From the letters page today:
My right to be called a nutrionist
Friday February 16, 2007
In Ben Goldacre’s column on January 6 he once again accuses me of “bad science” in reference to a statement in one of my books that “AZT is potentially harmful and proving less effective than vitamin C”. As he well knows, the author of the research – Dr Raxit Jariwalla – wrote to the Guardian (January 20 2005) the last time Goldacre made this claim, to confirm that my statement is correct on the basis of two studies on HIV-infected cells. The real crime here is that no full-scale human trials have been funded on vitamin C to follow up Jariwalla’s important finding because it is non-patentable and hence not profitable. Goldacre seems unconcerned about the way commercial interests distort scientific research.
Goldacre, who only left university in 1995, says I am unqualified to call myself a nutritionist. I have spent the last 30 years researching, teaching, writing and practising nutrition. I am not sure what else I can call myself. For the record, I did not confer my own diploma, as he states. The board of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION), which is an educational trust that I founded in 1984, awarded me an honorary diploma. I am not, nor have I ever been, on the board of trustees. ION offers a fully accredited foundation degree in nutritional therapy, upgradable to a BSc with a further year’s extra study. The British Association of Nutritional Therapy, which is the self-regulating organisation that represents this profession, made me an honorary fellow. I am unclear about Goldacre’s qualifications for dismissing these professional standards or his patronising comment that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.
Oh, the Jariwalla he’s so excited about, incidentally, is here:
“Dr. Jariwalla is a senior researcher in nutrition and infectious diseases at the Dr. Rath Research Institute in California, USA.”
And you’ll remember who Rath is: the South African vitamin salesman who tells AIDS victims that his vitamin pills are better than medication.
This is quite a graduation for Holford from diet books and daytime telly. AIDS. Nice. 4 million dead already. He’s playing with the big boys now.