Category Archives: Uncategorized

Science: So What Is Recruiting a Dialogue Manager

From the Science: So What Campaign. Initially part-time (with hours to be agreed), this is a job opportunity for someone with experience of science writing and a strong interest in social media and science communication. Continue reading

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Milking bees, Nelson and the BBC: arthritis, bee venom and an unfortunate BBC article

I was disappointed to see the BBC News website giving lots of space to a health product from Nelson Honey and Marketing, despite a lack of evidence of efficacy. It appears – strangely – that the BBC views the fact that Nelson has asked the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for permission to make certain claims for their product as newsworthy in itself.

The BBC reports that Nelson is

seeking EU approval to market honeybee venom to help people with arthritis ease their pain. Nelson Honey & Marketing says two teaspoons a day of its honey with added venom milked from honeybees has anti-inflammatory power to soothe joints. Continue reading

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Vote for Tim Minchin and Dara O’Briain as Your Whimsy Takes You – Please. Go Do It Now.

Uncharacteristically short. Read Podblack: Vote for Tim Minchin and follow her recommendation. If you need any reminders as to why, please listen to Storm.

Tim Minchin has been nominated in 3 categories: Best Full-Length Show, Best DVD and Best Sketch, Variety or Character act. Vote here, be aware that voting closes 3pm 12 Feb 2009.

We at HolfordWatch also have a strong notion for the keen observations of Dara O’ Briain. Both of them were kind enough to donate their time and performances to 9 Lessons for Godless People for which the proceeds went to charity.

Overall, whatever your choice, if you’re so minded, please vote.

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Tim Minchin Is Generous: See His Own Non-Pirate Storm: Updated

Tim Minchin has gallantly responded to the poor-quality pirate version of Storm and uploaded his own version of Storm as performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in December. The musical accompaniment is excellent.


Continue reading

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Tim Minchin’s Storm from 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People

We’ve all praised Tim Minchin’s Storm at some length which must be heartily annoying for those of you who didn’t attend 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People. So, as a special treat, here’s a recording and although the sound quality is poor, there is help from the Caption Fairy. See update.

Update: 29 Jan – Tim Minchin has gallantly bowed to piracy and uploaded his own version of Storm as performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in December. The musical accompaniment is excellent. We are leaving up the pirate version because the captions might be useful to some people. ETA: For those who need them, Podblack has the lyrics to Storm.

A scholar and a gentleman. Anyone who wants to see Tim Minchin perform should consult his Tour Dates and Gigs page to see if there is one scheduled near to you.

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Grand Rounds 4:38 Is Up

Dr Crippen of NHS Blog Doc is the host of this week’s Grand Rounds. There is a good, eclectic set of posts and a good sprinkling of ones from the UK.

HolfordWatch was intrigued by some sleight-of-accountancy that has been revealed about the funding of a controversial CT scanning for lung cancer study and the sponsors behind an awareness campaign for CT screening for lung cancer. Dr Nick Genes has the story: Early detection of an invasive mass-marketing campaign and Metastasis. Continue reading

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Quackometer blog threatened with spurious legal action. Again.

A short break from Patrick Holford coverage, to report that the Quackometer’s host has been sent a wonderfully entertaining e-mail on behalf of ‘Professor Dr’ Joseph Chikelue Obi: demanding that Netcetera

immediately shut down the website and delete all of the defamatory material relating to the Royal College of Alternative Medicine, Professor Dr Obi and our clients` lawfully registered Trademarks.

It’s impossible to read this e-mail without picturing someone sticking their little finger in their mouth and stroking a fluffy cat.

Worryingly, though, both the Quackometer’s hosts and Google appear to have taken this nonsense seriously Continue reading

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What is Wrong with “Food for the Brain”?

T1he charity ‘Food for the Brain’ has laudable stated aims: helping educate parents and teachers about how children’s nutrition can be improved and how this may help them at school. Food for the Brain has achieved a high profile, through appearances of its founder and CEO, Patrick Holford, on programmes such as GMTV and Tonight with Trevor McDonald. However, we fear that the charity’s unscientific approach and practices, their associations with very controversial sources of medical opinion, and the links between Food for the Brain and supplement businesses may subvert these aims and even do children harm.

Specifically, we have the following concerns: Continue reading

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Getting out our begging bowl: Holford Watch wants your money

11I really don’t like to ask for money – information on the Internet should be free for all – but the expenses for this blog have been rising lately. In particular, costs have been rising because Holford Watch has recently had to pay to access some of the content behind a paywall on Holford’s website; access to some other texts (journal articles etc.) has also been adding to our costs. Because we don’t receive any funding from the pharmaceutical or the supplement industry, we’re having to pay these costs out of our own pockets (all Holford Watch contributors work for free on this site – and we plan to continue working for free in the future).

So, to be blunt, please give us money. As you’ll see, we’ve now added a ‘donate’ paypal button to the site – that’s the easiest way to give (though you can contact me through my blogger profile if you’d like to offer something else). We plan to keep expenses low on this site and – if donors are so generous that we end up with more money than we can spend – this surplus will be donated to the wonderful Treatment Action Campaign*.

Given that responses to criticisms of nutritionism often come down to ‘how much is big pharma paying you’, Holford Watch will not be accepting any donations from those with competing interests in the pharmaceutical industry. Unlike many others working in and writing about the field of human nutrition, Holford Watch will also not accept any money from the supplement industry – we feel that it’s important to maintain our independence.

* In the unlikely event that this is not possible or inappropriate, any spare cash will be donated to another good cause.


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Patrick Holford v. Dr. Sarah Jarvis – the Video

Related Reading

Patrick Holford v. Dr. Sarah Jarvis in the Arena of Diabetes Management
Patrick Holford v. Dr. Sarah Jarvis in the Arena of Diabetes Management Part 2

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