Tag Archives: Press Complaints Commission

An appalling ‘alkaline’ diet plug in the Mail on Sunday

Does your diet pass the acid test? Forget Dukan and Atkins — these days, the A-list way to a flat tummy is ‘eating alkaline’.

Whatever you do, don’t read it. It’s excruciating, wince inducing drivel from start to finish. It eventually winds up with a plug for the book Honestly Healthy: Eat With Your Body In Mind, The Alkaline Way by Vicki Edgson and Natasha Corrett.

Actually, the whole article seems to be a plug for that book.

I’ll pick a few quotes for you. Continue reading


If the media care about Burzynski’s patients they must pull their heads out of the sand

An increasingly unwieldy list of well known serious legal and ethical issues has done nothing to stop the British media reporting on Dr Stanislaw Burzynski in an irresponsibly biased way. Such articles usually appear in the local press, though have also featured on ITV Daybreak, in the Daily Mirror and The Observer. They are always emotive, always full of hope and are presented from the point of view of families wishing to raise funds for ‘life saving‘ or ‘miracle‘ treatment. In doing so  – though of course they don’t see it this way, the media are effectively promoting the Burzynski Clinic.

When concerns are pointed out, heads are stuck deeper into the sand. Editors insist they are simply supporting a desperate family at a difficult time. They may even convince themselves that in mentioning that the treatment is ‘experimental’ or unproven, they are adequately reporting criticism of the clinic. Continue reading

PCC rule that Evening Standard Burzysnki article did not breach the Editors’ Code

The background to my complaint is here.

I already had little faith in the Press Complaints Commission as an effective regulator so it didn’t particularly surprise me that they failed to agree that there were several (indeed any) inaccuracies.

Incidentally, the title of the piece was “Cancer girl’s £130,000 plea for life-saving operation in US“.

The full text of the PCC ruling (25/01/12) is below. Continue reading

The Observer fails once more to address concerns regarding the Burzynski Clinic

The Observer readers’ editor, Stephen Pritchard has responded (by email) to criticism of his 4th December column regarding complaints about an article on the controversial Burzynski Clinic. I have published his email in full at the end of this post.

I hope that this inadequate response will not be the Observer’s final word on the subject. It remains to be seen whether the Press Complaints Commission will be able to resolve the situation (together with my more recent complaint against the Evening Standard) Continue reading

The Evening Standard fail to address my concerns about the Burzynski clinic – will the PCC act on this?

UPDATE (25/01/12) The PCC have reached the decision that the article did not breach the Editors’ Code (details here).

UPDATE (18/01/12) The Evening Standard have now published an article by their in-house doctor, Christian Jessen, which is critical of Burzynski’s claims to provide innovative, cutting-edge “Personalised Gene-Targeted Cancer Therapy”. He mentions that scientists have been unable to reproduce what few results the clinic has published and that Burzynski’s treatments have been described by experts as ‘scientific nonsense’.


Since the Evening Standard have failed to adequately address my concerns regarding their recent article promoting the Burzynski Clinic, I have now made a complaint to the PCC.

My original email was sent to Geordie Greig, the Editor. I received an unsatisfactory reply from their Managing Editor, Will Gore earlier this week.

I replied as follows: Continue reading

Burzynski critics respond to The Observer Readers’ editor

As my Twitter followers may have noticed, I was angy and upset after reading this week’s Readers’ editor column in The Observer – which seemed to paint critical Burzynski bloggers like myself as sanctimonious and vitriolic, with little regard for accuracy.

I was not alone. Several people responded to my angry tweets (one of which invited people to forward their complaints to me) and I have published their emails below.

I can also recommend the Quackometer post ‘The Observer Responds – Complicity in Misinformation‘ and the 21st Floor’s ‘Burzynski: A perfect storm?‘ (and subsequent comments) for background, and to see reactions of Andy Lewis and various other bloggers, including myself. (EDIT 05/12/11 This Dianthus Medical post is also recommended and indicates that a complaint has now been made to the PCC.)

For my part, I calmed down, read the article again a few times, and wrote a more detailed and balanced response this morning: Continue reading

What can I do about Burzynski?

If you have any further suggestions for this article (for example, nominations of reputable cancer charities outside the UK or any new ideas), then please get in touch.


Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients are fundraising for St Jude’s Chilren’s hospital in honour of Dr Burzynski’s 7oth birthday on January 23rd 2013. They aim to raise at least $30,000 by then (the cost of entering one of #Burzynski’s trials) and will then challenge Dr Burzynski to match the total sum.

Here are some other suggestions:

Continue reading