Call to Action: Tesco and WDDTY

wddty

Tesco may be changing its stance on this highly controversial magazine. Time to act and remind them how dangerous and unacceptable this publication is.

For a year now, there has been much concern that mainstream retail outlets have been stocking and selling a magazine called What Doctors Don’t Tell You. Now, there are many magazines on the shelves that frequently promote superstitious and pseudoscientific forms of health belief, such as homeopathy, vitamins and reiki, but WDDTY goes way beyond most offerings. This is a magazine that plays in the mainstream and yet systematically sets out to undermine trust in medical professionals and promote nonsensical, disproven or misrepresented alternatives.

A recent example of its reporting style was dissected by Dr Matthew Lam on the Sense About Science blog where he describes how the magazine completely misrepresented the evidence behind Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy. “The variety of ways that the authors misused and abused scientific evidence and scientific language to make their claims was shocking”, saidwddty LAM. It was not a one-off. Looking through other issues there was misrepresentation and “ill-informed advice on vaccination, heart disease, arthritis, dementia, all cancers, colds, flu, HIV….the list goes on.”

In my opinion, the magazine represents a clear danger to public health in the way it systematically misrepresents evidence and presents a highly selective and skewed approach to mainstream medicine and so-called alternatives. The style of so many stories is that doctors are withholding crucial health advice, they belittle or undermine alternatives, promote drugs, or are just ignorant about ‘natural medicine’ including foods and vitamins.

wddty1

The magazine undermines public health advice about many things including vaccines, and promotes nonsensical, useless homeopathic alternatives in their place. It promotes the idea that vitamin C might be a ‘wonder cure’ for HIV and measles. If people were to follow any of the advice in here, they could be seriously harmed or even killed.

It is not just my opinion that this magazine is a danger to people. Dr Margaret McCartney spoke on Radio 4 about it, and called WDDTY  “ridiculously alarmist”. When the writer Simon Singh spoke on twitter about his concerns that WDDTY magazine was promoting” health advice that could potentially harm readers” he was threatened with legal action. Although the magazine lists its own medical advisors, there is much to be concerned about regarding these advisors’ stances on medical reality. An article in the BMJ was heavily critical of the approach WDDTY takes to medicine and evidence.

Many people have written to retail outlets complaining that they should not be stocking such a magazine. I questioned if WHSmith should be selling it. Hayley Stevens called on people to write to Waitrose, WHSmith and Sainsbury.  Josephine Jones’ blog documents many other aspects and complaints, and is well worth consulting.wddtydec2012

It has also been noted that huge numbers of advertisers in the magazine appear to be breaking advertising guidelines by being untruthful, misleading or discouraging medical attention. The Nightingale Collaboration, who challenge online advertisers about health claims, sumbited complaints about 26 adverts from the first and second issues – this is probably a record for any single publication. To date, the ASA have adjudicated on 54 CAP Code breaches in the magazine’s adverts – from just two issues. Some issues are still waiting to be resolved. This must be a record for any magazine and makes it very difficult for it to defend that it is a responsible publication.

But many responses from retailers have simply pushed the problem back saying it is not their job to censor the magazine.

Call to Action

But a possible breakthrough has been made and this is where you are required.

The apoptoticus blog received a reply from Tesco after saying they were prepared to take a stand over lads’ mags but not over this. The key remark in the response is as follows:

I have checked on this, especially as we have previously stated that it is not up to us to censor items such as this, but have now taken a new stance in regards to the Lads mags and are insisting upon modesty bags.

The reason for this is that we have received a large amount of contact regarding them, and our customers have let us know how much this bothers them.

We will do the same with the What Doctors Don’t Tell You magazine. We will keep an eye on the contact we receive about this magazine and will attempt to stay in touch with our customers’ feelings to ensure that we are always making the right decisions.

Please accept my apologies for the concern this magazine has caused you, and my assurances that we will monitor the situation and will make any alterations that meets our customers’ expectations in the future.

So, if you feel unhappy that Tesco is selling a magazine that gives advice that puts people at risk, then perhaps you could let them know.

Contact Tesco here or email at customer.service @tesco. co. uk

Your email only needs to be brief and it is best if it is your own words but say something like,

1) You are concerned that a magazine is being stocked that gives consistently bad health advice.

2) It puts their customers at risk.

3) Newspapers and the BMJ have reported on the concerns about this magazine.

4) The Advertising Standards Authority has had to adjudicate on a record number of misleading adverts from a single publication.

5) That as Tesco is prepared to take a stance on lads mads because of the potential harm they cause, it is consistent that they also take a stance on a magazine that misinforms about health in dangerous ways.

So, to pre-emp critics. I am not trying to silence McTaggart and her WDDTY empire. She has her websites, her books and her speaking engagements, and she can get on with those. I am questioning whether responsible mainstream retailers should be assisting in promoting her stance on healthcare when it is clearly misinforming and risks readers’ lives

Update

A very good sample letter is given at the Western Sloth blog.

Update 24th September

Thanks for so many of you writing. It looks like you are all getting a template response. IF you have not written yet, please take this into account and ask a specific question that this template will not cover.

Thank you for your email.
I understand you have concerns over the magazine, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, and I can appreciate your views on the matter.
We are in the position of offering our customers choice rather than appointing ourselves as censors or moral guardians.  The publisher of this magazine prints on page 3 a liability statement advising readers to consult a qualified practitioner before undertaking any treatment.
While we cannot comment on the contents of these magazines, your comments have been duly noted and fed back to our Buying Teams.

Kind regards

Sarah Thorne
Tesco Customer Service

And so,

tescotweet

30th September

Tesco have dug their heels in. But the November issue of WDDTY looks like it could be very special. Expect this story to find legs.

novwddty

 

1st October. The Times wades in…

timeswddty

137 comments for “Call to Action: Tesco and WDDTY

  1. Peter Robinson
    September 20, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Complaint duly sent and urge everyone to do same. Sometimes it can seem that such efforts are just peeing in the wind, but we cannot give up the fight against woo, and sometimes such campaigns work, so just go for it!

    A brief p.s. For some time now I have thought that the skeptical community should stop using terms like CAM and alternative medicine, which play into the hands of the practitioners and supporters of nonsense. To match the use of the term pseudoscience, I propose pseudomedicine.

    • September 20, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      I absolutely agree; I have been using the term “pseudomedicine” for several years. The other term I propose is “clusterquack(ery)” for the scattergun pseudomedical fuckwittery that infests execrable rags like WDDTY.

      (Complaint duly sent to Tesco)

    • Laura
      October 15, 2013 at 10:02 am

      I wish I could be as self-satisfied as the posters on the site. It must feel extremely rewarding to be so superior

    • Dave
      May 16, 2014 at 10:20 am

      You people should get your heads from up your arses and take a look around. If the way medicine and the present health advice is working at the moment then god help us. If you want to make change to anything then it won’t happen if you just keep doing the same old same old. I think that we should be lucky that we got rid of the ducking stools…………it kind of reminds me of the monty python sketch where they showed a women being called a witch because they had fastened a carrot on her face over her nose6 and kept calling for her to be burned………that was funny but i’m afraid that this is not. You are systematically destroying peoples health with your petty minded short sighted views.

    • Dave
      May 16, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Pseudomedicine is actually what you represent………the people that you so righteously defend come from a long line of bloodletters. The medical community in this country are little more than pushers for the pharmaceutical industry who’s only motivation is greed. Over 60% of all drugs prescribed do not work and for the most part were not even developed to treat the problems that they are prescribed for. Medicine calls symptoms disease and therefore fails from the start. The only way to treat problems is to find the root cause. This is not even there intent they simply placate the patient and push yet another drug for big pharma. There is obviously a balance to be sought here, there is obvious need for trauma and emergency medicine there is also need for surgery, and within these areas there is also need for drugs………the problem is that there is no balance. The only reason why most of the overwhelming problems now facing the western world are still getting worse eg: Diabetes, Heart disease, Cancer, Auto immune disease etc.etc. is because it serves to proliferate a system where big pharma keeps getting bigger and greedier. Pharmaceutical companies have no intention of treating these problems successfully they simply help people to cope with the symptoms. After all if they were successful then they would lose money. And if you are under the impression that this is not so then you really need to take a look at the background of companies like Monsanto and pfizer.

      If there is a real incentive by the medical community to better the treatment of disease successfully then sites like this would not exist. The very existence of sites like this and the use of terms like quackery is to say the least backward thinking. Instead of sitting on your high horse condemning things out of hand, try getting out a bit and taking a look around, you may be pleasantly surprised.

      • Carl C
        May 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm

        Hi Dave,

        I don’t think anyone here is condemning anything “out of hand”, as you put it. They are condemning things based on evidence and reality.

        What are you basing your condemnations on?

  2. September 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I wrote back to Tesco after reading their reply on the apopticus blog, taking care to point out their change in stance with regard to lads’ mags (because they were still using the argument about not being censors or moral guardians).

    I received the following reply:

    “Thank you for getting back to me.

    I am very sorry that our previous email has done little to change your mind. I hoped that it would reassure you that we’ve always got our customers’ interests and views at the heart of everything we do.

    I’d like to assure you that your comments are very important to us and they have been fully noted. However, I am sorry to say that there’s nothing further that I can add to what had been said in our previous email.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us”

    I wrote back to them, explaining that I’m unhappy with the response, reiterating the concerns and pointing out that the decision to still allow shelf space to WDDTY in the face of such strong concerns doesn’t sit well with their partnership with Diabetes UK.

    This was the reply:

    “Thank you for your reply.

    I am very sorry that my colleagues previous email has done little to change your mind. I hoped that it would reassure you that we’ve always got our customers’ interests and views at the heart of everything we do.

    I’d like to assure you that your comments are very important to us and they have been fully noted. However, I am sorry to say that there’s nothing further that I can add to what had been said in oprevious email’s.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us”

    Remarkably similar, isn’t it?

    I wrote an even more ranty email back to them than I had the day before, explaining that I would be writing to Diabetes UK as well as to science and health bloggers and experts. I have since written to Diabetes UK’s press office and am awaiting their reply. As to the rest of it, that kind of took care of itself.

    • Carl
      September 20, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      I’ve had identical emails. Looks like Tesco’s Customer Services may be automated?

    • Freeman
      August 4, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      The trouble with this kind of stance is that you think that you should decide what other people should or should not read. What makes you people think that you know best? Why do you say that this magazine is dangerous? That’s a ridiculous thing to say. Grant those of us who read that magazine the intelligence to know what is good for us or not. If you don’t like this publication then you don’t have to buy it. Don’t try to censor other peoples reading material it makes you sound like the Nazis when they burnt Jewish books during the persecution of the Jews. For goodness sake let’s have a bit of tolerance of other people’s views.

      • Andy Lewis
        August 5, 2014 at 7:50 am

        You are wrong in your first sentence. Need I go on?

        • Carl C
          August 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

          Kudos for use of the Nazi comparison, though. There’s no recovering from fair and reasonable arguments like that.

        • August 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm

          “The trouble with this kind of stance is that you think that you should decide what other people should or should not read.

          You are wrong in your first sentence. Need I go on?”

          No, YOU are wrong to state that Freeman is wrong in his first sentence. How can you make a ridiculous comment like that when it is obvious to anyone that he made a correct statement. You do indeed hold yourself up as arbiters of what people should or should not read. You do need to go on and explain yourself more fully.

          • Peter Robinson
            August 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm

            If you read the full story, and indeed the follow up comments you will see why this is not a question of censorship, or Nazi book burning. Go away, read the full story and then you can comment. Until then you are ill informed and making idiotic accusations.

          • August 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm

            ““The trouble with this kind of stance is that you think that you should decide what other people should or should not read. You are wrong in your first sentence. Need I go on?” No, YOU are wrong to state that Freeman is wrong in his first sentence. How can you make a ridiculous comment […]

            If you read the full story, and indeed the follow up comments you will see why this is not a question of censorship, or Nazi book burning. Go away, read the full story and then you can comment. Until then you are ill informed and making idiotic accusations”.

            Get real, the only people who say that the bullying of stores and advertisers for the end purpose of removing WDDTY is not censorship are two groups, Quackometer and (Non)Sense About Science. It is censorship plain and simple. How can your actions be seen in any other light!! You are demanding the magazine censored and off the shelves and,am sure you are proud you have succeeded to some degree. I thought we live in a free and open society in which we are fortunate to be able to read books and magazines on all kinds of subjects, whether we agree with the subject matter or not. What magazines will be next, Nexus? Paranormal magazines? books questioning official narratives?…. the list is endless. If you get your way with WDDTY it could have a chilling effect on writers. It’s a bit worrying where it could lead. How will progress be made in medicine if only one paradigm is tolerated! Why do you demand that contributors to this topic go away? Is this blog only for those who agree with the original premise? Probably not as you won’t have anyone to insult. If debate is welcomed why do you tell people to go away and insult their intellect. I have seen amazing results from non “conventional” medicine among my friends. You are actually missing out by having such a narrow viewpoint. God forbid, if you get sick what are you going to do if Pharma does not help you….. will you discount all other possibilities? Well, it’s your choice but please don’t impose your views on the rest of us.

            By the way, I am not ill informed…. have followed this nonsense from the outset.

          • Andy Lewis
            August 6, 2014 at 6:21 am

            My reasons for criticising WDDTY are clearly laid out on this blog. My stance on censorship are too. You choose to misrepresent both.

          • August 6, 2014 at 9:18 am

            censor
            cen¦sor
            Examine (a book, film, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it:

            You believe that the infomation provided in WDDTY is a danger to the public at large, that it’s contents will lead to the deaths of many by steering them away from the only tried and tested form of medicine extant, chemical-based pharma, and that the removal of this information will save lives. So, you demand the censoring of this material. What else would you call it? And your views on medicine are so defined, rejecting all others in favour of Big Pharma, that people can only come to the conclusion that you have a pro-pharma agenda. Why are you so concerned that some members of the thinking public should choose a different path. If we choose to use a particular treatment and the results aren’t positive it’s our own choice. In my case, and many others I know, the results are very positive. We are able to make our own decisions and accept the consequences of those choices. You don’t have to read the magazine but please accept that millions of people around the world choose natural medicine and always have. It’s our right!! It won’t affect you in any way and it is none of your business. Please do the world a favour, stop interfering and find something worthy to campaign about….. or you could move to a fascist country where your demands will be more tolerated!

          • Andy Lewis
            August 6, 2014 at 9:55 am

            To spell it out to you. I am not trying to stop wddty sayoing what it wants to say. I am not trying to close it down. But I do think it unacceptable for supposedly responsible retailers to provide a channel for their claims – thus adding respectability to what they do.

            No doubt, wddty will always be there, on the wen, by subscription, and I will continue to argue against their ridiculous claims – but I am not trying to shut them up. Is that clear enough for you?

          • Peter Robinson
            August 6, 2014 at 10:09 am

            Andy, No reasonable argument will be good enough for the WDDTY collaborators.

            “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
            ― Christopher Hitchens

            Keep up the good work!

          • cairndog94
            August 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm

            Yes, collaborators for free speech and the right to buy a magazine without interference. Why not embark on a campaign against Waterstones because they legitimise all sorts of dangerous ideas by selling books. Who has the monopoly on the truth anyway! How do you determine what is dangerous? I want to keep my right to read other people’s ideas whether I agree on the material or not. WDDTY is not a dangerous magazine anyway. It’s actually a breath of fresh air, hence it’s popularity. As I stated before how is it any of your business anyway…. unless you have some kind of hidden agenda. Just allow people to choose what they want to read and leave it at that. It can’t possibly affect you personally. So, just let it go….. Please! !

          • cairndog94
            August 7, 2014 at 9:10 am

            “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
            ― Christopher Hitchens

            Well, that’s just plain laziness!

          • Andy Lewis
            August 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm

            I can explain to you my stance, but I cannot make you understand my stance. That much is obvious.

            To answer your questions; “How do you determine what is dangerous?”

            Well, as you see on my blog, I use evidence and reason. WDDTY systematically distorts both as has been shown many, many times. If you do this over health matters then you become a danger.

            I hope things are getting clearer for you.

            But I suspect not.

  3. Matt
    September 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    To be consistent they would ask for WDDTY to go in a bag, as with the lads mags?

    It would be funny, I quite like it; nonsense in a bag, but would it be much help? Presumably the bag would have only the name of the magazine on it. At least it would get the big shiny dangerous claims out of sight. It would be interesting to see what that did for sales.

  4. Teacake
    September 20, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I’ve had exactly the same responses as described above as well. They need it brought to their attention by other means, I think.

  5. Jo D. Baker
    September 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Are you going to have an email address for cc of complaints so you can monitor numbers?

  6. MikeH
    September 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Same copy/paste response for me here as well.

    Are there examples of bad diabetes-related stories that could be explained to Diabetes UK? I’m keen to write to them using my academic email address, and obviously using this and Josephine’s blog can easily dig out examples of very bad science. But bad and relevant to them would be even better.

  7. Julian
    September 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Since they’ve already agreed a ‘modesty’ bag for lad mags, I think it would be a good idea to push for a ‘stupidity’ bag for publications like WDDTY.

  8. JimR
    September 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Using “what doctors don’t tell you” as a search term on Amazon.UK.Co, the first hit is “What Doctors Don’t Tell You: The Truth About the Dangers of Modern Medicine by Lynne McTaggart (7 Feb 2005)”. I don’t know when the magazine started.

    In the U.S., the infamous Kevin Trudeau practically used this phrase as a mantra in many infomercials to promote “health” books. He is under a $37 million judgement and is pleading not to go to jail because of hidden assets in Australia.

    If WDDTY goes away, it will return under another name. These folks have found a great money scheme and won’t give it up willingly.

    Good luck.

  9. Peter Robinson
    September 21, 2013 at 11:55 am

    A slightly different response, if no more encouraging yet:

    Dear Peter

    Thank you for your email.

    I understand you have concerns over the magazine, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, and I can appreciate your views on the matter.

    We are in the position of offering our customers choice rather than appointing ourselves as censors or moral guardians. The publisher of this magazine prints on page 3 a liability statement advising readers to consult a qualified practitioner before undertaking any treatment.

    While we cannot comment on the contents of these magazines, your comments have been duly noted and fed back to our Buying Teams.

    Thank you once again for taking the time to contact us.

    Kind regards

    Sarah Thorne
    Tesco Customer Service

    And my reply:

    Dear Sarah,

    You have taken a moral/censorship stance when it comes to lads mags so I fail to understand why you should not do the same with other publications?

    This is not a matter of censorship anyway. It is a matter of protecting your customers from nonsense. The disclaimer that WDDTY is wholly insufficient in that it is swamped by a deluge of pseudomedical advice.

    While you continue to stock WDDTY I will avoid shopping at Tesco, and I will be urging my friends and family to do the same.

    When you say you offer choice, I assume you do not stock other products that may harm them e.g. sheeps brains, even if they might demand them.

    I trust you will review your position, and do the right thing.

    Yours sincerely,
    Peter Robinson

    Believe the threat of a boycott is potentially the most effective as that has bottom line implications to them.

    • September 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      I received an identical email from Ms Thorne. Unimpressed!

    • Teacake
      September 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      That’s the same as the first response I had, Peter (my second was the same as Josephine’s).

  10. September 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    My submission:

    You have recently acted on high volumes of public feedback about “Lads Mags”, so I am writing to add my voice to those asking you to also reconsider your decision to stock “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” magazine. Each issue consists of medical advice which is at best dubious, but often actively dangerous. For example, a cover story on the October 2012 issue claims “Sunbathe your diabetes away” while inside claiming that “popular sunscreens cause skin cancer”, a dangerous combination. It also claims that “prescription drugs are a major cause of common problems” – a scare story that will encourage many people to stop taking medication. The majority of stories are in similar vein. A large proportion of advertisers in the magazine have been censured by the ASA for making unsubstantiated medical claims. In my view, this is a product which is actively dangerous to your customers and should not be supported by Tesco.

  11. September 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    “We are in the position of offering our customers choice rather than appointing ourselves as censors or moral guardians” seems to be the reply you get if you don’t mention lads’ mags. I had that one last October. The author of the apoptoticus blog mentioned that response in his email to Tesco and how he felt it was at odds with the change in stance over lads’ mags.

  12. September 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Why do retailers like Tescos try to pretend they have no responsibility for the content of what they sell?

    Is that why we had horse instead of beef in the burgers?

  13. gewisn
    September 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Let’s start a magazine called Doctors Who Don’t Lie, Like the Ones in That Other Magazine and demand that stores not “censor” this one either, but give customers an actual choice. The contents need only be a listing of the headlines from the previous issue of WDDTY, with the phrase after each one “probably a complete lie,” and then the URL for Quackwatch. So the only thing that needs to be published is the cover, with this info on the back side of the cover.

  14. joe blawgs
    September 22, 2013 at 1:11 am

    also dont kid to yourselves that tesco actuall care about the lads mag thing – you should see the communication we sent out to store teams – “… recently spoken to many of our customers … to find out their view ….. This follows requests by groups like UK Feminista who are campaigning to ‘Lose The Lads Mags’. What is clear is that the subject is not at the front of our customers’ minds and there is not an appetite for us to stop selling these magazines from anywhere near a majority of people. Despite this….”

  15. September 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Well, after receiving an identically worded brush-off to everyone else, I have this sitting in my “drafts” folder, but decided not to send it. I publish it here for amusement only.

    Dear Mr Harding,

    I am very sorry that my previous email has done little to change your mind. I hoped that it would reassure you that this is a serious issue with real-world consequences which could reflect badly on Tesco, especially since your customer’s interests and views are at the heart of everything you do.

    I’d like to assure you that your response is very important to me and has been fully noted (and published online). However, I am sorry to say that this will probably be only one of several similar emails that you need to send your stock response to this week, even if there is nothing to add to what has been said in your previous email.

    Thanks for taking the time to brush off this concern.

    Kind regards

    Sean Ellis
    Tesco Customer Service Monitoring

    • Peter Robinson
      September 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Oh go on. Send it!

    • gewisn
      September 22, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Really, what’s the worst that can happen?
      They read it?!

      • September 23, 2013 at 7:58 am

        Or you might get one of these (landed in my inbox last night):

        Dear Mr Tonkin

        Thank you for your further email.

        I’m sorry to advise you that the response that my colleague, Miss Thorne sent you is the only response you will receive regarding this issue.

        As stated previously, while we cannot comment on the contents of these magazines, your comments have been duly noted and fed back to our Buying Teams.

        Kind regards

        Tony Thomas
        Tesco Customer Service

  16. quackimoto
    September 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    your campaign is simply laughable, WDDTY is such a small mag, with so few readers; The Sun sell million of copies of a rag that is about as accurate as WDDTY, but you do not see any problem with it, I bet some of you are even Sun readers.
    The truth is you like harassing and hounding people you disagree with: homeopath, Steiner teachers, you need to attack them as aggressively as you can.
    Live and let llive, don’t waste your time on WDDTY ( or are you going to say that they arm children?)
    Try occupying yourself with a worthy cause, you are getting pathetic!

    • Teacake
      September 23, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Quackimoto said: “your campaign is simply laughable, WDDTY is such a small mag, with so few readers; The Sun sell million of copies of a rag that is about as accurate as WDDTY, but you do not see any problem with it, I bet some of you are even Sun readers.”

      Do you have circulation figures for WDDTY? I don’t. I also don’t have figures that would allow me to assess whether health articles in WDDTY have more or less impact that those in the Sun. However, it’s plausible that per-copy they have more impact in WDDTY, because that is the purpose for which people buy the magazine. In the Sun, health articles form a very small proportion of the content, and purchasers mainly buy it for the “news” and the sport. And of course the nipples.

      I would be interested to see a quote where somebody writing or commenting on this site has said they don’t see a problem with the Sun. I would have assumed that was not the case, but no doubt you can back up that claim. Personally, though I am concerned about dodgy health claims wherever they appear, I’m only one person, and it’s not down to you to decide where I spend my limited time.

      I presume the “I bet some of you are even Sun readers” is supposed to be some sort of jibe but hey, live and let live, as you point out. If people want to read the Sun, good luck to them. I’d just like to see any claims made there or elsewhere to be backed up by evidence, but I’m funny like that.

      Quackimoto: “The truth is you like harassing and hounding people you disagree with: homeopath, Steiner teachers, you need to attack them as aggressively as you can.”

      It seems to me that the closest to aggression displayed here is in your post, and even that I’d characterise as forthright rather than aggressive.

      Quackimoto: “Live and let llive, don’t waste your time on WDDTY ( or are you going to say that they arm children?) Try occupying yourself with a worthy cause, you are getting pathetic!”

      Live and let live, so long as we only occupy ourselves with causes you personally find worthy? Just so I understand, are you saying you don’t think the advice in WDDTY could be dangerous if followed?

      • Peter Robinson
        September 23, 2013 at 11:51 am

        Here here.

      • quackimoto
        September 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm

        Hello fruitcake, you seem to be a little bit miffed that I did not respond to your post, so here it is:
        No I do not have the circulation figure for WDDTY, I don’t need them, this is a small insignificant rag that has very little impact, it would probably do well with lefties vegetarian hippies, but I doubt if they go to the big bad Tesco.
        I took the Sun as an example of fantasy journalism (even the tits are likely to be fake) and usually you find in the Sun and Mirror plenty of adds for dubious health artifacts as well as a variety of weird method to boost one’s sex life. I stand by the harassing and hounding accusation, this blog could be fun if it was not for the bias and bullying tactic.
        If some of you are and I believe you are good scientists, surely you have better thing to do than trying to ban WDDTY from Tesco and risk the accusation of being against freedom of the press.
        This blog suffer from the same ailment as political correctness:it is always negative, it is about banning this and forbidding that, the more you take that line, the more resistance you will encounter.
        And none of you seem to have a sens of humour.
        Don’t ask me for a quote that serve as eveidence to my statement, this is merely an opinion.
        Ciao

        • Teacake
          September 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm

          Hi quackimoto.

          “Hello fruitcake”
          “And none of you seem to have a sens of humour.”

          Doesn’t seem to be a problem, because it would seem we can rely on you to have a sense of humour for us. Teacake – fruitcake. Good one.

          So really your argument against us criticising WDDTY boils down to “Look at that more important thing over there!” And again I would say that it’s not down to you to decide how I spend my time. If you accept that WDDTY’s advice could be dangerous if followed, even by a lefty vegetarian hippy, then perhaps you could allow it might be worth restricting its circulation.

          We aren’t against freedom of the press. We are for accuracy of the press. I’ve explained how this magazine’s effect might be amplified by the fact that its target audience are actually looking for health advice in a way they may not with other publications, and the need to protect that audience doesn’t end at the realisation they might be lefty vegetarian hippies, gawd love ‘em.

          Fruitcake. Ha ha ha ha HA. It’s funny because it’s true.

      • Jenny G
        October 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm

        Best, sensible reply so far, and I would also like to add that I do buy WDDTY because if you had really read any of the articles you would know that everything has been twisted to suit an agenda and that appears to be take the magazine down because it prints the truth that many of these negative comments are responding to, pushes some sort of button for them as they could not have read the articles, or they are also part of this very fake site and behind that no doubt is BIG Pharma paying for it all.

        • Andy Lewis
          October 14, 2013 at 11:31 pm

          Thank you Jenny. You make my job easier.

    • Katie
      October 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Well said Quackimoto. Live and let live – it’s (still) a free country. WDDTY represents a different side to general health and well being that some people do not agree with. There are lots of people who dismiss massage, aromatherapy and Reiki as rubbish. That’s fine, it’s your opinion, you are the ones missing out. Not everything can be healed with a fistfull of pills, some of it is much deeper that that. I recently read, unfortunately, a copy of The Sun newspaper. The quality of “journalism”, if you can call it that, was, IN MY OPINION, quite disgusting, but I’m not campaigning to have it removed from the supermarket shelves, I simply make a personal choice not to buy it. If something comes on the TV I don’t like, I make a personal choice not to watch it and either change channels or turn it off. Don’t make everyone live the same narrow minded lives as you. Stop forcing your opinions on others, we do not need you to make up retailers minds what is best for us, we can make our own decisions. Of course the BMJ are going to slate WDDTY. The medical profession and the government make a huge amount of money out of people’s illnesses – not to mention the amount of money the pharmaceutical companies make. If you want to continue putting poisons into your body and treat the symptoms not the cause, you go ahead, but leave the rest of us alone to seek alternative therapies, because that’s our choice.

      • Andy Lewis
        October 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        Katie – we merely want it make it easier for you to make an informed choice. WDDTY is choc full of misinformation. I hope you never make a genuine health care decision based on things you have read within its pages.

      • Peter Robinson
        October 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm

        katie,

        Please read the following. I think it might well disabuse you of some of your comments:

        http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/answering-our-critics-part-1-of-2/

  17. Carl
    September 23, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Does anyone have a named point of contact at Tesco to discuss this with? – and email address? So far I’ve had brush-off emails from four people through the generic customer services route (Sue Cox, Danielle Thomas, Ann-Marie Bunston and Sarah Taylor), with no meaningful exchange with any of them. It’s like emailing a tag team, with each person trotting out the company line and ignoring your points afresh.

  18. September 24, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Sent my letter today. I am also including this call on Skeptic Action. If you believe that together we can make a difference in woo-woo land, please join this most important project on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

    Please Tesco,

    Do not promote the WDDTY magazine. You are far too important to be mixed up with this kind of nonsense. Their stance on homeopathy, vaccines and other such medical woo-woo is very dangerous to society. People die because they think that a respectful organization like yours has done the research and is endorsing this magazine.

    Thank you,

    • Colin Bell
      October 2, 2013 at 12:53 am

      Susan, Tesco are not “endorsing” WDDTY. they are offering it for sale, along with other publications you may or may not agree with. And I don’t think you will win them over with flattery. So you believe that Tesco are somehow responsible for the deaths of all these WDDTY readers? Do you have any statistics to back up the deaths of these people? Are we talking dozens, hundreds of deaths or what?

  19. Mikeh
    September 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Just to add a comment that was posted (not by me) on the Bad Science forum thread about this –
    “I used to work for the Tesco customer service HQ (which is based in Dundee, their administrative HQ is based in Cheshunt) on evenings and weekends when I was an undergrad student. I responded to customer complaints that came in by e-mail or letter (evenings) and by phone (weekends).

    Bear in mind when contacting the customer service department that you are not talking to the company. You are in all probability speaking to a student or yound adult who isn’t even employed by Tesco (most of us were employed by the temping agency “Search”) who is sitting in a drab office, counting down the minutes until they can go home and forget, completely and utterly, about Tesco until their next tedious shift. They couldn’t give a rat’s fat arse about Tesco or anything to do with it. It’s just a job they’re doing until Search (or whatever temp agency they’re using now) punts them on to another call centre down the road (BT or Mastercard or whatever).

    When the email pops up on their screen, they skim read it, do a keyword search on the company’s software which will call up a pre-written letter and they’ll batter that off to the customer. There is some scope for customising responses but, as I said, these people don’t work for Tesco and have absolutely no power to change anything and, anyway, they’re more interested in chatting to their neighbour about what’s going on at the student union that weekend, so nine times out of ten they’ll just go with the default. Moreover, they have a quota of e-mails that need responded to in a shift so, in the interests of avoiding some annoying ear-bashing from their manager, they’d mostly prefer to deal with issues via the path of least resistance (i.e. skim reading and stock letters). They then have to fill out a summary form, with the customer’s details and they “categorise” the complaint using an extensive menu of complaint categories (some are amusingly specific: “prawns were glowing in the dark” was a good one; some are exceedingly vague). The idea is that a spike in complaints in a certain category will alert management, who will investigate. But I would not rely on this system. Half the time, the staff just stick in the first category they see, knowing that the record will just disappear into obscurity alongside the literally millions of other records and will never be seen again.

    I would either (a) ignore the customer service centre entirely, and contact the administrative HQ in Cheshunt; or (b) phone the customer service centre (don’t write in the first instance) and immediately ask to speak to the most senior manager available, tell that person of the issue, get their name and postal address and follow it up in writing with them.

    Contacting the front-line customer service staff may get you somewhere eventually, but it’s going to be exceedingly inefficient.”

    • September 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      I have sent emails to corporate Tesco as well explaining the situation with their customer service team. Will post response if I get one.

  20. quackimoto
    September 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    “If you believe that together we can make a difference in woo-woo land, please join this most important project on Facebook, Twitter or Google”
    Really? I think I am going to piss myself laughing!
    You also forget that included in your “woo woo land” are well recognised therapies such as osteopathy and acupuncture, so by association are you going to include in woo woo land Bupa, PPP, the various hospital who offer these therapies, doctors ( who at least are clinicians and surely know what is working and what is not).
    your blind faith on RCTs, mats-analysis and systematic reviews (who most of the time either are unable to draw any conclusion, or simply contradict each others), is as naive and biased as the stuff found on WDDTY
    I am awaiting eagerly for the usual cherry picking that is meant to demonstrate that you are always right, and that the consumers of alternative medicine are “delusional” since this is probably your favourite adjective to qualify anybody who do not share your immodest opinions.

    • Andy Lewis
      September 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      I do not rely on opinions to say osteopathy and acupuncture are quackery – I rely on facts.

    • Teacake
      September 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Hi quackimoto.

      I took some time to answer your previous post above. Any chance you could, y’know, read it and respond?

    • Teacake
      September 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Quackimoto said: “You also forget that included in your “woo woo land” are well recognised therapies such as osteopathy and acupuncture, so by association are you going to include in woo woo land Bupa, PPP, the various hospital who offer these therapies, doctors ( who at least are clinicians and surely know what is working and what is not).”

      You appear to be misapplying the way in which companies such as BUPA work as evidence for the efficacy of the services they provide. Private health insurance cover is basically a contract between the customer and insurer whereby the customer pays a regular subscription and the insurer then pays for an agreed range of treatments. The treatments can be anything for which there is sufficient demand and which are sufficiently funded by the customer. If enough customers come looking for a policy that covers them for soup therapy, then BUPA will happily take their money and hand them a can opener and some Heinz cream of mushroom. It says nothing about whether soup therapy actually works. As long as the customer is paying, they can have whatever they want.

      As for places offering these therapies, well, there is a) money to be made offering treatments, and b) a great deal of inertia against abandoning those that don’t actually work, such as the acupuncture you mention. So it takes time for change to percolate through the system of provision. As long as somebody is willing to pay, there will always be somebody willing to provide.

      Quckimoto: “your blind faith on RCTs, mats-analysis and systematic reviews (who most of the time either are unable to draw any conclusion, or simply contradict each others), is as naive and biased as the stuff found on WDDTY”

      So you think that WDDTY is naïve and biased? Can we take it then that you support efforts to hold this publication to account for its accuracy, and the basic premise of this page?

      As for the bit about “unable to draw any conclusion, or simply contradict each others” – well this is sort of what you’d expect from any spread of research into an ineffective treatment, isn’t it? If you carried out a number of trials into a treatment that is no better than placebo, you’d expect to see a number of inconclusive results, a few mildly positive and a few mildly negative, just simply from the run of chance.

      Quackimoto: “I am awaiting eagerly for the usual cherry picking that is meant to demonstrate that you are always right, and that the consumers of alternative medicine are “delusional” since this is probably your favourite adjective to qualify anybody who do not share your immodest opinions.”

      I can’t speak for others. For myself, I wouldn’t use the term “delusional” to describe consumers. I tend to think that most consumers of alternative medicine have been cheated, through no fault of their own, by people who offer treatments that are at best ineffective and at worst actively harmful. The peddlers of such treatments may be “delusional”; they may be frauds.

  21. September 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I got the template response from my first email. When I pressed them further they replied:

    “Thank you for getting back to us.

    I am very sorry that our previous email has done little to change your mind. I hoped that it would reassure you that we’ve always got our customers’ interests and views at the heart of everything we do.

    I’d like to assure you that your comments are very important to us and they have been fully noted. However, I am sorry to say that there’s nothing further that I can add to what had been said in our previous email.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. “

  22. Susan Gerbic
    September 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Dear Susan

    Thank you for your email.

    I understand you have concerns over the magazine, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, and I can appreciate your views on the matter.

    We are in the position of offering our customers choice rather than appointing ourselves as censors or moral guardians. The publisher of this magazine prints on page 3 a liability statement advising readers to consult a qualified practitioner before undertaking any treatment.

    While we cannot comment on the contents of these magazines, your comments have been duly noted and fed back to our Buying Teams.

    Kind regards

    Sarah-Jayne Moynihan
    Tesco Customer Service

  23. Grumpycat
    September 26, 2013 at 11:15 am

    All you have to do Andy is to get a media statement from the GMC condeming WDDTY magazine. Better still get dozens of Drs to write in. The mag would soon then disappear from the shelves. Surely Drs should be the ones jumping up an down if WDDTY is any threat to public health at all?.
    Obviously they are all too busy treating patients so thank Darwin that there is a computer expert and his friends to lead the way. It is a good job Andy has the time to care about the health of the public.

  24. Quackimoto
    September 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    “Andy has the time to care about the health of the public.”
    You are taking the piss aren’tyou?
    That Andy Lewis has his opinion, and express them through a blog, is perfectly ok, that you present him as the lone defender of the public health (against the evil homeopaths I presume) is really pushing it quiet a bit, you must stop it our I will piss myself laughing!

    • Grumpycat
      September 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Andy is so predictable. Of course as blitz emails from the usual suspects fall on deaf ears he gets his tweeting Dr friends to join in. Call up the big guns to the sound of trumpets! De De Derrr!

      Now Andy is in another fine mess. Having already previously publicised and been indirectly responsible for increased sales of WDDTY Andy now faces another of his campaigns ending in unexpected failure. Either Tesco will listen to all the other lot writing in supporting WDDTY or they will ban it. If they ban it they give WDDTY a story which will be taken up by some of the media. End result more sales.
      Sales will really rocket with the Nov issue if you publicise that.
      Just whose side are you on Andy?

      • Slipp Digby
        October 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

        Amazingly Grumpycat not only knows the sale figures for WDDTY but also the reasons for people buying it.

        How do WDDTY measure this, do tell. Was it a survey? I love surveys.

        Did it look like this:

        How did your hear about WDDTY?

        a. I was already aware of WDDTY
        b. Internet
        c. Friend
        d. Streisand Effect / Andy Lewis

  25. Mikeh
    October 1, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Decent article in the Times https://twitter.com/traumagasdoc/status/384949472373248000/photo/1

    Reaction from WDDTY
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/165637094/subscribe%20before%20we%20are%20banned.html

    If it becomes a subscription-only rag, then that’s a result of sorts. People can be morons, and if they actively wish to choose to continue receiving this rubbish, that’s their prerogative. But if it’s not available to the general public to peruse in the shop and make an impulse purchase on the basis that it’s glossy and looks nice, then so much the better.

    (Ta to Bad Science folk for highlighting these links)

  26. Colin Bell
    October 2, 2013 at 12:06 am

    You still haven’t given up, after ALL this time! Tesco have made it clear they DO NOT want to stop providing this magazine to their customers. It is about time you found another anti free speech campaign to waste your time on. You really are pissing in the wind because we live in a nation that values free speech and the freedom to read a variety of books and literature that may, or may not, contain truths or falsehoods. Just accept it. Nothing you have read, are reading, or will read, has a monopoly on the truth and yet we still read, and we form our world-view based on that varied data. That is what the makes reading and study so great. We are intelligent, mature people. There is a reason you keep getting the same response over and over! Like you say, it would be easy for a Corporation like Tesco to give in, but they are not. That speaks volumes. You cannot dictate to the British public what they can, and cannot read and get away with it and that is wonderful. There are only so many hours in a day, days in a year, so ask yourself, is it worth the years spent fretting over the publication of a single natural health magazine!!

    • Paysan
      October 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Would you stand by and watch as somebody, maybe under some delusion, attempted to cross the English Channel solo in a leaky boat with a misfiring engine? Or would you ring the coastguard or make some effort to stop them?

      • Quackimoto
        October 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm

        your analogy is stupid and completely irrelevant

        • paysan
          October 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm

          “your analogy is stupid and completely irrelevant”
          Perhaps you could enlarge on this “stupid” ascertation and spell out what is stupid about it.
          As for the irrelevance you might consider the following:
          Some while back in WDDTY there was an advert for a some apparatus that would kill the electric waves that vulnerable people were being bombarded with plus it would also decrease their electricity bill (It is a matter of record) This nonsense was designed to steal money off of vulnerable people.
          If you are not prepared to condemn this then you presumably support it.
          Now answer the question: Would you, or would you not, intervene if you were present when someone was clearly heading into danger?

          • Quackimoto
            October 2, 2013 at 9:29 pm

            Your analogy is stupid because you are trying to compare things that are not comparable: buying WDDT is not and has nothing to do with risking one’s life crossing the channel (why am i wasting my time with such an idiot?)
            If you do not condemn something, it does not mean you support it: in this case I only have your word for it, so I do not either condemn or support it, because I have not a clue what you are talking about!
            Finally, as most people i would intervene if i would see a person in danger, (although I might make an exception in your case) but somebody buying WDDTY is just exercising its freedom of choice, and even if I may consider the content of this mag as worthless, all they are doing is possibly wasting a couple of quids; (that again is their freedom to choose) no great danger here hey?
            I could see you in Tesco wrestling WDDTY off from potential buyers to save their life! why don’t you dial 999 as well?

    • Andy
      October 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      “You still haven’t given up, after ALL this time! Tesco have made it clear they DO NOT want to stop providing this magazine to their customers. It is about time you found another anti free speech campaign to waste your time on.”

      You still haven’t given up, after ALL this time! Andy has made it clear he DOES NOT want to stop providing this information to his readers. It is about time you found another anti free speech campaign to waste your time on.

    • oodalally
      December 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      We must assume they think it is, now that the flat earth has been proved to be round, they have moved on to something else. Book burning has always been their way, this time its Magazines.

  27. quakamole
    October 2, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Aya! it’s quackimoto, I have ttried to send a post 3 or 4 time, but it does not seem to appear on the blog.
    Either I have been banned, or there is a bug somewhere; probably a bug
    Can this be checked out?
    while I am here, I want to say Bang on Collin Bell, you nailed it

  28. Paysan
    October 3, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Ah Quackimoto, the ad hominem attack

    • Quackimoto
      October 4, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Hello Paysan, “ad hominem attack is really a feeble response, you do not even understand sarcasm,

      • Paysan
        October 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm

        There is nothing to be gained by debating this issue, and probably anything else, with you as you behave like a spoilt child who has been refused an ice cream.
        You are unable to support your ascertain with anything other than insulting comments. You clearly lack the eloquence and articulation to develop your point, when there is something to be said for uncensored publication e.g. WH Smith’s suppression of Private Eye in the 60s.
        You are incapable of reasoned debate, I suspect you probably fall into one of the following categories:
        .
        An adolescent or an inadequate adult who directs their invective against anyone they take against, but only electronically as they would be incapable of confronting their subject in person.
        Someone who takes a political position promoting policy regardless. Example: Climate change deniers
        Someone who has a crippled personality and takes pleasure in attempting to upset people.

        Your contribution does nothing for debate. Joseph Joubert summed it all up pretty well
        ‘Le but de la discussion ne doit pas être la victoire, mais l’amélioration
        And that’s all I have to say.

        • Colin Bell
          October 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm

          You have all spent several years debating this very issue and are now getting your knickers in a twist because the stores refuse to cave in to your demands. If it not worth debating why waste your precious time insulting someone?? Just accept it already… the stores are not giving in to your bully tactics!! Find another pointless cause to pursue. How can it be hammered into your intellectual skulls? We live in a free society and, like in any civilised society, we have the right to read whatever books, publication or journals we choose to read. That is the definition of civilisation. You think this publication, WDDTY, is so dangerous and you care so much about the public. Don’t make us laugh! It is just a hobby horse for so-called “Quackbusters”. You will seek out things to throw a wobbly about and demand the banning of. It is your reason for being! Move to a country with no freedom of choice and see how much you enjoy that. Maybe they will pump you so full of psychotropic drugs you wouldn’t care anyway. It is obvious this is the kind of world you dream to live in. Unfortunately for the rest of us, people like you might just help this come about. Let’s hope this does not happen.

          • Paysan
            October 7, 2013 at 8:49 am

            Are you Quackimoto?

          • DrBollocks
            October 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm

            Colin,

            While you are clutching your pearls and bleating “censorship” I refer you to this paragraph from the blog post above:

            So, to pre-empt critics. I am not trying to silence McTaggart and her WDDTY empire. She has her websites, her books and her speaking engagements, and she can get on with those. I am questioning whether responsible mainstream retailers should be assisting in promoting her stance on healthcare when it is clearly misinforming and risks readers’ lives

            Reading comprehension does not appear to be your strong point.

          • Paysan
            October 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

            Or Quackimoto’s

          • oodalally
            December 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

            Well said, spot on, shame the book burners

        • quackimoto
          October 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm

          Wow Paysan, now tha’s an Ad Nominem attack!
          I guess those piles must be troubling you….

  29. October 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Automated response from Tesco, just part of the young, good looking, mid twenty, smiling glossy magazines for the brain numb ready meal consumer!

  30. JimR.
    October 4, 2013 at 12:02 am

    The Skeptisim Advert I found from Andy’s website received The Okcam 2013 award for Best Video. The magazine in that advert is far superior to WDDTY in all respects.

  31. Carl
    October 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Yesterday had a response to email to Philip Clarke. Gist of it is that the editorial content of magazines Tesco sells is a matter for publishers, not Tesco, so any concerns should be taken up with them. Poor Tesco has no choice about what it sells, apparently. So that clears that up.

    • Grumpycat
      October 5, 2013 at 11:34 am

      It took me a while to buy a copy as you fine people have helped WDDTY sell out.
      Anyway I got the last copy in a Health Shop and read it. I note the following.
      1 There are 8 Drs on the editorial board
      2 One 3 page article about vaccines is about a GP who queries vaccination with numerous quotes from her.
      3 A 4 page article is about a GP who discovered a food intolerance.
      4 A 3 page article by a vet
      5 36 pages of adverts- Just as well Alan is on to it otherwise there would have been more.
      They should rename the mag as What Some Drs Tell You.

      • John Sidney Gilmore
        October 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        Ah yes: the “doctors” on the editorial panel…

        Some details about them: http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/wddty-the-editorial-panel/

        Not a very reputable bunch. Some distinctly lacking in the ability to assess evidence, as they promote chelation therapy, amongst other things. A psychiatrist who is essentially a herbalist. Odent, FFS! One who isn’t registered with the GMC any more (so why is he still calling himself Dr?). One who has had warnings from the GMC about her practice.

        If the GP has “discovered a food intolerance” why is that not in a peer-reviewed medical journal?

        How about: What a bunch of dubious and discredited doctors want to tell you in order to sell their wares?

        • Grumpycat
          October 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

          Just taking one point JSG.
          How in Darwin’s name could one Dr’s personal anecdotal experience end up in a peer reviewed journal?
          Drs have their own experiences that they are free to write about. Tough if you dont like it.

          • Colin Bell
            October 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm

            “Not a very reputable bunch. Some distinctly lacking in the ability to assess evidence, as they promote chelation therapy, amongst other things.”

            In your opinion, but not in the opinion of many others!! Of course the doctors on the editorial panel of an alternative/ natural health magazine are going to be qualified in alternative therapies. That surprises you? It doesn’t make them disreputable. The thing is with so-called Quackbusters is that you don’t show any discernment at all, none! You write all the good Doctors off as quacks simply because of their association with a magazine you happen to disagree with. There are no exceptions in your little world. The possibility that any of the doctors, even one, might have a valid qualification is totally anathema to you. And that is why no-one will ever take you seriously…… your complete and utter closed-mindedness!! What the frick is wrong with a psychiatrist being interested in herbalism?? Is no-one allowed to have qualifications in several disciplines? Also, doctors get struck off the GMC for many reasons. Some for not conforming to an accepted idea about medicine or for stepping on the toes of vested interests or for voicing an unpopular opinion. It doesn’t mean that they are disreputable. Thank God for renegades. If everyone was a closed-minded minion there would never be any advances in medicine!!

  32. Andrew Johnson
    October 14, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    This is a shocking posting – suggesting censorship of a magazine which contains factual discussion of health matters – and many articles written by doctors.

    Why is it that I have it in writing from the department of Health that they signed Swine Flu Vaccine deals in 2007, 2 years before the supposed “outbreak” that never really materialised? Why is it they admitted to me their leaflet about Swine Flu, distributed to all UK households had false information in it? (Write to me at ad.johnson@ntlworld.com)

    Why is it that when Harry Hoxsey was put on trial for treating Cancer in the 1940’s in the USA that Morris Fishbein’s Lawyer (Fishbein had never treated a cancer patient) was forced to admit in a court hearing that… “We’ll admit you can cure external cancer. We’re not arguing about external cases; it’s internal cancer we’re interested in”. (See Politics in Healing, 2nd edition, by Daniel Haley).

    I’d be surprised if this comment gets published. Sadly, this site (which is probably quite well funded) only gives one side of the story. In common with many other sites it ignores evidence, ridicules people and pretends there is no viable alternative to allopathic medicine. Speaking as someone who benefits from non-toxic treatments with no side-effects, I hope that the people that run this site realise the value of unbiased analysis of information and evidence – when it runs contrary to the interests of large corporations.

    Be brave. Publish this. Thank you.

    • Andy Lewis
      October 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Deary me.

      • Carl
        October 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        Try to be brave.

  33. Nick Buchanan
    October 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I agree with Andrew, I am shocked at the level of vitriol directed towards a magazine which is full of balanced views and honest research. WDDTY is a bastion of truth in an industry full of self serving deceit and bullying. It is a beacon of science in a sea of pharisees, big business and outright dogma. I shall write to WHSmiths to keep it going.

    • Andy Lewis
      October 14, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Just a few examples of WDDTY’s ‘balanced views and honest research’
      http://tete-enterre.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/what-what-doctors-dont-tell-you-really.html?m=1

      • Colin Bell
        October 14, 2013 at 10:33 pm

        Ummmm…. got this from Wikipedia related to funding for Sense About Science. Andy, your last link suggests that there is no funding from Corporations/ companies. But that is not entirely correct. oh, and those are just the disclosed contributors. See below:

        “Funding

        Funding for the trust has been increasing. Some is derived from industrial organizations engaged in scientific dispute, clinical trials and research for which SAS is supportive (e.g. genetically modified crops) as well as major publishing houses. For example for the fiscal year ending 5 April 2008, the trust received £145,902 in donations. Disclosed corporate donations comprised £88,000 with pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca donating £35,000.[43] Previous donations included other pharmaceutical industries such as Pfizer.[43] This dependency has now been diminished since for the fiscal year ending April 2010, the trust received £183,971 in donations of which only £17,500 was derived from the pharmaceutical industry (Unilever and G E Healthcare), in 2011 the amount diminished further to less than 6% funding derived from industry sources (the trust received £268,184 in donations with £15,000 from industry) with the rest derived from Science Bodies and individuals”

        • Andy Lewis
          October 14, 2013 at 11:30 pm

          Colin, as is stated on that blog post, Sense About Science is open about its funding sources and you can see it directly on their pages. Zero funding is currently coming from pharma companies. You can also see that Sense about Science is also heavily involved in one of the biggest pushes against big Pharma dishonesty at http://www.alltrials.net/

          • Colin Bell
            October 15, 2013 at 8:08 pm

            Yes, but you failed to mention the early funding from those pharma companies. Sense About Science may have good reason to hide their associations now? Just speculating…..

          • Andy Lewis
            October 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm

            Colin

            Once again Colin, who is their biggest campaign directed against now

            Clue – it is called AllTrials and the Pharma Companies are hopping mad.

  34. Nick Buchanan
    October 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Thank you for showing your hand. A poor show in my opinion, yet nevertheless you appear to have been fully ‘briefed’ and your remit is predictable. I wish you would use the same energy to research the lies and deception practiced by the large Pharmaceutical companies and the profit driven deceits which dominate the medical profession.

    • Andy Lewis
      October 14, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      Nick, my apologies if my choice of blog topic does not agree with your own hierarchy if importance of world problems. For the record, you may wish to sign a campaign I have been heavily involved with at http://www.alltrials.net/ where the misdeads of Pharma are being challenged.

  35. Spikepot
    October 15, 2013 at 7:03 am

    What is your motivation ,millions of people are being murdered by pharmacietical drugs that are backed by the government. Millions damaged by vaccines including servicepersonel and people being mutilated by unnecessary operations, why does none of these things bother you?

    • Carl
      October 15, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Spikebot,

      Not sure if your question is directed solely at Andy, but my motivation is that I consider the promotion of demonstrably ineffective healthcare modalities to an unsuspecting public to be dangerous and deeply unethical. Similarly, promoting an agenda which actively seeks to foster suspicion and mistrust of doctors and mainstream medicine is unspeakably reckless and liable to undermine relationships between some patients and healthcare providers, with potentially grave consequences.

      Sadly, the internet is awash with such quackery and cynical/paranoid idiocy, for those who look for it, but presenting it as part of a slick, glossy ‘lifestyle’ mag on sale in familiar high street shops lends it all a new, undeserved credibility, and brings it to a new audience. I am concerned about the effect WDDTY may have on some of these shops’ customers, and am offended by the shops’ complicit, profiteering attitude in stocking it in the first place. They are now part of the problem, and I want them to stop. This is my motivation.

      I don’t believe that the pharmaceutical industry is squeaky clean, and feel that some aspects of it are very troubling, but that has nothing to do with how I feel about WDDTY.

      I have no knowledge of the millions of people damaged by vaccines, nor of those mutilated by unnecessary operations, nor of the apparent genocide being perpetrated by the use of pharmaceutical drugs. I am surprised that these atrocities have not been in the news. The standard of journalism these days is just shocking.

    • Carl
      October 15, 2013 at 8:17 am

      Spikepot. Apols.

  36. Colin Bell
    October 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    “I am surprised that these atrocities have not been in the news. The standard of journalism these days is just shocking.”

    One word……. naive

    The standard of journalism is indeed shocking. Come on, you don’t seriously rely on the news for the unvarnished truth. Do you?

    • Carl
      October 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      I’m sure you’re right. Millions of people being murdered and mutilated just isn’t a story, really – varnished or not.

  37. quackimoto
    October 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    i get annoyed by the gross generalisations: “alternative medicine harm people” no it does not! just look at the insurance cover of alternative therapists: they are all on low risk categories, nobody either died of reflexology!
    Modern medicine saves millions of lives, but is not without riks, and a few people get seriously damaged or killed by drugs or medical procedures.
    So let’s not distort the reality.
    On the other hand, what is bugging me is that the skeptics on this blogs and elsewhere are not simply voicing their opinion, they are trying to act as a thought police.

    • Andy Lewis
      October 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      No reflexologist has ever taken responsibility for the actual care of someone.

    • Colin Bell
      October 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      You are right Quackimoto, the world of Quackbusters is black and white, no shades of grey! If anyone claims to have benefited from an “Alternative” therapy they will tell them it didn’t happen or it’s all in the mind. Funny really!! I was cured of an “incurable” disease myself and I didn’t touch the steroids I was told I would need to take for the rest of my life. I was sorted in a few weeks once the illness was diagnosed. That was 16 years ago. But, it didn’t really happen, because all “Alternative” therapies are ineffective! They are dangerous ….. to the pharma companies ;) There was an ex airline pilot came on here recently claiming to be suffering terribly from the radio waves from electrosmog, Even though she was forced to give up her career and presented much evidence….. it didn’t really happen. Not in the black and white world of the Quackbusters!! We should bow down to their superior knowledge and accept that there is zero benefit from any CAM.

      • Andy Lewis
        October 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm

        Skeptics merely place evidence over anecdote and accept that human beings are routinely mistaken about things when trying to draw meaning from their personal experiences.

        • Colin Bell
          October 16, 2013 at 8:30 pm

          “Skeptics merely place evidence over anecdote and accept that human beings are routinely mistaken about things when trying to draw meaning from their personal experiences.”

          Andy, that’s a cop-out, a cut and paste response. Evidence and anecdotal evidence are a part of every system of medicine. In my case, I am cured. There is no question about it. The evidence is very real in my eyes and in the eyes of those around me. In fact, my GP could hardly believe it. I could see it in his eyes when he asked me recently how I am getting on with my drugs. Bit late I thought to start taking an interest. i don’t need an evidence-based scientific study to prove to myself that I am cured. And that goes for a million other people. Don’t ask me to prove that it’s exactly a million because it’s just an approximation. We are all Skeptics by the way. We all like to see evidence as much as the next person, but, for some, it doesn’t have to be a multi-million pound double blind study to provide that evidence. Evidence comes in many guises. Pharma does not have a monopoly on evidence. Evidence has been around for as long as man has existed. Your favourite form of evidence does not trump what went before! So there!!

          • Andy Lewis
            October 16, 2013 at 10:59 pm

            You may not question your claimed cure. Others might.

            You may claim that anecdote somehow can trump evidence from fair tests. That does not make it true.

            I charge that you merely believe what you wish to be true and then claim that whatever evidence you can muster is strong enough to support your belief. Others may be a little more objective about evidence and beliefs.

          • Peter Robinson
            October 17, 2013 at 7:26 am

            I refer you to the reply I made to Katie earlier in this thread:

            Please read the following.Carefully.

            http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/answering-our-critics-part-1-of-2/

  38. Colin Bell
    October 20, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    ” I charge that you merely believe what you wish to be true and then claim that whatever evidence you can
    muster is strong enough to support your belief. Others may be a little more objective about evidence and beliefs.”

    Andy, you believe it is wishful thinking? Somehow I am not really well now? Will you say that to every one who
    says their condition has been cured? Yours is the epitome of a closed mind. Your big problem is that you accept
    that certain conditions are incurable, because Pharma hasn’t patented a cure, and as a result you can never acknowledge
    the possibility that some have indeed sorted themselves out. That is a sad position. I think that for you to accept
    that someone has found a cure outside of the conventional “Big Pharma” world you inhabit it will mean you have to accept the
    shortcomings of your beloved gold standard mode of medicine. Others may be a little more objective.

    • Peter Robinson
      October 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      Colin,

      Believe what you want. It’s just that what you believe does not constitute good evidence. It is quite clear from your assertion that Andy is a shill for big pharma that you have not read either what Andy has said, and done, or not understood it. To accuse him of such a position is simply an ad hominem attack which exposes you as ignorant of the facts, and undermines your position to the point of pointlessness..

      It is also clear that you have not read, or not understood the link I offered you.

      Now, since you are not debating on solid ground, I suggest you give up.

      • Colin Bell
        October 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm

        “Believe what you want. It’s just that what you believe does not constitute good evidence.”

        Peter,

        Of course i will believe what I know to be true. And how you can state that what I believe does not constitute good evidence is quite ridiculous considering the fact that you do not know what my condition was and what methods i used to cure it. You have no data to come to that conclusion and you haven’t even asked.

        I wasn’t saying Andy is a shill but pointing out that he puts all his faith and trust in Big Pharma and rejects all Alternative Medicine. I don’t think that can be denied. I do not wish to insult anyone and have nothing against Andy.

        • Andy Lewis
          October 21, 2013 at 11:46 pm

          If I put my faith in anything, it is science and evidence, not Big Pharma. But I guess you cannot see the difference as it is essential for supporters of alt med to have a simple dichotomy between themselves and teh evil drug companies.

          • Colin Bell
            October 22, 2013 at 12:21 am

            “If I put my faith in anything, it is science and evidence, not Big Pharma. But I guess you cannot see the difference as it is essential for supporters of alt med to have a simple dichotomy between themselves and teh evil drug companies.”

            There is no essential dichotomy as far as I am concerned, and for most users and practitioners of alternative medicine that I have met. That seems to be the prerogative of the Quackbusters. There are effective and ineffective aspects on both sides. How can there be this dichotomy when “non-pharma” treatments are complementary? The two should work together.

            But it is true that the major drug companies are massive corporations dealing in many billions in turnover, sometimes trillions. By their very nature they exist to make profit and by definition the Corporation is sociopathic, or so some have theorised. It is not so much evil but they do not always have the public interest at heart as the prime motive is to turn a profit. A healthy, self sufficient population is not particularly profitable. Some corporations, such as Monsanto produce weapons of war, i.e Agent Orange but also claim to want to produce healthy food for the worlds poor. Is it no wonder that people do not always trust the motives of some of these corporations! There is no comparison between them and the small companies who produce supplements and alternative health services.

            “Science and evidence” as something to put faith in is meaningless as both concepts are much too broad by definition. if science was used to produce a drug to destroy the entire worlds population would you put your faith in it? You don’t accept science that discovers the phytochemical nutrients in food that contribute to human health? There is evidence for all these things!

        • Peter Robinson
          October 22, 2013 at 8:49 am

          Colin,

          Far be it for me to try to defend Andy. He is of course perfectly capable of doing so himself. Having said that, you quite clearly tried to tar him with the brush of being beholden to what you call big pharma. If you had read what Andy and others have said, you would not have made that fundamental error. It is a disgraceful error, hence why I feel the need to hammer the point home. No good skeptic takes the position that ‘big pharma’ is all good. Most of us, I think I am safe in saying, are more than happy to accept that the pharmaceutical business has its faults, and support the position taken by the likes of Ben Goldacre i.e. there needs to be a great deal more transparency in the way trials are conducted and the data they produce.

          What we do defend is the gold standard of properly conducted trials based on the scientific method. Hence why anecdotes such as yours have no value when taken in isolation.

          You are of course free to tell us what your condition was, and how you think you cured it. That way there could at least be a discussion based on your experience. What you must accept, if you are to have anything useful to say in this discussion, is that your experience alone has zero evidential value unless you can show that it has been replicated elsewhere, and under conditions that eliminate any other cause than that which you put forward.

          There is, as so often repeated, no such thing as alternative medicine. There is only medicine, or pseudo medicine.

          You need to stop seeing the World divided into ‘evil’ Goliath big pharma and the ‘lovely’ Davids of the so called CAM proponents. There is simply good science and bad science. Full stop.

          Once you and others have understood that, we might then be on to worthwhile ground. While you continue to trot out the trope that big pharma is bad, and that anyone who questions the claims of CAM users and practitioners is a baddy too, you have no credibility whatsoever.

          By the way, have you read the link I gave you? Please do.

          Peter

  39. Vin Speakers
    November 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

    You know, theoretically, and I certainly wouldn’t advise this, one could take advantage of Tesco’s refund policy which states, “If any of our products fall below the high standard you’d expect, please bring them back within 28 days, together with your receipt and we will happily refund or exchange the item.” So one could, for example, purchase a copy of WDDTY, and decide for oneself if it meets the “high standard you’d expect” from a purported medical publication; if it did not, one could take it back for a full refund. If enough people did so, Tesco might then see this as a sales issue, and it would no longer be a choice between profit and people; it would be common sense to just pull it.

    Of course, I wouldn’t advise people who have preconceived notions of the magazine’s quality do this. That would be just plain wrong, and possibly fraud.

  40. Max Stirling
    December 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    To me, the level of bias and misinformation in this article is far worse than the magazine it purports to criticise. What nobody here seems to apprehend is that there is not a level playing field for natural and alternative medicine. Substantive randomised clinical trials cost millions of pounds to undertake, and as natural products cannot be patented such an undertaking cannot be contemplated, as there is simply no-way to recoup the massive investment needed.

    I became a convert to natural medicine for one reason, and one reason alone – because it works – profoundly, remarkably, and completely.

    With every health condition I’ve experienced, I have indulged my doctor and his prescription remedies with little or no effect. On every occasion, I’ve gone on to research and identify a natural remedy that has completely cured and reversed my condition, while modern medicine has entirely failed me.

    Let me give you just one quick example of what I mean. Science has yet to conclude a substantive study which proves outright the benefits of the Echinacea herb. Yet after suffering severe bronchitis every year for 10 years I stepped out on a limb and gave it a try. As a result, I’ve completely eliminated bronchitis for the last 9 years running. No more Christmas’s ruined by the misery of painful coughing and wheezing due to a terrible infection. Result – one very happy camper!

    If you want to wait until the benefits of Echinacea have been completely substantiated, go right ahead. For me, I prefer to make my own mind-up and live healthily and happily now, thank you very much. I’ve now cured and reversed every condition from IBS to heart disease. I literally owe my life to natural medicine – and have often been led toward the cure by articles such as those you are so ready to criticise and condemn. Call me crazy – but I believe articles like these are doing more good for the health and wellbeing of our nation than the entire medical establishment combined (who admittedly do much good). And I will continue to invest my money and my faith in natural remedies – because they work – full stop. A fact which is a far cry from the barrage of synthetic chemicals produced by corrupt drug companies which are deliberately designed to do nothing more than mask and ameliorate the symptoms of disease. If you care for your health and that of your loved ones, I sincerely hope you leave your bias under you seat long enough to discover this happy truth for yourself.

    And the good news is that as high quality natural supplements pose no risk to your health, you can experiment and try them out for size until you find one that gives you the results you’re looking for. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of pharmaceutical drugs. Death due to adverse drug effects is now estimated to be the fourth leading cause of death in the world.

    Unfortunately, due to the dynamics of modern medicine, natural medicine will be forced to remain the poor brother to the pharmaceutical industry – and those of us who have experienced the life-changing benefits of natural medicine will have to continue to rely on tradition and small scale studies to uncover the truths of nature’s miraculous remedies.

    • December 30, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      Hi Max,

      There’s an awful lot to respond to in your post (much of which has already been discussed above), but just to clarify something. When you say “Science has yet to conclude a substantive study which proves outright the benefits of the Echinacea herb” do you mean to suggest that the certainty of echinacea’s presumed medicinal benefits has, somehow, so far, evaded the best clinical studies – but that one day this will change?

      It sounds very much as though you are dismissing objective evidence in favour of your personal beliefs and subjective experiences – is that right? And if that’s the case, by the same token, could you not assert the veracity of any belief (no matter how outlandish), dismissing whatever evidence contradicts it (no matter how robust) as inadequate or insufficient, etc? – essentially: ignore the science; go with your gut. I’m not sure how this is a helpful line of argument?

      Apols if I’ve misunderstood your point.

      Regards,

      Carl

      • maxsterling99
        January 7, 2014 at 9:28 pm

        Carl, I simply meant that owing to the limited funding available to test alternative medicine, the evidence for the efficacy of Echinacea has been contradictory so far, drawn from several small scale studies – some of which show benefits while others don’t. The problem in trying to interpret these studies is that one cannot draw a simple comparison from them – as most of the studies used different varieties of Echinacea and different parts of the herb. E. Purpurea root in a liquid form has proved the most efficacious in tests so far – but I agree that a larger scale study to substantiate this finding would be helpful – but who’s going to fund it? This is the big problem that natural medicine will always face. There is never going to be a level playing field in terms of the funding available for research – so it seems very unfair to keep asking for the same level of evidence as that of pharmaceutical drugs, who can patent their products and demand millions of pounds for them from government and health insurers. This is not true for natural remedies. Yes, the market is worth billions of pounds, but there are millions of manufacturers competing for their own thin slice of the market.

        • Andy Lewis
          January 7, 2014 at 11:45 pm

          The contradictory evidence for Echinacea may not be due to the ‘limited funding’ available, it may also be due to a lack of efficacy. I am not sure why you assume the former.

          I am also not clear why you do not consider the lack of standardisation in using different varieties of Echinacea to be not just a problem in research but a far bigger problem for consumers who have no idea what they are ingesting.

          The truth is that people who take herbal remedies are taking an unknown dose of a pharmaceutical of unknown composition, and of unknown efficacy and safety. Without the research, how are you going to get around that?

        • January 8, 2014 at 8:54 am

          Thanks for the clarification, Max, though I’m afraid I can’t agree.

          Good quality, large scale studies of alternative meds are ongoing and there for you to see – the difficulty is that the findings are generally negative, which is why they remain ‘alternative’ to science-based medicine. Those which demonstrate promise or clear efficacy are further researched and refined, etc, and may become adopted into mainstream use – we can all think of plenty of examples of this happening, to everyone’s benefit. Assuming that negative findings aren’t to be trusted and adopting the treatment anyway seems somewhat ridiculous and reckless (what was the point of undertaking the study?), particularly if done in place of a proven treatment.

          However, WDDTY, which you are defending, goes much further than the simple promotion of quackery for profit. Falsely presenting itself as the brave and honest voice of reason in a sea of conflicting information, sowing mistrust of medical professionals (the name says it all), exploiting people’s fears, uncertainties and lack of knowledge, misrepresenting clinical evidence, undermining confidence in hugely important, proven interventions (such as childhood vaccinations, etc), is downright disgusting and a clear threat to public health.

          Tesco is complicit in this, and some people would like them to stop. Apparently you don’t agree with them, though your reasons, I feel, don’t carry much weight.

          Regards,

          Carl

    • Andy Lewis
      December 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      You invite me to call you crazy. Let’s not go down that route for now, but begin by addressing your first set of compounded errors you make in your first paragraph. (and you make many more in each subsequent paragraph.)

      The so-called ‘natural health’ industry makes billions of pounds every year. Vitamin pills alone make billions. Homeopathy in Europe alone is worth many hundreds of millions. There is a vast amount of money out there to be made out of people’s ‘natural’ health beliefs. The patenting issue is an utter red herring since many manufacturers achieve just that for so many of their concoctions. You are repeating an untruth that proponents of alternative medicine use to shield themselves from obvious criticisms.

      But it is interesting that start of by using money as an excuse. Money is always the excuse. But this is a matter of ethics, not money. Making health claims without reliable independent and robust evidence is deeply unethical. Even if you did have little money, the behaviour of this industry is far worse than Big Pharma. Completely devoid of any sense of duty the patient in requiring of itself that it properly tests its claims.

    • John Hooper
      December 31, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Your penultimate paragraph is a little confusing (but to be honest they all are).

      You say that supplements pose no risk to your health as they are “natural”. Do you mean supplements or medicines? There are only four supplements out of thousands available that have any evidence in their favour – and one of them is subset specific as it is for pregnant women.

      You do seem to mean medicines as you state that you can run through a list of them until you find one that cures you. You also equate these natural products to pharmaceuticals so I suppose you must mean medicines.

      You seem to suggest that if you are ill is it advisable to try remedy after remedy until you find one that works. This beggars the question as to why all the first batches of natural remedies do not work. Presumably they are sold on that basis that they cure Malady X – if they do not cure it then they do not work. You make the selection of an alternative medicine “cure” seem like a kid testing a box of chocolates and spitting out the ones he doesn’t like.

      There is also the thorny problem of trying to tease out whether the remedy you eventually alight on actually cured you or whether you just got better through the natural progression of the illness. Of course there is another side to this as well which is that you might end up dead before you have got to the end of the list of available nostrums. There are plenty of examples of this outcome.

      And yes, we all know that people can die from real medicines. This is partly down to human error, partly poor research, partly corrupt drug firms and the balance is down to all sorts of other complicating factors. Mostly however, it is down to the fact that to work a drug must have some sort of profound effect on the body and is therefore very likely to have side effects.

      Whether adverse drug effects are the first, second, third or fiftieth cause of death is a bit irrelevant really. The question is what illnesses would be the biggest killers without properly designed, developed and tested pharmaceuticals. You can pick from a pretty impressive list of illnesses and diseases that have effectively either vanished or been rendered ineffective.

      And to be frank, echinacea was not responsible for any of these benefits.

      With respect to all your other points try asking yourself why or how these “cures” could have come to pass.

      • maxsterling99
        January 7, 2014 at 9:12 pm

        Can I give you one example of my scientific approach to natural remedies John?

        Owing perhaps to lifestyle, stress and misdemeanours in my younger days, I received a diagnosis of severe atherosclerosis two years ago. Rejecting traditional medicine, my enquiries led me to the Nobel prize winning research by Ignarro and colleagues on the role of Nitric Oxide as a vasodilator. The body’s own Nitric Oxide production diminishes with age. The amino acid L-Arginine is converted to Nitric Oxide in the body, and the amino acid L-Citrulline enhances this effect. Research shows that a combination of Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Resveratrol, Pomegranate extract, Vitamin K2, Vitamin D3, Ribose and Vitamin C support this process, and contribute to overall cardiovascular health.

        Over the past 18 months I have been following this regime, while having frequent tests to measure the level of atherosclerosis. When I was first tested, the level of atherosclerosis was equivalent to the average arterial plaque build-up found in a 94-97 year old (from population samples). This level has been consistently reversed since starting the regime, and the last test (2 weeks ago) revealed that the level atherosclerosis had fallen to the average found in a 42 year old. I have the full medical data (including all parameters) from each test in my possession.

        My doctors and I can assure you I that I did not get these results by chance. They can also confirm that they have not seen results on this scale with any pharmaceutical intervention.

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