinical Practice. (pdf). Headache Care. 2005 June; 2(2):105-110.

Hardman G, Hart G. Dietary advice based on food-specific IgG results (pdf). Nutrition and Food Science. 2007; 37,16-23.

You will see that none of them was published in the BMJ, and once the reader excludes the Gut and Headache Congress papers, the implication is that the Hardman and Hart customer audit was published in the BMJ. That’s a surprising confusion and it is an unfortunate mistake. A mistake that might confuse readers who are looking for information about whether the YorkTest IgG food intolerance test is endorsed by allergists and immunologists and who might now believe that the BMJ publishes audits of customer satisfaction surveys. And, it has to be said, that the BMJ is one of the few medical journals that has a name and reputation that is readily recognised by the lay public because it is regularly mentioned in newspapers and television items.

YorkTest is developing an unfortunate track record for selective quoting and errors that are to its publicity advantage. Maybe, just maybe, they are pining, not for the fjords, but Dr Aust’s Alt.Reality.

Update 25 August: jdc reminds us that Patrick Holford has also been confused about where the Hardman and Hart paper was published.

Related Reading

You and Yours on Which? Investigation into Food Intolerance Tests.
Which?, YorkTest and Cambridge Nutritional Sciences Ltd.
Update on Which?, YorkTest and Selective Quoting in Google Sponsored Links.




Filed under allergies, food intolerance, IgG tests, patrick holford, yorktest

5 responses to “YorkTest, Hardman & Hart: there’s a difference between the BMJ and Nutrition and Food Science

  1. Wulfstan

    The BMJ!?! Yorktest accidentally claimed that it had a double-blind clinical trial published in the BMJ?

    Do they have a spanish work-experience guy on which they can blame this?

    If I understand this correctly:
    the Gut paper was double-blind and randomised;
    the Headache Congress paper was not double-blind and an audit rather than a trial;
    the Nutrition and Food Science paper was an audit of customer satisfaction surveys – no blinding, no trial.

    Canards like that?

  2. You have interpreted the trials correctly, Wulfstan.

    One of the odd things about this is the “clinically validated” aspect is that some people usually complain about off-label prescribing of a drug for a condition for which it was not specifically tested yet, it seems that they are happy to use a test that has not been validated for the diagnosis of food intolerance and for which there is no indication that IgG levels are related to food intolerance.

  3. Oh dear. Does this mean that YorkTest and Patrick Holford have both incorrectly cited the customer audit as being published in (different) peer-reviewed journals? How unfortunate.

    Admin edit: jdc’s post about Holford’s error (now edited into main post). But when you have the chutzpah to tell an anecdote about 2 people on national radio as if it is equivalent to or more valuable than a systematic review of trials involving 250,000 people

  4. Pingback: Update on Which?, YorkTest and Selective Quoting in Google Sponsored Links « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science

  5. Pingback: You and Yours on Which? Investigation into Food Intolerance Tests « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s