Archive for September, 2011

WooWriter’s Template

September 26, 2011

Just to prove it exists

The offending article

There seems to be some template ‘health’ journalists (particularly those at the Metro) use to write about alternatives to medicine. It goes something like this:-

1. Profess scepticism about the latest woo

2. Give it a try anyway

3. Woo practitioner performs some jiggery-pokery and claims to have found a problem previously un-noticed by the journalist.

4. Wooster claims to have cured the ‘problem’.

5. Another, self-limiting, problem clears up shortly afterwards

6. Journalist is converted to belief and writes a gushing piece of advertorial for the new woo. (more…)

PETA’s Views on Meat-Eating

September 25, 2011

In this week’s New Scientist the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had this to say about those of us who eat meat:-

…[Meat-eaters], like smokers trying to quit tobacco find it very hard to give up the stuff despite ethical, health and environmental reasons to do so…

Today I emailed the following response:-

PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk makes a false comparison between meat-eating and tobacco use (Letters 24 September 2011 p39). Human beings are omnivores by nature so meat is a natural part of our diet whereas tobacco use is not. There is a case to be made that some people consume more meat than is good for their own health and that of the environment but bogus likening of meat eating to tobacco addiction does not help PETA’s case.

John Hawcock
[Address given]

Ibuprofen and Miscarriage

September 20, 2011

A couple of weeks back there were numerous reports such as this one saying that research has shown that the use of medication such as ibuprofen can increase the risk of miscarriage by 2.4 times. The figures that then followed did not seem to support this assertion and as usual there was no link to the research. However, a bit of googling turned up an email address for the lead researcher, Dr. Anick Berard of the University of Montreal. So I thought I’d ask her directly: (more…)

An Email To Nadine Dorries

September 3, 2011

I have been following the proposed amendment to the Health & Social Care Bill proposed by Nadine Dorries and Frank Field with interest and some concern – particularly the lack of evidence of any bias in counselling offered by the likes of Marie Stopes International and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. I am also concerned about some of the faith-based organisations lining up to take advantage of the amendment, should it pass. So I sent her an email:- (more…)