Monthly Archives: March 2009

Allergy UK Wants YorkTest IgG Food Intolerance Tests Available on NHS

I am constantly in awe of the resilience of people and companies: their nonsense can be exposed in the most public of fora and yet they bounce right back with their marketing message unchanged or tactfully edited but still ignoring the point that it is underpinned by nonsense. Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford comes to mind as does Nas Amir Ahmadi of Detox in a Box. YorkTest (so beloved of Patrick Holford, Allergy UK, and a slew of self-declared experts as well as TV doctors) is another such company. YorkTest offers a food intolerance product that has been declared irrelevant by clinical allergists and immunologists and publicly deprecated but manages to garner pages of laudatory press coverage through its attractive press releases and to win customers because it ‘sounds science-y’. Recently, YorkTest piggybacks onto Allergy UK‘s Blossom Awareness Week to highlight the issue of allergies in children. Continue reading

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Filed under food intolerance, home test, IgG tests, patrick holford, yorktest

Patrick Holford, GL Diet and Satiety Plus the Misrepresentation of Some Research: Same Old, Same Old

Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford is Head of Science and Education at Biocare. Like proud parents who insist that their off-spring should entertain visitors with songs and recitations that would be better honoured in silence, Biocare proudly publicise their belief in Holford’s scientific acumen despite the faux pas and errors that have been highlighted in his work. From time to time, one wonders whether Biocare keeps up to date with Holford’s work and whether they notice, or even care about, the subtle and not-so-subtle non-sequiturs and distortions that crop up on a regular basis. Today’s example is no exception to Holford’s grim pattern of imagineering others’ research to support his own entrepreneurial needs. Continue reading

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Filed under GL diet, glycaemic load, patrick holford

Patrick Holford Promotes His Apocryphal Homocysteine Gospel in The News of the World

Patrick Holford on ITV Lunchtime 16 April 2008
Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford is Head of Science and Education at Biocare who display the indulgence of peculiarly fond family members in declaring him to be an innovative thinker and expert despite the many faux pas and errors that have been highlighted in his work. Biocare must be delighted to have their most high profile media nutritionist’s work featured in News of the World (NotW): Look 10 Years Younger with the H-Factor. Continue reading

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Filed under cancer, H Factors, health, homocysteine, patrick holford, supplements

Comment Is Free But Facts Are Sacred Makes A Correction

Sunday, March 14, 2009 published a CiF article by Kent Miller: The real agony of autism. It contained a common error about the MMR vaccine and mercury (UK thiomersal, US thimerosal):

A special US court overseeing a vaccination-liability fund recently ruled that the parents of an autistic girl, Michelle Cedillo, won’t get any money from it. The judge put a pretty firm kibosh on the argument that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine – or its mercury preservative, thimerosal – had caused Michelle’s disability.

Now, we have been round this topic with both the Guardian and The Observer on previous occasions. Continue reading

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Filed under Current events

Andrew Wakefield Lodges Complaint About Brian Deer with Press Complaints Commission

May we direct your attention to Dr Andrew Wakefield’s 58 page submission to the Press Complaints Commission complaining of Brian Deer’s recent revelations in Sunday Times.

These allegations are false and/or misleading and will have a hugely adverse effect on my credibility as a scientist and my ability to ever practice again in my chosen field. More importantly, the impact of Mr. Deer’s false and misleading claims upon the perception of medical professionals of the medical disorder suffered by the Lancet children and therefore, the provision of adequate care for autistic children, is potentially devastating.

It is more probable that any shards of credibility as a scientist disappeared with the testimony of Dr Nick Chadwick and Professor Stephen Bustin at the Autism Omnibus Proceedings in 2007. Continue reading

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Daily Express, Better You, The Leadership Factor and Laura Clout: the Yes Minister approach to market research

We were shocked to see a Sunday Express story by Laura Clout, stating that:

Research by natural health firm BetterYou [which sells nutritional supplements] found that more than eight in ten of us do not eat fruit and vegetables in our daily diet.

These is a really striking figure, so we asked BetterYou for the research behind it. They, and their PR agency Lucre Communications, were very helpful with our questions: the research was carried out online by The Leadership Factor, with a total sample of 1,000 adults. However, we found a number of issues with this research. As you’ll see in the above Yes Minister clip, there is a noble British tradition of surveys which reliably give certain answers and – while this may be entirely accidental – The Leadership Factor and BetterYou appear to have followed this great tradition. Continue reading

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Filed under Current events

Science: So What? campaign modifies claims about childhood nutrition

We’ve previously pointed out that the Science: So What? campaign overplayed the evidence on childhood nutrition. They claimed that

long-running research involving hundreds of children has now decisively proven, for the first time, the direct link between infant diet and later obesity. It’s a fact: babies who eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable have a significantly reduced risk of obesity in later life.

While we are all in favour of eating plenty of fruit and veg, we aren’t aware of research decisively proves this type of link. We were therefore pleased to see that Science: So What? have modified their claims. They now state that:

Research, looking at the diet of hundreds of children, suggests a strong link between infant diet and later obesity and eating habits in later life

This is a definite improvement, though it is still a shame that they do not link the articles they are referring to. Continue reading

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