Thursday, 4 June 2009

Simon Singh to appeal - Sign up now to keep the libel laws out of science!

Just a quick one tonight... Simon Singh has decided to appeal the recent pre-trial judgement against him in the libel case brought against him by the BCA.

This is excellent news, as is the fact that his campaign is gathering momentum, with support from a huge range of people. As well as overwhelming support of the scientific community, the campaign also has support from journalists, politicians, actors, comedians and of course an active blogging community.

Sense About Science have launched a petition in support of Singh, and also to make the wider point that libel laws have no place in scientific debate. You can sign the petition at the Sense About Science website.

I'm rather chuffed that one of my old physics profs. (Jim Al-Khalili) is near the top of the list of supporters.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Bassett Chiropractic refuse to engage with critics

You'll remember I got a positive response from Jeremy Spanton at Victoria Chiropractic following my complaint regarding their use of the term "Dr" and claims made that would not be allowed by the Advertising Standards Agency.

Over at JDC325's blog we see a very different response from Bassett Chiropractic Clinic, St Albans. JDC's complaint to Bassett was in some ways similar to mine, though the conditions they claim to treat differ. Bassett claimed to be able to treat whiplash injuries and headaches.

JDC spent a while looking at the evidence base for these treatments and found it to be significantly lacking. He then pointed out to them that making claims which the ASA would not allow is against the General Chiropractic Council's code of conduct. Their response to this point differs significantly to the one I got from Jeremy Spanton.

Bassett Chiropractic responded by saying that the ASA guidelines don't apply to them because they're making the claims on their website, and not in print advertising, which is the ASA's remit. They make no attempt to justify their claims, resorting to what is essentially a childish response along the lines of "naa naa, you can't get me, naa naa, you can't get me". Pretty pathetic really.

On further probing by JDC, Bassett respond with:

You have my response, and I am not prepared to engage in further
correspondence with you on this matter

This now provides a good opportunity to see what the GCC will actually do about chiropractors breaching their code of conduct. Will they, like the Society of Homeopaths, attempt to find loopholes to avoid having to do anything, or will they actually do what they are there to do - regulate the profession?

JDC has submitted a complaint to the GCC, so hopefully we should soon get an answer to that question.