Have WHSmith even read my #WDDTY emails?

Their replies suggest not.

I have decided to publish my correspondence in full so that you can see what I mean.

I originally emailed Customer.Relations@WHSmith.co.uk on 27th September. I’m afraid this was done in haste and I’m ashamed to say I neglected to even mention the vaccine scaremongering. Still, I did raise some very strong concerns.

I wrote:

I believe it is dangerously irresponsible of WHSmith to stock the magazine ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’.

This magazine encourages mistrust in qualified health professionals, discourages people from taking the advice of their doctors, frightens people off prescription medication and pushes unproven and disproven ‘alternative medicine’ and associated theories and ideas. This magazine is promoting quackery.

This could have serious consequences. For example, there is an asthma exclusive – with the suggestion you could “end your child’s wheezing without drugs”. There is also the suggestion that you could “sunbathe your diabetes away”. There is the suggestion (headlined ‘Unsteady Gran’) that falls in the elderly are caused by drugs, not old age. Asthma and diabetes are both life threatening conditions that need to be controlled with medication.

It is unbelievably irresponsible to spread mistrust in doctors and medicine to those who need medicines to keep them alive.

I believe WHSmith should not stock this magazine and to do so could be damaging to your reputation.

Their reply (already discussed on the Quackometer, here) was as follows:

Thank you for contacting us regarding the magazine “What the doctors don’t tell you”.

As the UK’s leading retailer of stationery, books, magazines and newspapers, we aim to offer our customers a wide choice of products, whilst also respecting customer views. Our customers often have widely differing opinions about the products we sell, so we aim to strike the right balance to meet the needs of all our customers.

We work closely with the magazine publishers to ensure that their products meet the expectations of our customers. Where we receive customer complaints about a certain publication, WHSmith commits to raise these concerns directly with the publisher.

Customer feedback is extremely important to us and I’d like to thank you for taking the time to share your concerns.

Kind Regards

David Trollope

Customer Services Coordinator

Incidentally, the publishers are Lynne and Bryan McTaggart who also edit the magazine. I decided to point out to WHSmith that these people have not reacted well to concerns being raised.

Yesterday, I wrote:

I have already complained to WHSmith about this magazine and received a reply which indicated that where there have been customer complaints, WHSmith has a commitment to raise concerns directly with the publisher.

However, it is my understanding that the magazine is essentially self published (by Lynne McTaggart and Bryan Hubbard). I believe their response to complaints so far has been inappropriate and since concerns are so strong, I think the onus is now on the distributor and retailers to take action.

If this magazine is to be considered reliable and respectable (as a presence in high street retailers would suggest to consumers), it is important that editors take care to ensure articles are not misleading or inaccurate and that editors take legitimate complaints seriously. Yet it is my feeling that much of the magazine is in breach of the PCC Editors’ Code on Accuracy.

Are you aware whether the PCC Editors’ Code applies to What Doctors Don’t Tell You?

Since a large proportion of the articles are misleading (in my view), it would be impractical for me to try to detail every example. Here is just one, from The Selling of Gardasil (page 31):

Your chances of getting cervical cancer are only eight times greater than your risk of getting killed by an asteroid.

This is clearly false and the article is very misleading in general. As well as playing down the risk of cervical cancer, it makes the false assumption that any adverse event following the vaccine was caused by the vaccine.

It is also worrying that a very high proportion of the advertisements seem to be misleading and in clear breach of advertising regulations.

In case you are not aware of how Lynne McTaggart and Bryan Hubbard have responded to complaints so far, I’ll summarise:

Critics of the magazine like myself have been labelled ‘bully boys’ and ‘trolls’ online. Legitimate concerns have been politely raised then ignored and deleted – for example from Lynne McTaggart’s Facebook page and from her blog. Although it is my understanding that there has been a legal threat against Simon Singh following his correspondence with the distributor, Comag, Ms McTaggart described the Guardian story where this was reported as ‘complete fabrication’ and stated that she has asked for a correction. She also deleted a Facebook post in which she stated that Simon Singh had been reminded by Comag that tweeting untrue statements against Comag or What Doctors Don’t Tell You is libel.

I have also written to Comag Specialist, Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

I await your response.

The reply was as follows:

Thank for your your further email regarding this magazine.

We work closely with the magazine publishers to ensure that their products meet the expectations of our customers. Where we receive customer complaints about a certain publication, WHSmith commits to raise these concerns directly with the publisher.  We have no current plans to remove this magazine from our stockfile .

Customer feedback is extremely important to us and I’d like to thank you again  for taking the time to share your concerns.

Kind regards
Linda Robbins
Customer Service Co-ordinator

I think this could get very embarrassing.

54 responses to “Have WHSmith even read my #WDDTY emails?

  1. Pingback: Quack rag distributor threatens to sue Singh: relevant links and what you can do | Josephine Jones

  2. Do not forget that WHS (La Swann &Co) only give a shit about the money -anything else they say is simply BULLSHIT.
    I deliberately keep away from them as unethical sheisters.

    • Well Liz, that’s an informed position then. So selling lots of unproven vaccines, fraudulent flu treatments and arthritis meds using public money isn’t about shares and stocks. Who made your glasses, check out Ben Goldacre’s new book on Pharma, looks like he’s bailed out in advance of the septic collapse so he can make some money out of it! Let’s watch Ernsty and Simple Simon follow suit.

  3. It would appear that they don’t read emails. I emailed asking them to explain why they think it is ethical to sell a magazine that has a scaremongering pseudo-medical article that may deter young women from having potentially life-saving vaccination. I got the same response as yours, with an additional paragraph:
    “However, at this time we have no current plans to remove this magazine from our stockfile.”
    I had not asked them to remove it.

    I have responded, clarifying my question. We’ll see how/if they reply.🙂

  4. Pingback: What Doctors Don’t Tell You: responses to complaints | Josephine Jones

  5. I too wrote to WHSmith, taking issue with their crap response that I had seen posted elsewhere. Sure enough the exact same crap response came back. They have so far ignored my further correspondence.
    http://berkshireskeptics.org.uk/blog/2012/10/02/a-letter-to-whsmith/

    • What are you expecting Mikey? If you are going to regurgitate a pile of Barretty crap and expect someone to notice you are living in fluffy clouds. The public have a right to know that cervical cancer vaccine is woo, who are you to decide otherwise? Go post on some septic blog, oh you are, well done. I’d take sod off twice as a sign you have got something wrong.

  6. This is really funny, it’s ok to promote flu vaccine woo when the current EBM tells us its complete crap! Most doctors have no idea about basic things such as a balanced diet, if they had got it right how come we have epidemics of diabetes, cancer and other degenerative diseases.

    Not to mention antibiotic reistant strains of superbugs, none of this can be blamed on WDDDTY.

  7. I think it is really healthy that they are ignoring a health crank like you, you are lucky we live in a democracy, if it was Iraq or the USA they would come for you and nail you to a plank.

  8. Any way you’ve got idiots like Singh and co to cream over

  9. “I believe it is dangerously irresponsible of WHSmith to stock the magazine ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’”

    What a dangerously arrogant statement. WHS stocks the Sun and the Lancet, BMJ stuff and that rediculous fairy story ‘trick or treatment’.
    JJ you need to get out a bit, who do you think you are and why should anyone not lump you in with the Simple Simon libel threat, in fact that is where I am going now. Don’t worry full copies of screen shots are on their way to WHS head office as you moderate and I look forward to seeing you shit your pants in public!

    • What a comical attempt at a threat. Surely you can do better than that? Why not accuse JJ of racism like your pal Errol?

      What do you expect WHS to do with the screenshots?

      And why are you cranks so obsessed with vaccines?

      • Because they don’t work, cost everyone millions and are bad for you. Take the current whooping cough outbreaks, even the Health Protection agency has no idea why because currently we have the highest levels of vaccine uptake which also correlate with the highest levels of whooping cough for decades. For vaccine believers like you this means the vaccine isn’t working, hasn’t worked, never did work.

        Why are you so easily angered and unable to discuss this issue without getting all emotional? I shouldn’t think WHS will take any notice whatsoever, the magazine is useful, part of the debate and quite frankly a refreshingly interesting read over anything concocted on pubmed.

      • Got an interesting reply ie they are fully aware that a small group of religious septics are shouting about nothing and it’s just not on their radar. So I suppose that means no one listening, judging by the lack of posting here and on the rest of the tired old JJ bloggy it looks like it’s all died a death really.

        Being a woman I am surprised you haven’t looked into the cervical cancer jab scam JJ, did you know that if they gave it to you and you already had HPV that your chances of getting cervical cancer go up by 44%. Maybe you should read the magazine, I have subscribed to it now I have seen your blog so thanks for telling me about it.

        Why don’t they pretest here like they did in the USA? I suppose if you don’t do the test you can claim you don’t know and therefore get round the law, that’s proper doctor ethics and protocols for you.
        NIce to see someone is standing up for this JJ.

        Sorry for the name change, yet again, but your system seems to keep banning me and if I look over your blog it seems that most of the posts are by me now, how comforting.

  10. Here’s a test: Can anyone disagree with Josephine’s point of view without resorting to abuse? I’ll wait…

  11. “I emailed asking them to explain why they think it is ethical to sell a magazine that has a scaremongering pseudo-medical article that may deter young women from having potentially life-saving vaccination.”

    Well this kind of bullshit mantra is repeated by vaccine believers continually in your world and needs pointing out. Take flu woo vaccination the current EBM on that is that it doesn’t work, it wastes £15 million of taxpayer’ money and is putting people at risk by fooling people into believing it works. JJ is threatening bollocks at every turn and WHS were quite right to tell her to sling her hook.

    If JJ is libeling WHS by spreading untruthful rumors that one of the magazines they sell is putting people at risk then she is guilty of slander and that needs dealing with. If you are wondering why my name keeps changing it is because JJ in her paranoia keeps banning me from pointing out the swiss cheese logic on this site.
    I don’t know Errol and have never met him.

    next

  12. Hi Matt, you look interesting. Did you have a flu vaccine and if so why?

    • I did not have the flu vaccine because I am 24 and it is usually the over 60s who get vaccinated.

      If a vaccine is recommended to me, I’ll take it. I had the MMR jab as a child but did not get the booster in my teens (my school were too scared about misinformed parents), and quite possibly as a result I got mumps when I was 16. Fortunately it confined itself to only my face and neck, but it was still the single most excruciatingly painful experience of my life.

      • You probably had mumps because it is now coming out that at least the mumps component of the vaccine was fraudulently claimed by Merck to be effective when the scientists who tested it found it certainly wasn’t.

        It is often medical mythology that recommends vaccines, like them currently telling pregnant women to have the whooping cough vaccine when it has never been tested on women, it actually says in the leaflet do not give to pregnant women! Guess what turns ‘no medical EBM’ into fact, doctor’s anecdote yet again, they weighed up the mythical evidence that didn’t exist and then applied the ‘panic bull quotant’ and low an behold we have constructed EBM. Considering we have the highest outbreak of whooping cough in the UK for decades and the highest uptake of vaccination, that in English means the whole caboodle is woo science.

        I find it fascinating that people like Josephine and Matt seem to be claiming the science and moral high-ground but can’t check basic facts and realise they have no idea. If you are prepared to believe any nurd in a white coat recommending out of date ideas for your health it’s you that needs help, not the public. I don’t know anyone who has taken their kids for a vaccine.
        I should think WHS have looked at your blog, seen your level of support and bonkers rational and pissed themselves laughing.

  13. Perhaps you could explain then that if I post with the same name it all disappears. If I then use a new name it’s all ok?

    • I really have no idea what’s going on.

      I have been allowing all your comments through unmoderated (and unedited), though if you comment with a new IP, as you have here, then I have to approve your first comment. I have checked my spam and there are no messages from you there.

      With regards to the flu vaccine, irrelevant though it may be to all the posts on which you have commented, you ought to be aware that it is not routinely offered to everybody, but to those at risk of developing serious complications, to children, and to health and social care workers.

      However, if you continue to waste my time posting irrelevant nonsense, since I am not obliged to allow you a platform, I may decide to tighten up on my moderation policy. I hate to be rude. I think nonsense is probably the politest way of putting it.

  14. vaccines on the whole are paid for by taxpayers and affect the health of millions. The woo of their impact is far greater than Mr Errol and not privately funded. When we see repeated bullshit scare tactics with fake pandemics used to spend millions of our money on futile ‘woo’ treatments like Tamiflu and useless vaccines it needs exposing. Matt did you know that ROche lost all the Tamiflu data from the last scamdemic and the BMJ did nothing about it beyond saying it was naughty.

    I have no idea why the likes of JJ and yourself are so concerned with some backstreet guy when much much bigger public health menaces like the childhood vaccine programme are continuing breaking every consent law in the book, not compiling proper auditable data on their use and refusing to accept the need for proper comparative studies.

    Your ignorant passive collusive support in these far more pressing issues is the only factor keeping this vaccine woo alive, you need to start reading instead of tweeting bull.

  15. Strange you find Cochraine to be nonsense, how do you cope with Ben Goldacre telling us how crap the Pharma industry is with its corruption of the EBM you seem to quote like the bible as the only truth. It would seem you are only capable of cherry picking random facts and presenting them as some kind of quasi religious science factoid.

    I think WHS were quite kind to you just brushing you off.

    Influenza vaccination for healthcare workers who work with the elderly
    Thomas RE, Jefferson T, Lasserson TJ
    Published Online: 
    September 8, 2010
    There are no accurate data on rates of laboratory-proven influenza in healthcare workers.
    The three studies in the first publication of this review and the two new studies we identified in this update are all at high risk of bias.

    The studies found that vaccinating healthcare workers who look after the elderly in long-term care facilities did not show any effect on the specific outcomes of interest, namely laboratory-proven influenza, pneumonia or deaths from pneumonia.

    Healthcare workers have lower rates of influenza vaccination than the elderly and surveys show that healthcare workers who do not get vaccinated do not perceive themselves at risk, doubt the efficacy of influenza vaccine, have concerns about side effects, and some do not perceive their patients to be at risk.

  16. What does Jefferson of the cochraine review on flu vaccine woo have to say about one of the top fraudulent claims by the NHS on vaccinating care workers to ‘protect the elderly in homes?:

    We conclude that there is no evidence that only vaccinating healthcare workers prevents laboratory-proven influenza, pneumonia, and death from pneumonia in elderly residents in long-term care facilities.

    That means it’s a lie.

    To my knowledge I only have one IPS address unless you really believe I live in a block of flats and am asking my neighbors to loan theirs to me!

  17. Uh JJ have you had a flu vaccine?

  18. JJ, it’s probably not worth engaging with anon nut jobs that deny the existence of viruses (presumably because they can’t see them using their LBA microscopes). This particular deranged twonk doesn’t seem to be able to operate their computer either, or indeed realise that posting off topic comments is a sure sign of a lunatic troll.

    • Who said viruses don’t exist Mtx? Point is years of flu vaccine woo and pretend pandemics are generated by those who believe viruses cause flu when we know the contagion theory is flawed. Have you seen they are starting ‘flu camp’ again so you could sign up and get paid for nothing.

  19. Interestingly we are supposed to be in the middle of a whooping cough outbreak that has tragically caused the death of 9 babies. This is always a tragedy and the public have little choice but to look to media for explanations from experts. The septic community in their ranting wisdom are quick to spread malicoius rumors of vaccine avoidance and away they run with their conspiracy theories.

    What does the Health Protection agency say?

    “While there has been a decline in the number of infant cases it’s
    important to emphasise that it’s too early to see any impact from the
    pregnancy vaccination programme.” HPA

    “Health experts do not know why the outbreak is so large this year,
    especially as vaccination for whooping cough is at record levels” HPA

    So it’s not those who intellegently are choosing to avoid vaccination who can be blaimed. Has it ever occured to them that the vaccine doesn’t do what it says or is that ‘non believer’ behaviour, what do you think?

  20. I guess JJ has given up, once you start posting evidence this septic thing just blows away.

  21. sebastianarmstrong

    Or once you start spamming every thread with unrelated garbage.

  22. Hi Seb, well I suppose if you live in a religious medical community when someone points out that the biblemed is unable to take it’s own studies that show vaccination is outdated woo and inform practice, there isn’t much to say is there.

    Most of this site is already full of poorly informed Quackspam by JJ’s own admission so I suppose pushing that further down the pipe is a natural progression.

    Nice to see yet another sepic tank disappear into the ether all done with evidence posting so quite satisfying really.

    Still don’t know if JJ fell for the swine flu jab scam, perhaps we can assume that she did and is too embarrassed to admit it now the evidence is out.
    So are you a septic lurker Seb and if so perhaps you would like to tell us if you had a flu jab or better still are you a vaccine believer?

  23. sebastianarmstrong

    Is that how it works then? Let’s see, sod off, sod off.

  24. So I take it , judging by your inability to defend the woo practice, that Seb did have a flu vaccine and is rather pissed that he has been rumbled.

  25. You really should come up to speed and check out the Cochraine review on the uselessness of the flu vaccine Seb, it really is right down there with crystal healing and chakra alignment, the difference is it is dangerous and costing the taxpayer £15 million whereas the healers don’t make a dent in the public purse.

  26. This blog is great, it must be what it looks like the day after someone nukes a country, that’s an analogy of course, here we used to have a load of bigoted opinion on outdated practices like vaccination but now it’s all calm and the belief system collapses of people like Seb and Matt now need real support and caring.

    Funny how this time of year brings out the best in people, even JJ has calmed right down.

  27. sebastianarmstrong

    No I do not work in the health sector, I am too young, I do not have any underlying health problems, so no need to take a flu vaccine as not going to be fatal to me. As with others, if I was in teh groups recommedned to take it I would, because hte MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS with ACTUAL MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE recommend it. If they stop recommedning it as furhter evidence appears (eg Cochrane) that’s all well and good, it is what responsibe peopel do. What they don’t do is make up a load of crap, call it a treatment and do precisely zero actual scientific tests to bakc it up such as much of the contents of WDDTY.

    However, my comments were that this is off topic spam. If you want to discuss the flu vaccine set up your own blog and do it. If you just want to spam someone elses blog with off topic garbage then it’s the very epitomy of trolling.

    The sod off sod off comment was based upon “Consultant” saying that you must have got soemthing wrong if you are told to sod off twice. it was his theory.

    • Hear, hear -well said

    • Seb wrote “As with others, if I was in teh groups recommedned to take it I would, because hte MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS with ACTUAL MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE recommend it. If they stop recommedning it as furhter evidence appears (eg Cochrane) that’s all well and good, it is what responsibe peopel do. What they don’t do is make up a load of crap”

      Well in between the appalling typos what I am getting from your logic Seb is that the flu vaccine is a load of crap, it’s recommended but also has no EBM to support its use. That was really helpful. Not sure what kind of crap you subscribe to really but if this is the level of engagement in those supporting stupidity your opinion on WDDTY isn’t that informative.

      Too young to be a professional but old enough to believe anything a doctor says!

  28. sebastianarmstrong

    Look, this is not a thread about the flu vaccine, if you want one write your own blog. This is about WDDTY, whih is a ridiculous publication that has little or no standards in promoting garbage, that deliberately (HPV article) skews the debate (so many deaths, but none actually linked to HPV, eg a snake bite) and is just there to promote the sort of nonsense that has never been shown to work. I know you can’t deal with that so want to try desperately to move the discussion away from tthe crap WDDTY push, I genuinely feel sorry for peole who’s best evidence to support their argument is that after additional evidence coming to light medical professionals may act upon that evidence. In case you hadn’t notived that is a reason not to support the Flu vaccine, not evidence that (s)cam works. Now unless you have got anything to contribute to the topic of WDDTY why not jog on rather than continue to highlight your complete inability to provide any logical defence of the misinformation rag that is WDDTY.

    PS I am a professional, a proper one with genuine professional qualifications, not someone with “qualifications” in made up (s)cam procedures. I am not old enough to be on the flu vaccine list.

    • Why doesn’t the septic community try and get a magazine into the shops? It would be such fun referring all the articles supporting vaccination to the ASA.

      • sebastianarmstrong

        I woudl have thought the answer was obvious. Sceptics debate adn discuss looking at as many angles as possible, and for sources of verifiable information durng a debate. As such forums are much better places. This is unlike people like WDDTY readers who just want to be told what to think.

  29. Ok Seb let’s take the HPV issue then. WDDDTY have every right to point out that the ridiculous vaccine for cervical cancer has as much science to support it’s use as Peter Pan had to steal the lost boys. The FDA found out that all the girls who pretested positive for HPV that were given the vaccine when they went back a year later and checked they found that the HPV vaccine had put the cancer rate up by 44% in that group!

    How many girls are told in the UK that if they already have HPV the vaccine will increase their cervical cancer risk by 44% – answer none. How many girls, knowing that the HPV vaccine could put them more at risk with cervical cancer, got pretested – answer none. That means schoolboy, that every doctor who gives this vaccine is criminally negligent because they are not complying with informed consent law by telling girls of this known risk factor. Look up the Asfar ruling on informed consent.

    If the medical peer review system was somehow a bastion of science and correctness with proper checks and balance you could judge WDDTY against that, which is what you imply. Unfortunately it isn’t.

    However the flu jab is a great example of the hypocrisy of people like you, JJ and septic blogs, that seem to be in complete denial that your house is filthy.

    Are you a tax inspector or a policeman, your grasp of sentences and punctuation is giving this much away, can you tell me what this means:

    ” I genuinely feel sorry for peole who’s best evidence to support their argument is that after additional evidence coming to light medical professionals may act upon that evidence”

    What after 160.000 people died from VIOXX doctors noticed this new evidence and stopped prescribing! It’s publications like WDDDTY that shove facts up the arses of doctors and make them stop!

    Why is telling it how it is deliberately skewing the debate. The HPV vaccine has not been tested on the group it is being given to and it will be years before any claims for efficacy can be used to flog it so the projections are just that. The evidence that flu jab is bloody useless has been around for the 96 seasons that Cochraine reviewed it! What it has taken that long for medical professionals to realise it was all woo, do you seriously believe that there was a flu pandemic last year Seb! This is relevant, the arseholes who think they can stop the public reading what is really going on can’t even get their own house in order.

    Next you will be telling us that the guy who did the fraudulent Danish study saying no link between autism and mercury, who is now on the run for stealing most of the money for the study only had personal issues but the study was squeaky clean.

    What is a proper doctor anyway Seb?

  30. Funny how septic threads die when evidence is posted and fallacies challenged, I see WDDTY is still on sale and your activity has dwindled to almost zero.

  31. Pingback: WDDTY: My Master List | Josephine Jones

  32. Pingback: University stocking WDDTY | apoptoticus

  33. Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing…………..

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