On Tuesday October 1, the London Times ran an article about a supposed ‘call to ban’ our journal What Doctors Don’t Tell You over ‘health scares’. (‘Call to ban journal over health scares,’ p 22).
The article alleged that a group of ‘experts’, including ‘scientists, doctors and patients’ were ‘condemning’ shops for carrying our magazine, which they claimed was ‘dangerous.’
The article also said that we’d claimed that vitamin C ‘cures’ HIV, that homeopathy could treat cancer, that we’d implied the cervical cancer vaccines has killed ‘hundreds’ of girls and that we’d told parents in our latest (October 2013) issues not to immunize their children with the MMR.
The Wright Stuff, a panel show on Britain’s Channel 5 TV, quickly followed suit with a television debate, flashing up a picture of Lynne McTaggart, editorial director of WDDTY, Five Live followed up with a television debate about the magazine, and another on-line publication published ‘warnings’ that claims in our advice could even ‘prove fatal’.
In all the furore, not one of the newspapers, radio shows or television stations once bothered to contact our magazine, even to solicit a comment.
In fact, from the content quoted, it appears that not one journalist or broadcaster has read anything that we have written. When we contacted one editor, he said he’d just reported what the Times reported. This is most apparent on the homeopathy story, and for very good reason: the article and the magazine containing it in fact have not yet been published.
In our magazine, we made no claims of cures: we simply reported on a doctor who’d investigated MMR, the US government’s tally of deaths from the HPV vaccine and a study showing that vitamin C ‘slowed, stopped or even reversed for several years’ depletion of immune system cells in HIV positive patients’.
The Times story – and all the stories that follow – are the latest in a protracted skirmish that’s been going on between the magazine and Simon Singh and a pharmaceutically-backed ‘lobby’ organization Sense About Science, ever since we launched our magazine in September 2013.
Last September, Singh contacted our distributor, and then all our newsagents and supermarket chains and tried to persuade them to stop carrying us (they refused after receiving thousands of letters of support for WDDTY).
For months, Singh, whose Sense About Science group has the sponsorship of the British Pharmaceutical Association, among other industry organizations, has relentlessly pestered the Advertising Standards Association with complaints about our advertisers, to try to prevent them from advertising.
All of the ‘experts’ quoted in the Times article are associated with Singh and his campaign.
This entire episode has far larger implications for all of us than simply the future of WDDTY. Are we to allow censorship of information that criticizes drug-based medicine and offers evidence of alternative systems of health care, particularly when this censorship is encouraged by the establishment press itself – the British newspaper of record?
The Times seems to be suggesting that their role is to ‘protect’ the public by censoring information that departs from standard medical line.
But as we see it, our job as journalists is simply to inform – to report the facts, even when they are inconvenient truths, as they are so often in medicine, particularly with such things as vaccines or alternative cancer therapy.
If you believe in free choice as medical consumers and wish to protect WDDTY and the right to choose our own system of health care, here’s what to do:
1.Write an email of support to the British stores who carry What Doctors Don’t Tell You:
0845 611 6111
2.Buy a copy of What Doctors Don’t Tell You. It’s available in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, WH Smiths, and over 8000 independent retail outlets. You can also subscribe through www.wddtysubscribe.com
3.Write to the Times and voice your complaint that such a biased and poorly researched article like this was published: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a video of the full story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfVT5_5s9no
Please do share this information far and wide