Posted by apgaylard on June 5, 2009
George Lewith has an interesting letter in the New Scientist this week, in which he criticises David Allen Green’s* excellent article “Don’t criticise, or we’ll sue“. One of his objections is that he is, “unaware of anybody prior to the chiropractors” threatening critics with libel in the UK.
He seems to have missed Drs Alan Lakin and Ann Walker threatening defamation proceedings against University College London and Professor David Colquhoun over the latter’s criticism** of, herbal medicine practitioner, Dr Walker’s views on the ‘blood cleansing’ properties of red clover and the benefits of vitamin supplements.
Neither did he spot that Le Canard Noir was threatened with legal action by the Society of Homeopaths over comments on their handling of members caught peddling nonsensical nostrums for malaria. The legal threat made by alternative medicine practitioner Dr. Joseph Chikelue Obi against the same blogger and his ISP has also passed him by.
I concede that, unless you take an interest in the sceptical blogosphere, it’s easy to miss incidents like these; but perhaps some research is advisable before commenting in public on this issue?***
Finally, I am at a loss though to explain why his letter ignores the failed attempt by vitamin pill pusher Matthias Rath to sue The Guardian and Ben Goldacre for libel: as this case was actually mentioned in the article.
*He blogs as Jack of Kent.
6th June 2009. Updated links to David Colquhoun’s account of the attempts by Drs Alan Lakin and Ann Walker to silence criticism.
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