WDDTY misrepresents antivaxer

Last year we reported a grossly irresponsible article in WDDTY: “Jayne Donegan on the MMR (measles–mumps–rubella) jab” (see also “Hygiene, Not Vaccine“). These refer to a WDDTY article retailing the discredited antivax trope that hygiene improvements, not vaccines, are responsible for the decline in vaccine preventable diseases.

What we did not spot was that Jayne Donegan, quacktivist though she be, is no happier with this festering pile of bullshit than we are!

1) I have never been interviewed by WDDTY.

2) In order for parents and the general public not to be mislead by statements purported to be quotes made by me in the October edition of ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ and subsequent statements by them in various media, I am publishing the letter below on my website as WDDTY have refused to publish either this letter or any other form of correction/ clarification.

Now, it is just possible that the November article is a response to this. Possible, but very unlikely, as (a) the November edition must have gone to press before the page is dated and (b) the WDDTY article includes the very claims of which Donegan complains.

So it turns out that WDDTY can’t even honestly report the views of a homeopath, anti-vaxer and dissembler to the courts.

The old saying says: when you sup with the devil, use a long spoon.

Wheelbarrow of Stupid

Or How Wandering Teacake Wasted His Time Trying To Understand WDDTY’s Sales Figures

Reblogged with permission from Wandering Teacacke, please follow the comments there.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about What Doctors Don’t Tell You, the journal of record for those looking for an alternative to real medical advice. But here I am, pretty much back where I started my blogging career all those 12 long months ago.

Here’s why. Over the past 18 months or so, various individuals, myself included, have contacted various supermarkets and newsagents that stock WDDTY, expressing our concern at the content of this – how can I put it? – festering purulent pile of discarded, discredited and dangerous treatments. Over the years, some stockists have dropped the title, some have dropped it and then reportedly started again, some have just ignored us. But through it all, the editors of WDDTY have screamed about free speech and how the nasty Big Pharma shills want this magazine banned. Continue reading

Lynne McTaggart attacks critics with blatant lies

Lynne McTaggart tweets: “Last year drug-company lobbyists tried to ban WDDTY – but we WON. Please vote us Health Website of the Year TODAY”. This is of course a malicious lie – if she had any evidence she would already have published it. The sole grounds for this mendacious claim appears to be that McTaggart’s only experience is with people whose writing is blatant shilling for their own commercial interests; as a result, she does not seem to be able to understand any motive other than naked profit. Now read on…. Continue reading

Autism ‘caused by MMR using human fetal cell lines’

Another month, another paper flogging the zombie meme of MMR-Autism. This time in a superficially decent journal, albeit one where the subject is likely to be outside the specialist knowledge of peer reviewers (public health specialists are not normally going to be geneticists).

Impact of environmental factors on the prevalence of autistic disorder after 1979, Journal of Public health and Epidemiology, 2014; 6: 271-86

The first question is: who wrote the paper? All the authors list their affiliation as “Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute“, a religious fundamentalist group with an agenda against use of foetal cell lines, because abortion. You can probably stop there, actually. That really does tell you everything you need to know about this “study”: it’s an exercise in hunting for a predestined conclusion. Such exercises rarely fail.

The explosion in autism has been caused by the introduction of human fetal cell lines in the manufacture of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccines, a major new study has concluded.

“Major”? By what definition? How does it compare with all the other reviews of the purported correlation between MMR and autism, covering over 20,000,000 individuals, and finding no correlation whatsoever?

Oh, wait: this is WDDTY. Major means “we like the result”. Like the “major” study proving that we live after death (that wasn’t and didn’t).

Before 1987, when the vaccines were produced with animal cell lines, autism cases were relatively low. Today, it’s been estimated that 1 in 50 children has autism.

No, autism cases were not low, autism diagnoses were. In fact the biggest driver of increasing autism diagnosis rates is probably that a far greater proportion of cases are diagnosed. The diagnostic criteria have also changed.

Stem cell researcher Theresa Deisher and others say that the correlation between the sudden explosion in autism cases and the introduction of the new MMR vaccines is too strong to ignore—although, as the old maxim goes, correlation doesn’t prove causation.

Stem cell researcher? Hmmm. This is someone who does write research on stem cells, but she is also listed as the driving force behind Sound Choice, so it is very likely that what she is actually doing is closer to pathological science, where ideology drives the results and confirmation bias is king.

But there’s another question here. The SEC filings of Sound Choice indicate a non-trivial sum of money, but I can find no information about where the money comes from. Is it really all small private donations? It seems unlikely.

Why is this relevant? Well, we’ve seen before that groups producing “science” to support fundamentalist Christian and other conservative agendas, often turn out to be funded by wealthy activists. Remember the claim that abortion increases breast cancer risk? There were bills on the floor of several State houses seeking to mandate that this “information” be forcibly presented to women seeking termination, and it took some time for these to die even after the purported link was refuted.

According to the published paper, “The author(s) have not declared any conflict of interests” though it was supported by the Murdock Charitable Trust, a body that has funded pro-life and libertarian groups, provided funding to the Discovery Institute and so on – in other words, a religious conservative foundation. There has even been an editorial in Nature discussing the lead author’s role in a lawsuit aimed at forcing the US Government to stop funding stem cell research.

In what way is a history as plaintiff in a faith-motivated lawsuit related to stem cell research, and funding from a religious conservative foundation, not a conflict of interest?

How many red flags do you need, exactly?

The ‘change point’—when the numbers of autism cases rose sharply—happened in the UK in 1987, just when the new MMR vaccine, using human fetal cells, was introduced. A similar correlation was seen around the same time in Denmark, while the autism change point in the US was 1980 to 1981 after the introduction of the new MeruvaxII and MMRII vaccines in 1979. Both vaccines used human fetal cells for the first time.

How convenient for those who, like the authors, have an ideological opposition to human foetal cell lines.

There are a few inconvenient facts omitted from WDDTY’s coverage, then.

  1. The research was conducted by a body that cites opposition to use of foetal-derived cell lines as a primary purpose.
  2. Research by groups not committed to finding adverse effects from foetal cell lines, find no association, causal or otherwise, between MMR and autism.
  3. Withdrawal of MMR in Japan following the fraudulent work by Wakefield had no effect on  autism diagnosis rates.
  4. Diagnostic criteria have changed since 1989.
  5. No plausible mechanism is referenced by which this purported effect might work. DNA does not recombine in this way. It does not enter the cell nucleus.
  6. We already have good evidence that autism is usually genetic, and there is emerging evidence that it can be traced to foetal development (unsurprisingly, if it is a genetically caused mutation in the brain). There is no evidence whatsoever linking these genetic markers to vaccinations.

Even if you want to believe the result, ask yourself this: if a new study showed that eating whale meat causes autism, and all the work was done by Greenpeace, would you believe it?

As usual the “viciously, viciously anti-vaccine” editors at WDDTY have seized on a result they like, ignored massive red flags for conflict of interest, and portrayed it as validating their anti-vaccine agenda even though it conflicts with many of the previous studies they claim support them (e.g. Wakefield’s “enterocolitis”and thiomersal, both of which turds have been polished to shining brilliance in the pages of WDDTY).

Once again, WDDTY prove that in anything related to vaccines, they simply cannot be trusted.

What Zombies Don’t Tell You

What Zombies Don't Tell You
What Zombies Don’t Tell You

You know, it’s a mystery why this title did not occur to us sooner.

Be that as it may, @GezBlair alerts us to the NHS Choices response to the life-after-death story: Questions about life after death remain unanswered.

We mention this for completeness and because it’s a timely reminder that NHS Choices is the perfect antidote to WDDTY, offering balanced analysis of health news from a reality-based perspective.

Incidentally, for those who think that there is something extraordinary about resuscitation victims showing some evidence of brain activity going through periods of clinical death, we’d like to draw your attention to the remarkable story of Anna Bågenholm, one of many fascinating cases discussed by Dr. Kevin Fong in his book Extremes, which shows again and again that life is plenty weird enough without recourse to making shit up.

We survive death, major scientific study “proves”

Unusually quick off the mark, new-age hippy dippy loon Lynne McTaggart is trumpeting a new study that “proves” we live after death.

Spoiler: it proves no such thing, and in fact it can’t even really be said to conclude it,  other than in the sense that the lead researcher started with a conclusion and worked back.

Continue reading

Fight the quacklash

We in the reality-based community always wonder why quacks and cranks are unable to understand any motive other than profit. After all, it’s not as if their entire industry is founded on charlatans seeking to profit from the misery of others, is it?

Oh, hang on…

As a loyal “pharma-sponsored troll” it would be remiss of me not to alert you, my fellow minions of the drug overlords, to this blatant effort to stir up a quacklash against W. H. Smith, who have apparently at last done the decent thing and dropped the “viciously, viciously anti-vaccine” McTaggart’s Andrex substitute from sale.

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There’s an email address there. You know what to do.

Don’t bother commenting on WDDTY’s Facebook wall, though, it will be censored for free speech.

Also:

  • If you are a member of the Consumers’ Association, you might like to ask them what their views are on conspiracy-mongering quack advertorial masquerading as health and consumer advice.
  • If you are a listener or viewer of consumer affairs programmes such as You And Yours, you might like to pick one or two of the grossly misleading and inaccurate stories in recent issues and invite their views.
  • The “electrosmog doctor” has another advert repeating the claims adjudicated as misleading by the ASA – no need to report this as it’s already been done, but you might feel motivated to comb the pages and highlight any other repeat offenders.
  • A few supermarkets (allegedly including Tesco again) stock WDDTY. If you are on good terms with the in-store pharmacist, why not show them some of the more egregious stories in the issues on sale? Their professional reputation is being trashed by a product their employer is selling.
  • Finally – and most important – if you are being paid by “big pharma” please put us in touch, we could use the cash.

Chronic Lying Disease part 2

ByjnKcqCcAABtXL[1]In Treatment wars: Chronic Lying Disease we noted a regrettable tendency of quacks to promote the fictional “chronic Lyme disease”.

Note that there is nothing fictional about the symptoms, but as you’ll see in a moment they are generally either (a) hopelessly generic – “symptoms of life” if you will or (b) caused by something else.

Nor is there anything fictional about Lyme disease. It is real, a tick-borne infection caused by the borrelia burgdorferi bacterium (in the US) or a close relative (in th Europe). The symptoms are characteristic – erythema migrans, a bull’s-eye rash – and the infection can be confirmed pathologically by blood test.

And indeed there is a real thing called post-Lyme syndrome, or post-borrelia syndrome, or “Lyme arthritis”, which is characterised by fatigue and muscular pains, especially, in patients who have had Lyme disease.

No, the fictional disease is chronic Lyme disease, which is a disease diagnosed by quacks and treated using quack treatments, especially long-term antibiotics (ironically WDDTY also fulminates against antibiotics, but promoting mutually contradictory ideas in the same story has never been a problem for the editors).

Continue reading

What Doctors Don’t Tell You – The Super Bug!!

Reblogged from Gareth Lewry, with permission.

Yet again What Doctors Dont Tell you has misinterpreted information and blabbed it out to the public like it is Fact.  This time it is about the failure rates of Antibiotics.

Here is their (dare I say it) “article”:

http://www.wddty.com/antibiotics-failing-in-up-to-50-per-cent-of-patients.html

and the reference they gave for the article:

http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g5493

Starts off with a sensationalised Headline:

Antibiotics failing in up to 50 per cent of patients

Automatically you are thinking “Quick get the kids and run for the hills – nothing can save us!!!!.  In all honesty I have no idea where they plucked that figure from as there is no indication of 50% failure rates from the study.  Here is the results outlined in the Abstract:

results

If anything they missed an opportunity, they could have picked out the failure rate of 70% for trimethoprim in 2008-2012 but they didn’t (not in the headline anyway).  It clearly states that the overall failure rate is 15.4%.

Then there is the first paragraph (sigh) :

paragraph 1

All i can say to that is WTF!! – there is no indication in the research that the failure rates suggest the age of the superbug is getting closer – this is pure scaremongering conjecture, and it is disgusting.

The real blood boiling problem with the “article”, for me starts with the third paragraph.

doctors fail

Doctors are prescribing antibiotics inappropriately – this study doesn’t say that at all, this is complete garbage, the closest thing i could find in the study that they could have manipulated was this:

conculsions

You notice the second paragraph, states that primary care physicians could play a central role in antibiotic treatment failure and considering whether each prescription is justified, evidently WDDTY have decided to manipulate that to tarnish all doctors as a whole.

Well done WDDTY – once again, award winning reporting from a super bug.

Alan Hunter resorts to CAPITAL LETTERS! Will The Ed falter?

This time he waited nearly 23 hours to post a fresh rant, and only one copy of it as well. We make progress, perhaps.

Dear WWDDTYDTY

Re your abusive and criminal threat to me that you would have “my arse” (my, how dignified you must be!),

Then again, perhaps not.

simply because my article threatened mainstream medicine….

You give yourself airs. Your article does not threaten modern medicine. It is only a threat to the gullible who read it and swallow it hook, line and sinker. You claim that serious medical conditions – including cardiovascular problems, depression, schizophrenia and epilepsy – are caused by food allergies. Encouraging people with the symptoms and illnesses you list on your website to forsake their medication in favour of your patent diet could lead to their deaths.

I want to reply. It doesnt matter a f**k my credentials. Not ONE f**k!

Exactly. Because your credentials are not worth – and please note that we are not so hypocritical as to use asterisks – a single monkey’s fuck.

I have brought together 30 YEARS of research in the manner of a jigsaw puzzle

Ah, the Lone Maverick ploy. Nope, being the only (totally unqualified and inexperienced) person in the whole world to have reached a conclusion over 30 years is more likely to be a sign you’re barking up the wrong tree than that you’re a genius.

which resulted in comments such as “Highly original”, “Truly original”, “Completely original”

Sounds like a new brand of sherry. Of course, anecdotes do not represent objective data – anonymous, unsourced anecdotes even less so – but even the team here will concede that, upon reading your claims, our first reaction was: “That’s, er, very original.”

because it was the FIRST-EVER world discovery of the link between body temperature, parasites, and food allergy.

What parasites are these then? Fleas? Ticks? Tapeworms? Political lobbyists? Or just general nameless parasitey things? Frankly the blurb on your website reads like something out of HP Lovecraft:

  1. How parasites can exist in YOUR body, causing your food allergy or chronic health disorder by interfering with blood flow at the site of your symptom.
  2. How low body temperature (even a mere one degree below the normal of 98.6) is responsible for attracting these TEMPERATURE-SENSITIVE organisms to you in the first place causing not only food intolerance but a host of common everyday disorders such as arthritis, depression, etc.
  3. How you can RAISE your body temperature naturally by following the diet recommended in the book, thereby overwhelming the parasites that are responsible for your condition.
  4. How Nature already shows us that heat is the means of defeating parasites (such as bacteria) – she raises the body temperature at such times by producing a FEVER!
  5. How the body heals itself; How drugs do not restore health – and much, much more.

Amazing discoveries and claims, yet not a single study published in a genuine scientific journal? How very, very odd. Anyone might think you hadn’t a shred of evidence.

Your attempt to attack my awards is pathetic. I won Best Research from Action Against Allergy (who are more knowledgeable about food allergies than any of your crowd!). They KNOW about food allergies – unlike you! 

We can find no mention of the charity giving any awards, so links or it didn’t happen. Incidentally, “our crowd” includes doctors and health researchers, so we suggest you keep the willy-waving to two shakes at the urinal.

I won Best Resarch award – TOP RESEARCH AWARD – from the Prince’s Trust for Integrative Medicine,

An institute for quackery doesn’t impress. Where’s the publication in the BMJ, Lancet, Nature etc?

beating at least twenty MEDICALLY QUALIFIED doctors from all over the UK who submitted their own research WORKS.

We forget how many qualified medical doctors there are in the UK, but 20 is not exactly a huge sample. There are idiots everywhere, of course. There’s a huge idiot in line for the UK throne in a few years and worthless quackery remains worthless quackery even when royally approved.

My research on that fine day, was declared “Truly original”, “Highly original” and “Completely original” as my 30 year research on food allergies came to fruition.

Are you sure they weren’t referring to the sherry? You don’t give the year, but since HRH has also been recorded as giving similar awards for aromatherapy we continue unimpressed. Even a link to that notoriously unselective repository, PubMed, would be better than this.

So your libellous statement that I had received my awards from a diploma mill is being studied carefully – I can assure you!

It’s not libellous until a court of law says it is. Moreover, we did not claim that you had received your worthless PhD from a diploma mill, simply that we thought it likely.

My doctorate, from the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine (and they have absolute authority to award such awards according to Indian Laws) was awarded for my fabulous food allergy research.

Fabulous? You do not hide your light under a bushel, do you? Yes, we see the organisation you mention does indeed list you as an alumnus and offers the title you claim. Again, it’s a quack organisation. It does not matter than the Indian Government has chosen to dignify it with the title of medicine; reality holds sway even in India and pseudoscience remains pseudoscience.

Besides, we were under the impression that your credentials don’t matter a single, heartbroken fuck?

Yes, there are other websites which recently have arisen that they are “fake”. But as someone who went to their alternative medicine university, I can tell you now, they are a valid and active college, fully accredited by Indian law.

Yes, but it’s still pure quackery, dispensing quackademical diplomas.

They also awarded me the high honour of the Seva Ratna award for my research.

The Fuck Donation count is steady at zero. Where is the evidence? Where is the peer-review? Where, in short, are the signs that this is anything other than an ageing, embittered ex-champ trying to make money out of a form of charlatanry he’s cobbled together from various other quack cults?

And they have Indian government authority to deliver these awards.

“By Jove, but fucks are in short supply this year, Justin.” – “They certainly are, Ludovic.”
(Translation: it’s not the diplomas that validate the science, but the science done by graduates that validates the diploma)

My award was not from a diploma mill as you libellously suggested. BUT THAT MATTERS NOT A SINGLE JOT!

It seems to bother you, in spite of your denials. Some of us are beginning to recognise the symptoms, and they include this tendency to repeat oneself word-for-word and SCREAM IN IMPOTENT RAGE.

I AM AN AWARD WINNING AUTHOR WITH 30 YEARS RESEARCH BEHIND ME AND A FABULOUS CONCLUSION ON FOOD ALLERGIES!

Fabulous, as in: mythical or of fables, e.g. “the unicorn is a fabulous creature”? Yes, we reckon you’ve got exactly the right term there.

I have never said I was a medical doctor, so I suggest you swallow that foul accusation – just as your claim I got my awards from some queer website.

No, sunshine, the onus is legally on you to make it clear, when you use the honorific “Dr” in a medical context, that you are not medically qualifed. And this, as we have seen, you fail to do on your website.

No, sir, you are WRONG. My books, exposing the sham of mainstream medicine and how they are complicit in PREVENTING the man in the street from getting well, tellS it all, my good man!

Conspiracy theorist as well? Predictable, of course: hucksters often use this scare tactic to push their wares. Tough, we ain’t buying your idiotic book and will certainly dissuade anybody else from buying it, except perhaps if they’re doing a very specialised type of research in psychology.

I have no itention of using Dr if that worries you!

Since you already do use that title, that can best be categorised as “a barefaced lie”.

I don’t NEED to. Give me your email address

Not bleedin’ likely. It’s bad enough getting all these foaming rants via the website Contact form.

and I will show you why YOU – yes YOU – are in the wrong.

A far better way to settle it would be to get your research accepted for peer review and  publication  by a reputable scientific or medical journal. Come back when you’ve got that, and maybe you’ll get a handsome apology and withdrawal of all criticism. However, this is just too funny for words:

Or are you STILL hiding? Mmm? And if you have intentions of taking me out – as your threat suggests – be aware, I am WAITING, my good man. Oh yes!

Your kind friend Alan Hunter

Put the horse whip away, Alan, that attitude and manner of speech went out with the Edwardians. Nobody except you has offered violence of any kind. You’re just an ageing jock turned drama queen.

Exactly 45 minutes later, we got yet another message. Definitely got a bee in his bonnet, this guy.

Dear Sir
Further to my email to you recently – referring to how your threat to “have my arse” simply because I made a wonderful piece of research on food allergies – which you don’t know the first thing about…. I want to now state that I will be having my solicitor looking at your libellous statements that I won my awards from a “diploma mill”, and – not only that – put in on the web so that the entire world could see it! And that your threat to “have my arse” was also displayed on line so that the entire world could see that THREAT to my body. Because that is, my dear man, exactly what it was! About time, don’t you think, you were brought to task instead of firing out insults left right and centre, always on the assumption you would get away with it? Mmmm?
Alan Hunter

We would not like to be the solicitor who has to explain, slowly and carefully, that he hasn’t got a hope in hell because we did not write the things he’s accusing us of. Pity, really. A frivolous suit like that could have been a great advert for scepticism and would certainly annoy the bullshit-apologists at WDDTY for several months.

What "What Doctors Don't Tell You" Don't Tell You

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