Burzynski Clinic Threatens Blogger

November 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm (Legal Chill) (, , , , , )

Someone acting for the Burzynski Clinic, Burzynski Research Institute, and Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, has written to Le Canard Noir of the Quackometer blog to make threats of legal action regarding a critical article he posted. The correspondence is aggressive (“Be smart and considerate for your family and new child, and shut the article down”), accusing the blogger of “lying” and being part of “a fraud network”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Freedom of Speech and the Internet

December 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm (Miscellaneous) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Freedom of Speech and the Internet


According to Boing Boing and Wikiquote, it was John Gilmore who once said that: “The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Silencing Critics: Legal Chill

November 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm (Legal Chill) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A company called Rodial have threatened a doctor with a lawsuit after she raised doubts about a “boob job cream”. While Rodial’s lawyers letter states that Rodial would have provided information on “clinical assessment and product ingredients” on request, they failed to do so when contacted by Ben Goldacre. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alt Med Societies

May 21, 2009 at 8:39 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Code of Ethics, Homeopathy, Legal Chill, Nutritionism, Society of Homeopaths, SoH) (, , , , , , )

Alternative Medicine societies often claim to regulate their members, they also commonly have something that they refer to as a “Code of Ethics”. Frequently, however, Alt Med societies either have inadequate codes of ethics or fail to enforce them – making a mockery of their claims to regulate their members. They are often loath to criticise what others believe to be bad practice in their field. When others criticise particular fields of Alt Med, they are sometimes subject to legal complaints from these societies. It is unfortunate that societies choose to flex their legal muscle rather than show the evidence that supports their claims. Read the rest of this entry »

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[UPDATED 7/2/09] MMR Scaremongering From Jeni Barnett: LBC Use Legal Chill Tactics. Ugh.

February 5, 2009 at 10:55 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Dangerously Wrong) (, , , , , )

[I’ve updated this post to include more links to blogs covering this, and to add information on the serious complications of measles, mumps, and rubella. There’s also a link to Jeni’s ‘response’ to the Bad Scientists.]

I was going to post some ramblings on the dangers of homophily, but I’ve just found out that LBC have contacted Ben Goldacre (or had their lawyers contact him) to complain about a segment of Jeni’s show that appeared on the Bad Science blog along with (brief) commentary from Ben. I think this is a bad move – LBC should really be apologising to the nation for allowing Jeni to pollute the airwaves with ignorant tosh about vaccines, a subject she seems to know very little about. Read the rest of this entry »

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Good News: Matthias Rath Drops Legal Case Against Goldacre and Guardian

September 12, 2008 at 8:58 pm (Bad Science, Dangerously Wrong, Legal Chill, Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , , , )

Perhaps I should have maverickly titled this post “To the tune of one million dollars”. Perhaps not. [But, ah… the memories] Anyhoo, the story I’m writing about boils down to this: vitamin pill entrepeneur Matthias Rath had threatened to sue Ben Goldacre and the Guardian newspaper for $1,000,000 and, happily, has now pulled out of this case. Rath ‘failed the AIDS test’ – and in South Africa, a country with major problems not just with AIDS but with AIDS denialism – by promoting vitamin pills instead of antiretroviral drugs for sufferers. Before you finish (or instead of) reading my post, go to badscience.net and read Ben’s account. Read the rest of this entry »

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British Chiropractic Association: Afraid of Criticism

August 18, 2008 at 11:44 am (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Legal Chill, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

 Well I’m late to the party, but I’ve never been one to turn down an opportunity to highlight the cowardice of Alternative Medicine practitioners so frightened of legitimate criticism that they will run to the law to silence dissent – so here’s a bit more on Chiropractic legal threats. Sadly, Simon Singh is being sued. Holford Watch have a post up with links to coverage of the affair and some background to it (see also links to Frank Frizelle saga below), Dr* T has something on this: another back cracking quack attack and Gimpy has posted the full article and a separate commentary on the situation. Jack of Kent makes reference to the Derbyshire Rule and the right to freedom of expression in his commentary. Basically, Simon Singh wrote a piece for the Guardian that was critical of Chiropractic and the British Chiropractic Association have issued a writ through the High Court. This follows recent legal letters in New Zealand sent to Professor Frank Frizelle and the NZJM (also naming Professor David Colquhoun and Mr Andrew Gilbey). The Holford Watch piece on Frank Frizelle includes a fairly comprehensive list of legal threats from Alt Med types that should cover the ones I referred to in Legal Chill and Other Threats. I will also point to a couple of bits linked to from the NZJM response to Chiropractors, the brief piece Frank Frizelle wrote in 2005 titled Lawyers and Letters and a couple of webpages on publication ethics at icmje.org: Uniform Requirements and Sponsorship, Authorship and Accountability. As Frank Frizelle said to the Chiropractors’ Association in New Zealand, so I say to the British Chiropractors’ Association: Show us your evidence, not your legal muscle.

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More Legal Chill – from Spine Cracking Chiropractors

August 8, 2008 at 2:31 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Legal Chill, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Cool: badscience.net, holfordwatch.info and dcscience.net are all covering the latest woo legal chill. DC’s recent post Doctor Who? was an article he’d had published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on Chiropractors naughtily using the appellation “Doctor”, there is a PDF of the NZMJ response here: classy, and I’ll quote one of my (and Holford Watch’s) favourite bits: “let’s hear your evidence not your legal muscle”. Something quite a few practitioners of Alternative Medicine should perhaps think about – legal chill and other threats.

This really is a tactic they deliberately use isn’t it? They can’t debate the evidence, so they bluster and threaten. Kudos to Professor Frizelle for an excellent response to yet more Altie bluster.

EDIT: more links – bone doctors, Norburyness, weak-minded, ignorant and superstitious.

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Legal Chill and Other Threats

June 6, 2008 at 8:37 pm (Alternative Medicine, Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Bloggers, Briffa, Homeopathy, Legal Chill, Nutritionism, Patrick Holford) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve recently witnessed some examples of slightly threatening behaviour on the internets and I was reminded of a few of the previous spats I’ve seen covered on the various blogs I read. There have been lawyer’s letters, accusations both of libel and of copyright breach, and comments posted or letters sent by angry nutritionists (in the main – there has been the odd homeopath too). Read the rest of this entry »

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