Neal’s Yard were nice enough to agree to feature on the Guardian’s Ethical Living Blog: to answer reader questions. Guardian readers donated thiee time in order to contribute plenty of interesting questions (the comments page on this story runs to five pages) on issues such as what level of evidence they demand before selling a product, the ethics of their previous policy of selling homoeopathic pills for malaria (now withdrawn), or the ethical problems involved in distributing non-evidence-based anti-vaccine information.
Sadly, though, Adam Vaughan of the Guardian was left to report that
Unfortunately, despite previous assurances that they would be participating in this blog post, I’ve now been told they ‘will not be taking part in the debate’.
So yes, as several people have pointed out, this has become something of ‘You Ask’, rather than a ‘You Ask, They Answer’. I’m still hoping NYR will reconsider.
Despite attempts to persuade Neal’s Yard to participate, that comments thread has now been closed.
This is a real shame: there are fascinating ethical issues around the marketing and selling of ‘complementary and alternative’ treatments, and it would have been great to have discussed this with Neal’s Yard. We were just putting together a question about their position on vaccinations, before we learnt that they were not going to respond.
Ever-optimistic, we will e-mail Neal’s Yard shortly: to invite them to address some of the questions raised on EthicalLiving here (in the comments, or a guest post). If there is anything else you would like to ask them, feel free to post the comment here – we will be sure to e-mail them a link to this thread. Continue reading
Distressed child receives a vaccination
Every day there are important and essential discussions about the UK vaccination schedule. These discussions take place in Well-Baby Clinics, with doctors and nurses, with family members and friends, queuing in the supermarket, on message boards and blogs and the pages of newspapers. The common thread to all of them is the need for good quality, appropriate information.
So, what were the Daily Mail and Jerome Burne thinking when they put together this latest compilation of innuendo framed by the emotive photograph of a distressed child who seems trapped between two uncaring, faceless white coats? Continue reading
In June 2007, as the Autism Omnibus Hearings were in progress and the initial test case was being heard, Patrick Holford contacted his mailing list and asked them to sign a petition in support of Dr Andrew Wakefield. Although it doesn’t look like he ever signed the petition, it is clear that he influenced other people to sign, people who directly cited him as instrumental in the decision not to vaccinate children against preventable diseases.
Dr Carmel O’Donovan, Andrew Wakefield’s wife, recently emailed around asking for signatures in support of him. However, it seems that there is another petition, this one grandiosely and desperately asking people to sign up to We Support Andy Wakefield (Tiny URL’d). Age of Autism rather half-heartedly just reproduces the blusterous call for an enquiry (Tiny URL’d) and, without any trace of irony, condemns “the censorship of science” and the competence of Brian Deer in his remarkable investigative journalism.
We offer an annotated version of the petition: all links have been added by us and our text additions are in italics. Continue reading
Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford has what he calls a blog.[a]
So far, it contains the usual inaccuracies and reproduces articles that he wrote some time ago and Holford seems to regard it as a way of recycling his usual work.
However, this has been such a remarkable week for exposing the shoddy edifice that supports some of Holford’s cash cows and entrepreneurial enterprises that we had wondered if he would crack and write about them. Continue reading
The first part of the list is: Jeni Barnett and the LBC Radio MMR Vaccine Segment: Updated with links of blog coverage.
We are now constructing a supplementary list of blog posts and other coverage of Ben Goldacre v. Jeni Barnett, LBC and Global Radio in re: MMR Vaccine Segment 7 Jan 2009 from Feb 11 2009 (with some key posts from the first list). This will be a rolling update for some time. Continue reading
Jeni Barnett and LBC Radio, we say this for your own good because it must be miserable underneath those duvets. Stop making things worse. Deleting blog posts is not going to make this go away because, short of an EMP, the Internet keeps track of these things (cache for now, Quackometer has both posts, the Tiny URL version still works and there maybe images later).
Deletion will not mend fences. Talk to Dr Ben Goldacre and others. He removed the segment, please drop your rights to hold the threat of a law suit against him. Above all, talk to him. He’s a reasonable man.
Most importantly, Jeni Barnett needs to apologise wholeheartedly and without reservation, to Yasmin. Nobody but Jeni Barnett believes that Yasmin’s phone call was “vicious”. Continue reading
You would think that it was not possible for Jeni Barnett and LBC Radio to compound their errors and mishandling of this issue – that the past few days and the blogosphere reaction to LBC’s Legal Chill Effect as administered to Dr Ben Goldacre might have taught something to Jeni Barnett and LBC Radio about the Streisand Effect. However, as the comments have disappeared from her two postings Bad Scientists and MMR and Me, it seems not.
Oddly enough, there was a discussion on this morning’s Start The Week (Matt Wardman has the snippet) on how, on the Internet, few things ever really disappear. Head over to Quackometer: Jeni Barnett, Have You Lost Something? Continue reading