Matthias Rath In London

March 26th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in africa, bad science, matthias rath, nutritionists | 45 Comments »

Here’s a thing: video of Matthias Rath speaking at a rally in London on Saturday March 24 2007 to rapturous applause.

For those who don’t remember, Matthias Rath is the German vitamin entrepreneur who sells his proprietary vitamin pills to people dying of AIDS in South Africa instead of antiretroviral medication, spreading the message that AIDS medication is actively harmful, and that his vitamin pills are better.

In South Africa where he does this, Rath has the ear of the government. Thabo Mbeki is famously an HIV denialist. Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang recommends fruit and veg for AIDS, to the general concern of the international AIDS community. Access to lifesaving antiretroviral medication has been mindlessly and unnecessarily obstructed by these cranks, in a country where 10% of the population is HIV positive, there are 1,200,000 Aids orphans, and 350,000 people died of the disease last year alone. Among the dead you can count some of the anecdotal success stories who Rath has used as promotional figures in his advertising material.

And in London, as you can see, they applaud him. They applaud him.

Previous Rath entries here. To be honest, I’ve got a pretty strong stomach, but this is the one story which makes me feel really quite sad.


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45 Responses



  1. Deano said,

    March 26, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    Couldn’t bring myself to watch all of this….

    Sick B*******

  2. bovinespirit said,

    March 26, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    The venue is Old Billingsgate Market on Upper Thames St. Those video screens, and the cameras, equipment and crew to make them work will have cost some serious cash. So, who was paying? What was the ‘rally’ in aid of?

  3. saifedean said,

    March 27, 2007 at 1:19 am

    This is incredibly depressing.

    The only explanation of which I can think for why someone like this might go through all this trouble is evil. There is no way anyone can tell me that he is just an idiot, or he is just misinformed. He clearly knows what he is doing, has thought it through and has worked real hard to make his whole campaign convincing and effective. He has used these very effective marketing techniques, of linking medicine to capitalism and nazism and portraying it as the enemy of freedom and democracy, it can really be effective. The way he dances around the science is really incredible.

    There is no doubt about it as far as I am concerned, this guy wants to see millions of Africans dead.

  4. j said,

    March 27, 2007 at 2:25 am

    Actually, sorry motmot, just had a quick look around (insomnia sucks :( ) there is an odd lack of info around the £100k payment. No record of it on the infotrac news monitoring service, and google only finds Rath Foundation and alt-health type sources…

  5. Evil Kao Chiu said,

    March 27, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Bailii only carries cases with significance as precedents so it wouldn’t be there. I’d ask the BMJ. That is if I were willing to credit the assertion with the possibility of truth. Which I don’t. Besides, wouldn’t the better case against Rath be that he is at least complicit in tens of thousands of deaths, rather than just the one?

  6. Evil Kao Chiu said,

    March 27, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Okay, the lack of trial details is probably because, if there was a case, it never reached Court.

    If the BMJ settled, they may well have made a payment and entered a non-disclosure agreement. However, generally, Rath would be the one prohibited from publishing the details of his settlement. So this still doesn’t make much sense.

  7. j said,

    March 27, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Evil- Rath seems to be claiming that the court ordered him to accept the BMJ’s compensation (www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/pdf-files/future-london-march07.pdf) You’d think there’d be a record of that – but I’m sure there’s plenty of good reasons why their might not be.

    That said, if someone *were* able to show that Rath has incorrectly claimed to have had this £100k payment, that would make an interesting story…

  8. Neilster said,

    March 27, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Yes, I received a brochure for this rally through my letterbox (I live in Clapham)- a very well produced leaflet – although it was pretty rambling and took me a few seconds to get the jist of what it was saying. It included much trumpeting about the settlement with the BMJ.

  9. ceec said,

    March 27, 2007 at 11:26 am

    oh yeah, and I forgot to mention he also says GSK drugs cause deaths in genocidal proportions. Yes – he used the word “genocide”. Did he leave any Nazi words out?

  10. j said,

    March 27, 2007 at 11:43 am

    “oh yeah, and I forgot to mention he also says GSK drugs cause deaths in genocidal proportions. Yes – he used the word “genocide”. Did he leave any Nazi words out?”

    I don’t think he mentioned goose-stepping ;)

    Actually, did anything he said about TAC breach the SA court judgement here? – www.tac.org.za/Documents/Court_Cases/Rath/JudgmentTACvRath-20060303.pdf
    And would it matter, if he breached this in the UK (albeit in a speech accessible in SA)?

  11. billyo said,

    March 27, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    and I thought drug companies were a bit sick in the way they distribute their ARV drugs in Africa. This guy is pure evil. Is Mass Genocide his motive? Surely not, just a by-product of his Greed.

  12. Michael Harman said,

    March 27, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Rath’s “Open Letter” to the BMJ is dated the 9th January, and includes the sentence: “I am sure that you are also aware of the BMJ’s retraction of this article and its public apology to me, as well as the BMJ’s agreement to pay damages for the harm the article has done; which damages are to be adjudicated by the High Court in two months.” So the adjudication will be recent, if it has occurred at all. This is the sort of thing which is often agreed by negotiation between the parties, with the reference to the courts being withdrawn. It is anybody’s guess as to what negotiations have gone on, if any. Rath may well have asked for £100,000; whether he is likely to get that is another matter. If it gets/got to court, Rath could also ask for costs, which he could be including in the £100,000, but costs are generally at the discretion of the court.

  13. ceec said,

    March 27, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Re J above “Actually, did anything he said about TAC breach the SA court judgement here? – www.tac.org.za/Documents/Court_Cases/Rath/JudgmentTACvRath-20060303.pdf

    Not sure whether video or giving a talk counts as publication in this context, or whether or not the judgement applies outside SA, but Rath certainly covers in his talk most of the things which are specifically listed in the judgement as being baseless accusations that he’s not allowed to publish.

    Who exactly was it that gave him the standing ovation? Anyone present at the talk who would like to name names?

  14. stever said,

    March 27, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    I have it on good information that there was at leat one controversial UK nutritionist there clapping furiously. *saying no more*

  15. j said,

    March 27, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    “I have it on good information that there was at leat one controversial UK nutritionist there clapping furiously. *saying no more*”

    You don’t fancy saying who was allegedly there, or perhaps giving some letters from their name ;) Or if there’s witnesses – even photos – to confirm it…

    I’m with ceec on this – anyone want to name any names?

  16. Barnacle Bill said,

    March 28, 2007 at 8:55 am

    I think he should be renamed Darth Rath.

  17. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 28, 2007 at 9:00 am

    so let’s begin.

    does anybody recognise this chap, from the world of nutritionists, at the Rath rally? [Edit: turns out it's Jerome Burne]

  18. ceec said,

    March 28, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Re26 Mojo

    Looks like Rath is pretty confident that the High Court has no power to uphold its judgements, then. I just read the Rath leaflet three times and went to other sources because I thought I had completely misunderstood the ruling. But from what I can tell, the rath pamphlet is just lies from start to finish, inasmuch as it makes sense at all.

    Why would anyone give credence to a white European man who is making wild accusations and unable to string a coherent sentence together rather than the lucid and evidence-based statements from the black Africans who are running TAC. Oh – hang on a minute…

    Now who WERE those standing ovation people?

  19. pv said,

    March 28, 2007 at 10:56 am

    ceec said,
    March 27, 2007 at 11:24 am

    On the principle that people attack in the way that most reveals their own weaknesses, I find it particularly disturbing that he continually refers to Nazis, dictatorships, hostages, imprisoned, brainwashed etc.

    That was on my mind too. Along with “Nazi”, the words “money”, “root” and “evil” come to mind too. Why would Patrick Holford would want to be associated with this scum eating bottom dweller… unless they were like-minded souls on more than just the business of nutrifraud?

  20. Mojo said,

    March 28, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Can we have some nutritionist recognition charts?

  21. Mojo said,

    March 28, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Maybe the Grauniad could do one of their wallcharts…

  22. JonnyW said,

    March 28, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I’m not sure but, that pic does look a bit like a certain “award winning” (and at least once a nearly award winning) science and medical Journalist and a co author of one this sites favourite nutritionist.

  23. Seany said,

    March 28, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Hmmm, the nutritionist I was thinking of is a (fish and egg eating) vegan while the guy in the photo is wearing a leather jacket, so it can’t be him.

  24. evidencebasedeating said,

    March 28, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    why stop at fishy things?
    theres lots and lots of tripe out there….

  25. j said,

    March 29, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Maybe we could have a recipe for each nutritionist on the wallchart – fish for Madelaine Portwood, tripe for our egg and fish eating vegan, and, well, I’m sure we can think of something for Gillian McKeith.

  26. Mojo said,

    March 29, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Ben Goldacre said (#38): “Anyway, not sure if i can be bothered to write about this Matthias Rath rally in the column, anyone have any strng feelings? It’s just matthias rath being vile again, as before, the only added feature is him being applauded by other equally ignorant people from the UK, not sure there’s much of a science angle in that?”

    If the “equally ignorant people” are holding themselves out as some sort of authority…

  27. Mojo said,

    March 29, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    #34: Seany said, “Hmmm, the nutritionist I was thinking of is a (fish and egg eating) vegan…”

    Shouldn’t that read “Vogon”? I seem to remember that they ate scintillating jewelled scuttling crabs, after smashing their shells with iron mallets. Does that count as fish?

  28. ayupmeduck said,

    March 29, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Is that the same Jerome Burne that used to write Guardian articles like this?

    education.guardian.co.uk/higher/medicalscience/story/0,,740722,00.html

  29. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 29, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    I’m with Mojo on this. If ‘equally ignorant people’ hold themselves up as authorities – and even lack the guts to admit to some of their (stupid, dangerous and offensive) ’scientific’ beliefs in public – I think that’s worth covering.

    i don’t know.

    that just feels a bit ad hominem,

    i leave that to the “other side”, as it were, since it’s all they ever do.

  30. j said,

    March 29, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    “i don’t know.

    that just feels a bit ad hominem,

    i leave that to the “other side”, as it were, since it’s all they ever do. ”

    Hm, to be honest part of the issue is that the likes of Rath just make me see red. I find it hard to be impartial about the scum-sucking-bottom-dwel…sorry, about people who disagree with me on this issue ;)

    In terms of a rational argument, though, as Mojo says, Burne is holding himself up as an authority on health (for example, in the publicity for his book with another well-known nutritionist). This does mean that his authoritativeness, or otherwise, is worth a critical discussion.
    For example, if a media pundit who presented themselves as an authority on social integration in schools were seen cheering along at a BNP rally, that would be worth covering – this pundit might still be right in what they were saying, but knowing their views would (or, at least, should) make readers pay more careful attention to checking what they say. Analogously, when Burne – who represents himself as an authority on food and vitamins, and how they can work better than drugs – is seen cheering at a Rath rally, this is worth covering. Much of what Burne says may still be right – I’m sure it is – but knowing Burne’s more ‘extreme’ views will help alert readers to the need to check what he says extremely carefully.

  31. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 30, 2007 at 2:41 am

    hey, obviously burne is a nobody, it goes without saying that him being at the rally is a non-column. the question really is whether the rath rally itself is worth a column, but i think i can’t be arsed with it. will certainly keep in mind should burne ever appear on radar tho. applauding rath indeed.

  32. Dave M said,

    March 30, 2007 at 9:54 am

    “Bad Science Top Trumps! Yeah I’d buy those!”

    This leads to the question what the categories should be… off the top of my head…

    Non-accredited degrees “earned”
    Peer reviewed publications
    Daily Mail column inches per month
    Woo Factor

  33. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 30, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    anybody know the printing costs for a set of bespoke playing cards? someone from the US military perhaps, they had a set printed for iraq?

  34. motmot said,

    March 30, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    www.cs.man.ac.uk/~daf/i-p-c-s.org/faq/custom.php says printers will start at a 300-pack print run for customised cards, and you only start seeing good prices per pack at a run of 1000. There’s a link from there to a page on how to make your own, though. If someone knocks up some designs, that’s probably the way to go, seeing as demand might hit a couple of dozen!

  35. Robert Carnegie said,

    March 30, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Suppose you just ran an address by Rath in the Bad Science column without comment? Other than putting it under the heading of “Bad Science”, that is. He’d be your locum. Now it might get sticky over copyright and when he noticed the title, you wouldn’t have to tell him…

    Or – rewrite it in plainer English, so that what he’s saying becomes all the more horribly clear.

  36. ablejones said,

    March 30, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Um, long time reader first time writer. And unfortunately I don’t agree with you all. Rath may not have a cure for AIDs but neither does conventional science. All I’m reading here is a lot of fury about a man who promises a cure but doesn’t deliver, just like conventiojnal science really. The only difference is that Rath’s alleged cure is cheaper.

    I’d also like to see the studies that prove his vitamin combination doesn’t work. We have plenty of those for any number of anti-HIV drugs after all.

    And make no mistake I have no doubt his cure doesn’t work but all I’m seeing here is a bunch of villagers waving torches because he doesn’t have the decency to charge 100 times as much for his “non-cure”. When we have a cure for AIDs I’ll come back and edit this comment. Though I probably only have another 40 years in me so you’ll forgive me if I’m dead before then.

  37. j said,

    March 30, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    AbleJones- Partly in response to concerns about living in poverty (with a high risk of malnutrition etc.) worsening HIV/AIDS and reducing the efficacy of ART, NEJM did a study on such treatment in resource-poor settings content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/355/11/1141 The study showed that ART could be effective, and cost-effective, even in far from ideal circumstances (this was before generics brought down the cost of treatment). ART isn’t a cure, and can have really nasty side effects, but there is evidence that it’s significantly better than the alternatives.

    There is no evidence of similar quality re. Rath’s multi-vitamin treatments. There’s plenty of anecdotal ‘evidence’ of people dying of AIDS while using his multivitamins, but there aren’t reliable studies. Nonetheless, Rath continues to push his own pills while campaigning against treatments that have been shown to be effective.

    To add insult to injury, I’m not convinced that Rath’s vitamins are cheaper than ART. South African manufacture of generics should allow the use of pills costing about $1/day (www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=51370). Treatment Action Campaign list Rath’s multivitamins as ranging from about R180/month ($29.95) to R3,500 – depending which regime you use (www.tac.org.za/newsletter/2005/ns19_04_2005.htm). It therefore looks like Rath’s treatments can therefore actually be more expensive than ART, or at least first-line ART (and that’s before you take into account the additional cost of unnecessary transmission of HIV from mum to baby, people dying unnecessarily early, etc).

    Absolutely – I’ll wave my proverbial torch. In the case of Rath, I think there’s good reason to do so.

  38. pv said,

    March 31, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    ablejones said,

    March 30, 2007 at 10:08 pm
    “Um, long time reader first time writer. And unfortunately I don’t agree with you all. Rath may not have a cure for AIDs but neither does conventional science. All I’m reading here is a lot of fury about a man who promises a cure but doesn’t deliver, just like conventiojnal science really. The only difference is that Rath’s alleged cure is cheaper.”

    Firstly, what on earth do you mean by “conventional” science? Is there any other kind of science? I’m tempted to ask if you actually know what science is.
    Secondly, kindly provide references or links to any “conventional” scientific study or report claiming a cure for AIDS/HIV.
    Thirdly, whether you like it or not, science is humankind’s single greatest achievement and, almost certainly, our only hope for survival. If you prefer voodoo, witch doctors or intercessory prayer then good luck to you.

  39. Dr Aust said,

    April 3, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Glad people are responding to AbleJones without blowing too much of a gasket.

    His comments do show just how far the deranged “legend” promulgated by the Nutri-gang about anti-HIV triple therapy has penetrated, though. We are all aware of examples of drugs which are often barely effective above placebo being relentlessly marketed (examples passim), but anti-retroviral therapy for the HIV-positive is NOT one of them. Everything I have ever read on this subject leads me to conclude that the triple therapy anti-retroviral (ARV) cocktails represent one of the greatest pharmaceutical achievements of the last half-century, and have saved (in the sense of “prolonged with acceptable quality of life”) countless lives of HIV-positive people – see Ben’s CDC graph above. Sure, the ARVs have nasty side-effects, but not dying a grim death from an AIDS-related illness is a hell of an upside.

    I like to trash the Pharma greedheads and pill-peddlers as much as the next man, but their dirty tricks vis-a-vis ARVs relate to the way they initially displayed reluctance to cut the prices for the 3rd world. Which is also, NB, one of those examples in which collective shaming of the companies by citizen activism did real good – at least some of the “access vs. profit” issues have been surmounted after the PharmaCos saw the shitstorm of moral opprobium and bad PR they would bring on themselves if they stuck to maximizing corporate profits at the expense of millions dead in Africa.

    Apart from anything else, the lives saved in the African context are hugely significant because you are often talking young people (20s and 30s) with families in their primary working and child-raising years. The impact on their lives and their kids’ lives of staying in good enough health to work and support their children through to adulthood are incalculable. Not to mention that treating pregnant HIV-positive women with ARVs usually prevents virus transmission to their unborn children.

    So the ARVs may not be a “cure” for HIV/AIDS, but they’ll do until one comes along.

    And anyone who thinks high-dose Vitamin C or some other cocktail of antioxidants is going to substitute for antiviral therapy is clearly on drugs of the hallucinogenic variety. Or in Rath’s case high on his own messianic delusions.

  40. Dr Aust said,

    April 3, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Hmmm… have been following some of the Rath lnks people gave at the top of the thread.

    Let us examine the facts, M’lud.

    It has been linked to already, and paraphrased, but in case anyone didn’t bother reading, here is the actual text of the BMJ’s apology to Matthias Rath:

    ———————————————————–

    Dr Matthias Rath: an apology

    In a news item published in the 22 July 2006 issue of the BMJ (2006;333:166) and on the bmj.com website, it was reported that Dr Matthias Rath had gone on trial in Hamburg “for fraud.” In this context we suggested that Dr Rath stood accused of the serious crime of fraud in relation to the death in 2004 of Dominik Feld, a 9 year old boy with bone cancer; that he was culpably responsible for Dominik Feld’s death; and, in particular, that he had improperly pressured Dominik Feld’s parents into refusing to allow hospital doctors to amputate the boy’s infected leg in an effort to save him.

    We now accept that the allegations we published were without foundation, and in the circumstances the BMJ wishes to set the record straight and to apologise to Dr Rath for publishing these allegations.

    ————————————————————————————-

    So: the apology relates to a small number of specific and very serious allegations about Rath’s actions in the Dominik Feld case. The BMJ said Rath was being prosecuted for fraud and serious professional misconduct; they got the facts wrong; Rath sued and the BMJ settled for, I guess, Rath’s legal costs plus some damages.

    Note: NOTHING there with any direct relevance to the credibility (or otherwise) of Vitamin C as an HIV therapy, Rath’s claims about vitamins, HIV, antiretrovirals, etc. etc. None of these things were at issue. If the libel case had been heard, these “wider issues” would never have been discussed as they would not have been relevant to the matters of fact of the case – i.e. were the specific statements in the original (now removed) BMJ article factually correct, or weren’t they? And if incorrect, were they libellous and damaging to Rath?

    Now read the truly bizarre waffle relating to this in the Rath Foundation Website flyer linked to above:

    ————————————————————————————-

    www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/pdf-files/future-london-march07.pdf

    “In an open letter to Fiona Godlee, Dr Rath challenged the BMJ to clarify this important
    issue ["the scientifically established facts about the health benefits of vitamins"] in court. Apparently in fear of such a hearing and the inevitable public debate, the BMJ applied the emergency brake. On February 15th, 2007 the court heard a motion filed by the BMJ that they be allowed to pay the staggering amount of £100,000 as damages for the defamatory statements they had published about Dr Rath. In return, the BMJ would avoid having to meet this pioneer of vitamin research in court and inevitably stand a comparison of the value of pharmaceutical drugs versus science-based natural health approaches.

    Apparently the BMJ was afraid of the scientific truth.

    THE DRUG INDUSTRY’S “WATERLOO”

    With this move, the BMJ and pharmaceutically-oriented medicine, had just suffered a
    “Waterloo” and revealed to the entire world that their claimed monopoly based on
    patented pharmaceutical drugs was no longer defensible. On that day, after decades
    of being neglected for their non-patentability, vitamins and other science-based natural health approaches reclaimed their rightful place in medicine. The BMJ and the pharmaceutical “gorilla” were running out of options.”

    —————————————————————

    You see how very easy it is to reach for the phrase “messianic delusions”…

    Anyway, comparing these two pieces of writing shows us that Rath and his supporters are claiming, ludicrously, that the court case was actually going to be about the “vitamins vs medicines” issue – a breathtaking piece of sleight-of-hand. The Rath-ies are also using the judgement as a blanket “all my statements about vitamin treatments have now been vindicated ” sticker. (They haven’t).

    It would be laughable if it didn’t seem that so many people in the Alt.Nutri-verse wanted to believe this fiction. Of course, claiming to have been “wholly and unversally vindicated” when a legal judgement relates to one very specific thing is an old tactic of blusterers of all stripes – Lord Archer springs to mind.

    PS The Rath Foundation flyer is a truly riveting read, if you’ve got a few minutes – sort of “The Sun” for Vitamin Nuts. I can only presume that, following the BMJ’s cock-up, Patrick H and the rest of the Natural Health crew now see Rath as a sort of Shining Knight in Armour “slaying the dragon of pharmaceutical orthodoxy”. Their persecution complex is reaching alarming proportions if they are prepared to see someone as discredited as Rath as a saviour.

    A final random thought – the whole Rath London event sounds rather like one of those Christian evangelist revival meetings. Is Matthias Rath the Billy Graham of Vitamin Peddling?

  41. Mojo said,

    April 4, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    #59: “The only question in my mind is whether he is deluded enough to believe what he says, or whether he *wants* black Africans to die of AIDS.”

    He doesn’t want them to die of AIDS: he wants their money.

  42. evidencebasedeating said,

    April 4, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    and it doesn’t appear that supplements are that great in influencing outcomes of pregnancy in HIV-ve women, either

    content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/356/14/1423

    Vitamins and Perinatal Outcomes among HIV-Negative Women in Tanzania
    Wafaie W. Fawzi, M.B., B.S., Dr.Ph., Gernard I. Msamanga, M.D., Sc.D., Willy Urassa, M.D., Ph.D., Ellen Hertzmark, M.S., Paul Petraro, M.P.H., Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Donna Spiegelman, Sc.D.
    ABSTRACT
    Background Prematurity and low birth weight are associated with high perinatal and infant mortality, especially in developing countries. Maternal micronutrient deficiencies may contribute to these adverse outcomes.
    Methods In a double-blind trial in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, we randomly assigned 8468 pregnant women (gestational age of fetus, 12 to 27 weeks) who were negative for human immunodeficiency virus infection to receive daily multivitamins (including multiples of the recommended dietary allowance) or placebo. All the women received prenatal supplemental iron and folic acid. The primary outcomes were low birth weight (

  43. germslayer said,

    April 6, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Has anyone considered setting Peter Tatchell on Rath?

  44. Robert Carnegie said,

    April 8, 2007 at 12:30 am

    I don’t think you “set Peter Tatchell on” people, he picks his own – unless he’s a one-man A-Team if you know the right way to contact him, which I don’t – and he is interested in gay issues, not in AIDS, a sexually transmitted disease. In South Africa, and to a degree elsewhere, AIDS is not a disease of bummers, but of women and children as well as male partners who presumably are spreading it around.

    Mr Tatchell’s home page link on “AIDS” is
    www.petertatchell.net/AIDS/aids%20alternative%20therapies%20index.htm
    and contains five articles, one of which is about positive thinking and another, from April 2001, possibly frivolous in intention as well as effect, demands that gay and AIDS societies must campaign for legalisation of cannabis. This is mostly because “it’s fun and it’s good for you”, specifically that “Research in the 1990s by Dr Lester Grinspoon at Harvard Medical School in the US shows that cannabis enables HIV-positive people to cope better with the stress of diagnosis and, by stimulating their appetite, reduces weight loss. It can also relieve the nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea often associated with HIV illnesses and combination therapy.” If this is not either bollocks or inferior to legally available treatments for the effects described then I will owe Mr Tatchell some kind of apology, but as it is I think he may take Dr Rath’s side in the argument.

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