According to Allergy UK, they are “a national medical charity established to represent the views and needs of people with allergy, food intolerance and chemical sensitivity.” Amongst their aims they say they are there to
Enabl[e] people with allergy, food intolerance and chemical sensitivity to receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment through education of healthcare professionals and the provision of dedicated services.
Allergy UK give awards to services they feel help promote their aims and “will generally benefit allergy sufferers and improve their state of health and wellbeing.” They have given an award to YorkTest who are ‘specialists in food intolerance testing’. They say,
The clinically validated York Test foodscan range represents a breakthrough in food intolerance testing. Using the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (elisa) method, the tests provide a rapid, accurate and reproducible way of determining food intolerance and identify which foods your body is and isn’t coping with properly from a pin-prick blood sample.
Patrick Holford gives similar endorsements to YorkTest,
My favourite laboratory is Yorktest Laboratories whose tests are clinically validated. Not only do they use this technology but they are the only lab to offer a home test kit for food and chemical allergies that requires a pinprick blood sample. This is sent back to YorkTest laboratories who then test you for sensitivity to all foods including gluten, gliadin, wheat and yeast. They send you a home test kit that enables you to take a pinprick of blood, so you don’t have to go to your doctor.
Yorktest have also carried out a number of ‘double-blind’ trials on their IgG test and have solid science to back up their claims of effectiveness.
His schools food charity “Food for the Brain” is supported by YorkTest.
Now what is funny is that the Advertising Standards Authority disagree with all this. Some mischievous member of the public complained about their adverts. The issues considered were:
The complainant challenged whether:
1. the claim “clinically validated” could be substantiated; and
2. the advertisers could substantiate the efficacy of the test
The ASA challenged whether:
3. the ads made claims that could lead to a mistaken diagnosis
All three complaints were upheld. YorkTest were found to be in breach for unsubstantiated claims, untruthfulness and for claims about Health and Beauty and Therapies.
This is about time. Misdiagnosis of allergies caused people to drastically and unnecessarily alter their diets in ways that may be harmful. It causes distress and may prevent them from seeking proper medical help. There is a huge industry out there preying on peoples concerns about allergies and food intolerances and it needs reigning in.
How long will it be do you think before Allergy-UK take away their award to YorkTest? And how long before Patrick Holford amends his web pages?
My personal guess is never. I may be wrong.
A Dr Michael C Matthews MB, BS, FHS was also a medical director of YorkTest.