Andy Lewis of the Quackometer tweeted a photo of a magazine called ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ that, on just the front cover, boasts some very concerning health advice, while possibly encouraging a mistrust of trained health professionals. I was personally shocked that trusted high street stores would stock such a publication, and add the ‘as sold at W H Smith/Sainsbury’s/Waitrose’ authority to it that it does not warrant. Simon Singh had tweeted about it too and I asked him what he thought we, as a community, could do about this and he provided a link to the complaints page on the WH Smith’s website and I decided to submit a complaint. I encourage others who are concerned to do the same.
I don’t like to censor other people and I recognise the importance of allowing alternative opinions to be aired equally, but there is a line that this magazine has crossed with dangerous health advice such as
“Sunbathe your diabetes away”
“Unsteady Gran? It’s the drugs that cause falls, not old age”
“Asthma exclusive: ease your child’s wheezing without drugs”
“Cervical Cancer Alert: What every mother and daughter should know about the jab”
As Andy Lewis of Quackometer says
There is a very good reason that doctors do not tell you the things in this magazine – because it is nonsense, quackery, conspiratorial rubbish designed to sell vitamin pills and other useless treatments.
The email addresses you need are:
Below is what I wrote in the body of my complaint
I am extremely shocked and disappointed to see that your stores stock and sell the magazine ‘What Doctors Dont Tell You’ that provides potentially dangerous and misleading advice about a range of serious health issues. I think that you should be aware that this magazine and the organisation behind it has a reputation for unscientific and potentially dangerous health advice, which includes being highly antagonistic towards vaccinations. A quick look at the cover will reveal some of its bizarre attitudes to health. A look at the website is even more worrying, steering visitors away from mainstream medical advice. http://www.wddty.com/breast-cancer
Lynne McTaggart, who is behind the magazine and website, has come in for considerable criticism http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/feb/18/infectiousdiseases.birdflu
I feel that as a trusted high street retailer you have a duty of care towards your customers, and this breaches the trust that many hold in your brand. Stocking and selling this magazine goes beyond offering customers a choice, or what they want. It provides a platform for dangerous “alternative medicine” advice that can – and does – have damaging consequences. People die every day because they ignore the advice of trained health professionals – such as their Doctors – and follow alternative advice instead. This magazine seems to promote both a mistrust of health professionals and misleading health advice. By stocking it you are giving it the authority that it does not warrant. If you truly respect your customers and the trust they have in you as a retailer you will consider taking this magazine from your shelves.