I generally don’t like people launching libel actions against honest, pertinent criticisms of their actions. However, Matthias Rath has engaged in such apalling activities that – when I learned that he had launched a libel action again Ben Goldacre and the Guardian, which recently had costs awarded against Rath after he backed down – this did not significantly lower Rath in my estimation.
I am delighted that Rath has backed down – and that Ben Goldacre and the Guardian stood firm against his threats. As Goldacre puts it, this type of legal action is
unhealthy. Ideas improve when they are challenged and questioned.
It is great that costs were won against Rath, and that Goldacre and others will now be free to criticise Rath again. The articles criticising Rath were well-written and biting (I can’t seem to find the articles online at the moment, though hopefully they will resurface quickly now the legal action is over).
However, I can’t get out of my head other things that Rath has been involved in – which are far, far worse than suing journalists. In particular, while huge numbers of South Africans have been – and, tragically, still are – dying unnecessarily early of AIDS, the Rath Foundation has been promoting Rath’s vitamin pills in the state Continue reading