A Whistleblower stirs up a frenzy on Autism, MMR and the CDC in America

A ‘Whistleblower’, Dr William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA has publicly stated that the CDC withheld data that confirmed a link between MMR and Autism.

The word ‘fraud’ is commonly used in press comment about the CDC action.

And in the last two days, there has been release of messages supposedly sent to Dr Andrew Wakefield by Thompson apologising for his ‘dishonesty’ and the effect it had on Wakefield’s life.

Let us just follow this through because the blogging press – for Wakefield, cover ups, MMR and Autism has been having a field day.

Dr Andrew Wakefield is a British former surgeon, medical researcher and honorary consultant in experimental gastroenterology at the Royal College of Pathologists, best known for his 1998 research paper claiming that there was a link between the administration of the MMR vaccine and the appearance of autism and bowel disease.

The controversy was enormous. Wakefield has continued to defend his research and conclusions, while Sunday Times reporter Brian Deer, in particular, has aggressively attacked Wakefield and produced evidence in support of his claims. On 28th January a GMC tribunal found charges (including dishonesty) proven against Wakefield and in May 2010 Wakefield was struck off the Medical Register.

Critics claim he has cost ‘countless’ lives (never seemingly quantified) because of his ‘untrue claims’ and thus parents did not vaccinate their children with MMR; while Wakefield himself has always maintained that there was a smear campaign against him, funded by Pharmaceutical Companies and often using skeptics and paid anonymous bloggers. (Ed: Surely not?)

Wakefield now lives in Austin, Texas where he has a number of business and charitable interests mainly to do with Autism.

Ten days ago a news story broke in America. Typically the headlines used phrases such as
“Whistleblower speaks out about MMR and CDC fraud”.

A second round of comments has occurred in the last two days – typically:
“Whistleblower Thompson apologises to Dr Andrew Wakefield”.

What is this all about? Read this comment from Natural News in America.

‘Whistleblower William Thompson has now gone public with a statement posted on the website of the law firm representing him, Morgan Verkamp LLC.

‘My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I have worked since 1998. I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.’

Furthermore Natural News states: The statement (above) opens with a blatant admission of scientific fraud at the CDC:

There are a few immediate comments one needs to add. A Whistleblower to me is someone who rushes off to the mainstream media to tell about dirty deeds. Thompson here held a private chat with someone he did not know was recording him, nor was going to publish along with his name. That doesn’t, of course, affect the content, which has now been verified by CNN.

Thompson also makes the point that the data suggested one group of Americans (African Americans) did seem to have an increased risk of Autism from MMR. Not that all the people in the study had an increased risk.

The fact is that incidence of gastrointestinal problems is high in children with autism. Here is an excerpt from Chris Woollams new book ‘The SECRET SOURCE of Your Good Health’:

‘In a 2013 meta-analysis of available research ‘Gastrointestinal Concerns in Children with Autism: What do we know?’ for the Autism Science Foundation in America, Doctors Barbara McElhanon of Emory School of Medicine and William Sharp of the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta observed that:

i) There has been a rapid increase in the numbers of cases to 1 in 88 children born according to the CDC, 2012). This has prompted a level of urgency amongst carers.

ii) There has been frequent reporting of gastro- intestinal symptoms (Croen et al., 2012).

iii) There has been a fivefold increase in reported cases of feeding problems (Sharp et al., 2013).

The results of the meta-analysis suggested children with ASD are at increased risk for gastrointestinal issues (1). Specifically, greater levels of gastrointestinal symptoms reported by parents compared with siblings (roughly an 8 fold increase in the risk) with areas of specific concern including abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhoea.

Certainly there is 2012 research showing that kids with autism were twice as likely as children with other types of disorders to have frequent diarrhoea or colitis (an inflammation of the large intestine).

Researchers from Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute have shown that autistic children have different gut bacteria to ‘normal’ children with one species of gut bacterium completely missing.

Research (2) into gut bacteria and autism is gathering pace.

Teams of researchers at America’s top Universities are studying the connection between your gut bacteria and your brain and specifically how they affect mood swings, attitudes and diseases from Autism to Alzheimer’s. For example, at UCLA, Professor Emeran Mayer M.D. has been studying the link between the bacteria in your gut and how your brain functions. An analysis of 60 humans showed that different regions of the brain were stimulated as a result of the dominance of different gut bacteria.

In a third study (3) there was a clear finding that the bacteria in a child’s gut affects its brain development. “The data suggests that there is a critical period early in life when gut microorganisms affect the brain and change the behavior in later life,” commented Dr. Rochellys Diaz Heijtz, lead researcher.

Of course, none of this proves that vaccines, and specifically MMR, cause autism. Indeed, one research study showed there was an increase in autism risk with mothers who had ‘unusual’ bacteria in their birth canal. The Arizona State research mentioned above stated that unusual bacteria may first enter the baby during transit of the birth canal. It also suggested that stressed mothers can have stressed babies and that the relevant bacteria are also passed during the passage through the birth canal.

But the fact is that autism levels are increasing, gut bacterial composition has been linked to brain development, and drugs and vaccines can definitely influence such bacteria.

The $173 million human microbiome project in the USA, along with its European twin shed important light on the role of the microbiome in your health – and the inconvenient truth that vaccines and drugs damage it. Research is gathering pace in this area. It won’t be long before we really do know the truth. Let’s hope it is not too long. Because autism is for life – at the moment it can be managed to a degree but not cured.

Refs:

(1) Buie T, Campbell DB, Fuchs GJ 3rd, Furuta GT, Levy J, Vandewater J, et al. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: a consensus report. Pediatrics. 2010;125(suppl 1):S1-18

(2)Mulle JG, Sharp WG, Cubells JF. The gut microbiome: a new frontier in autism research. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2013;15(2):337. doi: 10.1007/s11920-012-0337-0. Epub 2013 Feb 15

(3) Collaboaration between the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Genome Institute in Singapore in 2011 – looked at the effect of gut bacteria on brain development in mice (PNAS)

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Guy Chapman – losing all ability to be rational?

Skeptic unguided missile and irrational bully Guy Chapman seems to have seriously lost the plot. A piece from WDDTY covered in Junk Science prompted a 9 page rabid rant from wacko Chapman …. about Chris Woollams and me!

But this was nothing compared to his 24 page – yes, twenty four page – suicide note about an article Woollams had written, in which Chris dared to mention that Guy Chapman had an affiliate marketing business. Firstly, I think (I was bored after the first two paragraphs) Chapman said he was not an affiliate marketer, then he said he was but didn’t make much money at it (?)

Guy, I really suggest you get out a bit more. Staring at those big internet screens and your dashboards all day could well be causing serious mental stress. And make some real friends, don’t just keep inventing them.

Here’s a little reminder of what your business is about from an investigative journalist in 2008 (http://www.susanfg.wordpress.com). Note important phrases like ‘his Commercial affiliate advertising links page’, and, ‘making money out of advertising products’.

Keep taking the medication Guy – it would be sad to lose someone who is always good for a laugh.

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Skeptic conspiracy – it’s no theory

When Professor David Colquhoun erroneously suggested in his 2012 blog that Chris Woollams was using the charity CANCERactive for ‘Private Gain’, it precipitated a chain of events that could be followed easily by anyone with a twitter account. Ironically, it has exposed the skeptic community. Some are shills, stooges, with interests in ‘action groups’ funded by big Pharma, while others are clearly using their anti-CAM websites as money making ventures, capturing personal data from innocent visitors – those coming through the attacks on Woollams, almost certainly with cancer. It’s a sorry, sad mess and only the genuine patient suffers. It begs the question ‘Dare any sensible person visit any of their websites’? To do so is to read a biased, sometimes absurd, inaccurate and even defamatory report at best, whilst potentially exposing your personal data and identity far more than you could ever imagine. The worst case scenario is that your data could even be sold on to third parties.

The claim by Colquhoun was clearly not an issue about science – Woollams took it as personal defamation. Some might call it a lie. Chris didn’t run the charity, he gives his many hours for free, the related ‘business’ he was claimed to be running was no such thing but a dormant company that had never even traded and used to park a trading company whilst a buyer was found. All this would have been scrutinised by Colquhoun’s expert lawyers. Worse for Colquhoun, the accountants for all the relevant companies provided evidence that Woollams took no funding from anywhere. Colquhoun’s lawyers told him to take his claims down – he then made a formal apology to Woollams, even at one point tweeting that the ‘research’ on which he had based his claims was flawed and he wanted to move on.

Most rational people would think that should be the end of the matter.

Selektive attacks?

But Colquhoun is a Skeptic, one of a gang of Skeptics totally focussed on rubbishing complementary therapies and their messengers. Colquhoun also has ‘form’. In the past he has called Patrick Holford, ‘Holfraud’ (more lawyer involvement) but more usually he likes to pick on little people; Dr Alan Lakin and his wife were another example of his ill considered claims. They just wrote to the Provost of UCL where Colquhoun is employed. Their complaint resulted in a formal joint statement with UCL saying that Colquhoun could carry on using the UCL website providing he stuck to being sceptical about science and didn’t attack individuals. Some while later, he was kicked off the UCL server. Attacks on individuals have never stopped.

It is a common theory that Skeptics are funded by Big Pharma. There is, of course, little evidence of payments to individuals. Only recently the attacks on What Doctors Don’t Tell You again focussed attention on Sense about Science, a Pharma-funded skeptic organization in the United Kingdom. At least 40 per cent of their funding in the years 2004-10 came from Big Pharma, according to detailed analysis by a consumer group, H:MC21. This amount increased when attacks were strengthened against homeopathy.

The orchestration of misleading and inaccurate disinformation

When Colquhoun was threatened with legal action by Woollams, the tweets flew. Twitter is a medium much used by Skeptics and trolls alike and it has been described as an ‘Echo chamber’ because it is often used by people who want to verbally pat each other on the back. It is not unusual for some people to send hundreds of tweets a day. The tweets are public.

Colquhoun was on record tweeting Simon Singh. Singh is a mathematician, writer, journalist and has been a leading light in Sense about Science. He had a squabble with some Chiropractors and ended up in the High Court where a judge correctly ruled the High Court was no place for a scientific argument and slung the combatants out. The Skeptics consider this a ‘win’ because he didn’t have to pay a hefty damages bill to the chiropractors. What they don’t want is a ‘loss’ and Colquhoun at this point must have looked rather a liability.

Singh then tweeted openly to the Skeptics and received responses from several, for example Josephine Jones and Lecanardnoir. An interesting tweet came from Alan Henness, a colleague of Singh’s and a ‘pal’ from Sense about Science, who tweeted ‘Poor Chris Woollams’, as plans for attack were drawn up. Henness, who has an IT background, runs the Nightingale Collaboration, an ‘organisation’ that attacks complementary therapists throughout Britain if he feels they make inaccurate claims. It is probably irrelevant to Henness that Florence Nightingale used complementary therapies, natural sunshine, herbs and homeopathy to treat patients. Instead, he and his cronies try to suppress complementary therapists with threats about reporting them to the Advertising Standards Authority and Trading Standards. Many supporters who meet in pubs are probably blissfully unaware of their new-found Pharmaceutical company connections.

Josephine Jones
is also a prodigious production line for complaints, but has already been politely told by the ASA to ‘limit’ her energies. ‘Josephine Jones’ is a figment of someone’s imagination – a nom de guerre. Jones is made out to be a ‘former scientist’. So ‘she’ could be a ‘he’ and could be Claire from Liverpool or Edward from California with a diploma in ‘computer sciences’ and IT like most of the key skeptics; ‘She’ could even be a Pharmaceutical company shill, we have no way of knowing. ‘Her’ writings have been inaccurate, misleading and even downright dangerous as we all saw in ‘her’ ridiculous critique of Woollams book and ‘her’ frightening ignorance over glucose. ‘She’ appears to have no serious credentials in medicine or the biological sciences.

With Lecanardnoir, and Guy Chapman it is simpler. They have definitely have none. Of course, that doesn’t stop them pontificating on the perils of homeopathy and other complementary therapies.

With many of the skeptic gang, there may well be inaccuracy or exaggerated claims, and even defamation and the occasional lie.

Sometimes their comment is absolutely factually wrong, for example: http://www.homeopathyheals.me.uk/site/skeptic-watch/3198-guy-chapman-waxes-lyrical-about-hahnemanns-aphorisms-and-gets-it-wrong. The title says it all.

Lecanardnoir turned up to a debate in Dartington where he was on a panel of commentators about ‘Integrative’ approaches to medicine. (http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3232&Title=Does%20Integrated%20Medicine%20make%20sense?) Who invited him when there are genuine experts all over Britain, goodness knows. According to another panellist, he had to be repeatedly corrected for his inaccuracies by Simon Mills, a Cambridge graduate and founder of the School of Complementary Medicine at Exeter University, Penninsular. But then, poor love, lecanardnoir is really Andy Lewis who works in computing. Not that this stops him from running a blog which features a ‘Quackometer’ no less, allowing him alone to decide who is a quack and who isn’t. The irony seems to be lost on him.

Guy Chapman is a self-confessed ‘computer nerd’ according to his LinkedIn site. He seems to write blogs 24/7. Why does he have so much time? He is an Affiliate Marketer by trade. What’s one of those? Well, Affiliate Marketers aim to capture personal data (for example, by using cookies), profile it, and then ‘groom’ people until they click on advertisements for products that might be relevant to them. The Affiliate Marketer then gets paid by click, and/or by commission from sales. It is business – and for some, very big business. So, apart from any personal convictions he may have, it’s Chapman’s ‘job’ to write blogs – they fuel his business with the replies they receive.

Chapman immediately wrote four blogs in three days on Woollams and CANCERactive. He became Colquhoun’s new best friend with the confused Colquhoun both apologising to Woollams while simultaneously providing links to Chapman’s verbose vitriol. Not that Chapman confines his defamatory comments to Woollams – you should see what he writes about Burzynski and Errol Denton (a blood analyst who accused him of racism). Four-letter words abound in uncontrolled rants.

But then this is also the case at RationalWiki, a website that seems to repeat many of the musings of Chapman almost verbatim. Chapman did originally ‘work’ for the real Wikipedia as an administrator but parted company with them in less than perfect circumstances. RationalWiki has been dubbed ‘Irrational Wacky’ and it is easy to see why. Just read their vitriol on the Daily Mail where every journalist merits a four letter expletive and you will instantly understand that this website is a spider’s web, there to trap innocent visitors erroneously thinking it might have sensible views on science.

Colquhoun took his rambling and inaccurate blog on CANCERactive down from the internet. It was replaced almost instantly by a similar load of garbage with the same title from Josephine Jones. The Skeptics try to build blogs which climb to positions right under the subjects they are attacking on Internet search engines so that, in this case, people with cancer will click on their website articles to read what they say by design or accident. This serves a double purpose – it aims to discredit the attacked (CANCERactive), whilst increasing the importance of the attacker’s website in the ‘eyes’ of the search engines. Thus the Skeptics use subjects like Burzynski, Denton, The Daily Mail and CANCERactive to power their own feeble websites up the Google rankings.

Next and unsurprisingly, after about a dozen positive 5-star reviews on Chris Woollams’ excellent book ‘Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’, there were suddenly two negative reviews by – you’ve guessed it – alias Jones and Chapman.

Woollams was even attacked by another ‘secretive’ website – the Daily Quack. This usually attacks a small healer in Yorkshire or an acupuncturist in Manchester, people who can’t afford to defend themselves. But the writers had a pop at Chris Woollams, also claiming he lived on a sprawling estate in Buckinghamshire (he lives abroad and has done for 20 years) and that he was their new lead writer, which he is not. Of course, again, some innocent followers of Woollams – people with cancer – will click on this website thinking they really will find words of wisdom from him there.

One of the, now devalued, Colquhoun’s recurrent attacking themes against CANCERactive was that they ‘repeatedly’ broke the 1939 Cancer Act and that Trading Standards were useless in doing nothing. This theme was then taken up vociferously by Guy Chapman. Indeed, the sceptics organised a number of formal complaints to Trading Standards. The Trustees of CANCERactive then asked Trading Standards for a once-and-for-all definitive ruling and the matter was referred to the Government body, the MHRA.

The outcome? Both the MHRA and Trading Standards concluded that the 3600 page CANCERactive website was perfectly legal. Yet Chapman still has inaccurate blogs posted about CANCERactive breaking the law.

False identities aim to fool readers

A number of these skeptic websites are anonymous – Skeptics frequently use monikers. Why?

1. Some of the people have credible jobs and their employers might not like them using four letter words to rubbish people doing their best to help cancer patients for no personal reward.
2. Some of the Skeptics clearly lie about their subject. The legal word is defammation. If you use a moniker, hide your IP address with a proxy server etc, you are virtually untraceable if a lawyer comes looking for you. Hiding in rat holes somehow seems appropriate.
3 Some of the secret skeptics could well be paid directly or indirectly by Big Pharma. They could even currently work in a pharmaceutical company. How would any members of the public know?
4 A number of websites may be owned by just one person writing under several monikers. It was a tactic employed, for example, by Guy Chapman when at Wikipedia. If you have proxy accounts in false names, you can build a web of ‘people’ who seem to agree with you. This provides heightened credibility for your claims when in reality they may be devoid of evidence and complete trash.
5. You can also launch co-ordinated attacks. Chapman spent several weeks claiming Woollams was dishonest, while the message from Jones was that he used no research. Neither is true (Colquhoun took their posts down off his site after Woollams suggested he asked his lawyers for a view!)
6 No one knows which websites are linked. Affiliate marketers use a dashboard to see all their accounts in different names. It is possible that the fabricated Jones, Guy Chapman’s Blahg, Chapman Central (blahg.chapmancentral.co.uk), RationalWiki and more are all linked. An innocent cancer patient clicks on one website to read something about homeopathy and their data is collected by someone else.

This anonymity is supported by the use (abuse) of media contacts and of the word ‘experts’ and such-like. For example, ‘experts’ are appalled by the increasing use of complementary therapies in Britain. Actually real experts are not!

Collecting personal data for Private Gain

So, you visit a website mistakenly thinking Woollams is a contributor. The ‘secret’ owner captures your e mail address. They then put a ‘spider’ on this. A spider can profile you and provide basic information – age, male/female etc simply from the ‘secret’ information you gave when you signed up for an e mail account. BUT. Other spiders can use your e mail address to provide lists of all your contacts’ e mails over the years – all your friends and colleagues and their contacts. And they get profiled too. Some clever spiders cross-link all the social media websites and can thus provide data of your likes and far more about you. And this all goes into the Affiliate Marketer’s database and you are categorized by your age, interests, diseases, likes, whatever. All ready to then use the innocent ‘victim’ for personal gain.

How ironic that this all started because Woollams was accused of using a charity for personal gain.

Affiliate Marketers court controversy – if they write that Burzynski is a good man and raises money for the poor, no one will read their blogs. They need to write vitriolic attacks. Who cares whether it is true or defamatory. The newspaper, the Sunday Sport, showed the way with absurd headlines – so let’s hear it Guy … ‘Errol Denton ate my Hamster’. And that’s what the affiliate marketing skeptics are about.

Complementary Therapy is potentially big business

Complementary and Alternative medicine is a rich seam of leads for them. 80,000 practitioners in the UK alone; but of course blogs reach a worldwide audience, so the real figure is far higher. Also a staggering two thirds of patients now use a complementary therapy.

Even if a secret Skeptic is not an affiliate marketer, lists of profiled potential customers derived from their websites could be sold for approximately 8 pounds a thousand names. Some websites can accumulate a million names a year. It is not illegal to create and sell data lists.

Add it all up – it is huge business. So who is involved? Colquhoun, Singh, Jones, Jones, Henness, Chapman? Who knows? Maybe none apart from Chapman? Maybe the rest are just gullible innocents? Maybe they all genuinely think all CAM is quackery? But, really, in this secretive world of Pharma funding and false names and proxy websites, can you trust any of their websites not to collect and, even unwittingly, pass on your data?

Chapman is a top affiliate marketer. He gives speeches around the world. His website uses cookies which will become embedded into your computer to take data. He even sells spiders.

WARNING: VISIT A SKEPTIC SITE AT YOUR PERIL. THEY MAY CAPTURE YOUR DATA AND USE IT.

True scepticism and the emergence of non-drug therapies

What a sorry mess: Big pharma sponsoring ‘action groups’; lackeys and shills co-ordinating attacks on subjects like What Doctors Don’t Tell You and CANCERactive, while other skeptics simply fuel their own businesses capturing your personal details.

And, in all this, what happened to true scepticism? Where people with honest opinions could ask if Photodynamic Therapy (just going into Clinical Trials) was a genuine non-invasive alternative to drugs; or, similarly, Ablation (the use of energy from sources such as Ultrasound to heat up and kill cancers)? It has been used successfully with both prostate and breast cancers. Then there is the use of virotherapy and Dr Moira Brown’s successful clinical work with brain cancers. Or Dendritic Cell therapy and a few more coming fast.

It is easy to see why the skeptics are out in force. We could be witnessing the start of the last days of the Pharma Empire. The momentum of non-invasive alternative therapies (at significant savings both financially and in terms of patient stress) is almost too hard for them to stop.

Thank goodness.

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Questionable research, inaccurate conclusions, poor taste

Professor David Colquhoun of UCL has formally apologised to Chris Woollams for suggesting that he made money from his work for the charity CANCERactive. The apology will run on Professor Colquhoun’s homepage of the site ‘DC’s Improbable Science’, and will be communicated electronically to all his followers. This apology has avoided a libel case against Colquhoun with significant potential costs and damages.

‘In the worst possible taste’

Chairman of the CANCERactive Trustees, Larry Brooks, said that any inference that Chris Woollams was making money from the death of his own daughter, Catherine, ‘beggars belief’, was ‘simply atrocious’ and ‘in the worst possible taste’.‘Chris’ daughter Catherine died from a brain tumour; no orthodox medicine cures this disease. But Chris and Catherine discovered a lot of natural compounds and treatments that could prolong her life. Catherine wanted a magazine in Hospitals that told people their options; Chris was asked by Doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital to write down what he had found out. Chris and Catherine founded icon; he wrote a bestselling book; the charity is ten years old and has a Medical Board of Oncologists and Doctors overseeing content. 3600 pages of possible causes, orthodox therapies and complementary and alternative options. Over 1.3 million people came to the site this year and the hits are growing all the time. A dozen or more Oncologists have written articles for us in the last few months – it’s all a tribute to Chris and Catherine’s efforts.

Chris’ own philanthropy, plus the profits from all of his books, writings and speeches, make a significant contribution to the charity, the magazine icon and the website for CANCERactive. Chris works tirelessly for no financial reward. While patients praise him for his efforts and generosity, ‘Skeptics’ like Colquhoun make crass and ridiculous accusations. In my view UCL should now give some serious thought to the future employment of Colquhoun. Is this really the sort of individual who should be setting standards for the young at our Universities?’

Chris was forced to threaten a libel action after Colquhoun posted the second of two potentially defamatory blogs on his ‘DC’s Improbable Science’ website. In 2006 he had suggested Chris had set up the CANCERactive site for personal gain but removed the offending comments when Chris explained he had set up the Charity in memory of his daughter. Chris explained then that he originally funded the site to the tune of 150,000 pounds so that all people with cancer might benefit. Colquhoun even replied at the time that he ‘did not have that sort of money’.

Repeated inaccuracy

The new attacks came after Charity patron Janice Day had pointed out numerous inaccuracies in the original DC’s Improbable Science blog. Rather than correct the inaccuracies, Colquhoun, a known ‘Skeptic’, chose to attack the charity again calling some of its claims ‘absurd’, and then referred his readers to the website of an “independent consultant” (who writes under an assumed name), whom Colquhoun lauded as being “very interesting” having supposedly looked into Chris’ business affairs. As a result Colquhoun suggested that Charity law preventing use of charities for private gain was being broken, which, if true would of course put the charity’s charitable status at risk. Despite Chris then detailing, yet again, that he had never taken a penny from the charity but made significant annual donations to it (which were a matter of public record), that a former ‘sister company’, Health Issues, was still in his debt, and that the ‘research’ into his business affairs was nothing of the sort, Colquhoun chose to run Chris’ comments but continued with his own wild claims. Chris threatened to sue for libel. Colquhoun appointed lawyers, the whole blog was removed immediately and he has now apologised to Chris.

Is this what we should expect from a Professor of Science at UCL?

Of the settlement, Chris Woollams said ‘Frankly, can anybody now trust a word this man says when he seems prepared just to quote any old bit of ‘research’ from someone with no relevant qualifications, takes no steps (so far as I know) to check its accuracy, including the most basic step of asking me to comment before publication and worse, uses it to draw completely ludicrous and inaccurate conclusions? Then when his mistakes are pointed out – as could have been confirmed if he had made proper enquiries – he continues to blindly run the original accusations!

In this instance he has been uncovered and had to apologise. But in other areas outside his expertise of pharmacology (the study of drugs) – like nutrition and oncology where he frequently pontificates – how can anyone now believe his claims there hold any credibility either? The use, and even praise of this type of ‘research’, extrapolated to draw false conclusions which he persists with even though his errors are pointed out to him – is this what we should expect from a Professor of Science?

But then isn’t this example true of almost all the skeptics? A cocktail of computer programmers, journalists, geologists with the occasional physics degree thrown in, all ‘judging’ the merits of nutrition, complementary and alternative therapies when they have neither qualification nor research expertise in the specialist field. Some even ‘advise patients’ through their websites and blogs. Many attack complementary therapies and therapists, often in a deliberate and concerted effort. When Colquhoun stood accused, several rushed, unthinkingly, to his defence, proclaiming that I was trying to stop a scientific debate through the law courts. They all missed the truth – but can they read accurately? Tweets gushed between Colquhoun, Simon Singh, Josephine Jones, Guy Chapman and others. One asked if the recipient could find inaccuracy in the CANCERactive website. Oh dear. So some then started writing verbose and inaccurate drivel about CANCERactive with others even contributing to Colquhoun’s defence costs on ‘Just Giving’! One wrote that she ‘didn’t always agree with what he said but she defended his right to say it!’ His right to inaccurately suggest a father was profiting from his own daughter’s death? This was never a debate about science but about decency. Shame on you all.

Skeptics proclaim they are somehow ‘protecting patients’ when in reality, many patients have now wised up to their misleading and potentially life-shortening and even life-threatening antics with ignorant claims against nutrition and complementary therapies. The American Cancer Society 2012 research report (now endorsed by the NCI in America) talks of an ‘explosion’ in research into complementary therapies since 2006, and the spokesperson talked of ‘overwhelming’ evidence that complementary therapies such as diet, exercise and weight control could increase survival times and even prevent a cancer returning. Is this really the sort of knowledge we should be keeping from people with cancer? When will Skeptics wise up to the potential harm they are doing?

Colquhoun’s apology is sadly yet more evidence of the misleading and vacuous opinions of skeptics at large’.

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Post No.13: Making a real difference

Becky Simpson

I have had cancer for six years.

The most important thing I’ve learned is the most vulnerable patient is the ignorant patient; and that is why CANCERactive is the best cancer charity there is. The charity understands this.

Forget women running around in pink bras raising even more money for charities who frankly still haven’t come up with any answers. CANCERactive empowers the patient. I recommend it, and the Rainbow Diet, to every cancer patient I meet.

I regularly run half-marathons and am very healthy and active. This is in no small part because of what I have learned from the CANCERactive website.

The Rainbow Diet is by far the most sustainable and well researched cancer diet out there and believe me I have tried many!!!

The only way to give yourself the best chance of survival and quality of life is through knowledge.

For example, sadly Doctors don’t always make the right choices and to know something about the drugs you are being given is crucial. CANCERactive tells you, warts and all.

I am also a big fan of so called ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ but you need to know the pit falls. Again, CANCERactive tells you the truth – when there’s research and when there isn’t.

Knowledge about cancer is changing everyday all over the world – it is wonderful, via the charity’s research centre ‘Cancer Watch’, to know about those changes and the latest developments. They have told us things that appeared as front page headlines or in on other charities’ websites only several years later.

Chris Woollams and his team dedicate their lives to helping cancer patients in a way no other charity does and, to me, he is a modern day hero.

Becky Simpson

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For a review on the Rainbow Diet – and how it can help you beat cancer click this link: http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2027

To go to the CANCERactive research centre (Cancer Watch) for the latest cancer research, information and news, click here: http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=188&Title=Latest cancer news and research

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