What Doctors Don’t Tell You & Sainsburys


Since the print edition of What Doctors Don’t Tell You appeared in September 2012 it has attracted a lot of attention from the skeptic community, bloggers, social media, and more recently mainstream media including the Guardian and The Times.

The magazine, whose masthead proclaims, ‘Helping you make better health choices’, promises to ‘uncover the hard-to-get facts about health and the causes of illness.’

In practice, this means promoting all manner of quackery and woo. This has been exposed by a large number of bloggers so I won’t spend time covering the issues here. Anyone who is interested should visit Josephine Jones blog where they will find and an extensive and ever-growing list of links to relevant sources.

Many bloggers take the view that retailers should consider whether or not they should continue stocking and selling the magazine. Please note, this is not a campaign for a ban on the magazine. It is a call for retailers to consider whether or not selling WDDTY is in the best interests of the retailer and their customers.

My position is clear. WDDTY contains articles and advertisements which are inaccurate and misleading which put the ill-informed and vulnerable at risk. Retailers who sell the magazine are doing their customers a disservice. I was pleased when I saw this series of tweets on Twitter.

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I do my shopping at Sainsburys. When WDDTY was first published I looked through the magazine section at my local store but couldn’t find a copy. I assumed they didn’t stock it. When I visited the store yesterday (Nov 5th 2013, 9.15 am) I was surprised to see this:

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When I got home I posted the picture on Twitter. I made no comment, no complaint, no demands. The response was immediate.

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I visited the store later in the day.

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True to their word, Sainsburys had removed WDDTY from the shelves.

WDDTY and their supporters will complain about censorship, denial of free speech and so on. This is nonsense. Mike Ward, posting on the WDDTY Facebook page (until he’s banned and his posts deleted) sums it up nicely:

No one is suppressing anything. If you wish to read or write nonsense about any subject under the sun, feel free, The (cyber) world is your oyster. Once, however, you start selling products or magazines and advertising them, you have to meet certain ethical and legal standards. Preying on vulnerable people with serious medical conditions like cancer, offering them false hope, and dissuading them from seeking evidence-based medical interventions does, I submit, not meet such standards.

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