Good Thinking Society Responds to UK MP

UK Member of Parliament, David Tredinnick, is a very big advocate for alternative medicine. His Wikipedia page lays out just how deeply into this he is …

Tredinnick supports alternative medicine including homeopathy and chiropractic.[11] In October 2009, he told Parliament that blood does not clot under a full moon; a spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons of England warned his colleagues would “laugh their heads off” at the suggestion.[12] In the same debate, Tredinnick characterised scientists as “racially prejudiced”.[11]

Health journalist Victoria Lambert has interpreted Health Minister Jeremy Hunt’s call for traditional Chinese medicine to be available on the NHS as an endorsement of Tredinnick’s call for integrated alternative healthcare. Tredinnick claims that “herbal medicine is not quackery“, is cost-effective and, unlike Western medicine, has been used for thousands of years in China.[13]

In July 2013, Tredinnick sponsored an Early Day Motion congratulating a farmer for his decision to use homeopathy.[14] The motion was supported by one other MP; however, the British veterinary association said there is no evidence of any benefit of the treatment.[14]

Although Sally Davies, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), had described homeopathy as “rubbish”, it was reported in May 2014 that health secretary Jeremy Hunt, at Tredinnick’s urging, had requested a review of three studies by the French company, Boiron. These were found not to demonstrate the effectiveness of homeopathy, and the quality of the research in them was later questioned by Edzard Ernst.[15] Tredinnick told The Independent in June 2015 that homeopathy’s common rejection was the result of “vested interests trying to protect their own turf”.[16]

It actually gets worse, very much worse. Just to illustrate how absurdly silly this guy is …

Tredinnick is a supporter of astrology and its use in medical practice.[17]

Tredinnick targets those who dare to criticise his absurd claims

As you might imagine he does not like people who demand evidence for his various claims and so he tends to use his privileged position to target them.

During a recent debate the specifically attacked the Good Thinking Society …

There have been a lot of attacks in the past few years on homeopathy, which is an honourable and well-served practice of medicine with its own doctors, regulated in this country and used in 41 of 42 European countries. Some of those attacks have been from an organisation called the Good ThinkingSociety, which really consists of one man and a dog. It spends £100,000 a year, £20,000 of which comes from the taxpayer through its charitable status; I think that that is an absolute scandal. I urge my hon. Friend the Minister not to listen to the siren voices of that small, badly represented group. We need to use the discipline of homeopathy.

He is basically spouting BS on an epic scale. Homeopathy has been tested by almost every reputable medical board on the planet and found to simply not work …

Health organizations such as the UK’s National Health Service,[209] the American Medical Association,[210] the FASEB,[149] and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia,[176] have issued statements of their conclusion that there is “no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition”.[209] In 2009, World Health Organization official Mario Raviglione cricitized the use of homeopathy to treat tuberculosis; similarly, another WHO spokesperson argued there was no evidence homeopathy would be an effective treatment for diarrhoea.[211]

The American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology recommend that no one use homeopathic treatment for disease or as a preventive health measure.[212] These organizations report that no evidence exists that homeopathic treatment is effective, but that there is evidence that using these treatments produces harm and can bring indirect health risks by delaying conventional treatment.[212]

In other words, his stance is not simply against the Good Thinking Society, but instead is very much one that is at odds with the entire medical profession on a global scale.

Open Letter from The Good Thinking Society

The following open letter has been issued by Simon Singh on behalf of the Good Thinking Society …

Dear David Tredinnick MP,

I was literally in the middle of writing you a Christmas card (honestly, it’s true), when I learned that on 20 December, in a session about evidence-based medicine in Parliament, you announced: “I have reported the so-called Good Thinking Society to the Charity Commission for the abuse of its charitable status.”

I await details of your complaint and am happy to respond to the Charity Commission if necessary.

My original card was prompted by two other recent statements made by you in Parliament. On 22 November, you suggested that it was an “absolute scandal” that Good Thinking had charitable status.

Then on 8 December, I was concerned that you promoted the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the treatment of cancer: “There is a very long list of types of cancer that can be treated using traditional Chinese herbal medicine: cervical cancer, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, HIV, colon cancer, head and neck cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. The list goes on.”

In the Christmas card, I was going to suggest that we meet to discuss the evidence for and against Traditional Chinese Medicine, as I think your interpretation of the evidence is far too positive, and possibly dangerous if it influences patients towards acupuncture and herbal medicine. I was also going to suggest that we meet so that we can discuss any concerns that you might have about Good Thinking, and so I can explain our work, which ranges from trying to improve the accuracy of advertising in the osteopathy and chiropractic professions to promoting mathematics in schools.

As you know, Good Thinking has written to you in the past, when we offered to test your surprising claims that astrology has something to offer healthcare professionals. Although the Three Wise Men were successful in following a star to Bethlehem, I suggest that it is unwise to encourage doctors to consult a horoscope before removing a gall bladder.

When we wrote to you in 2015, you said that you were too busy to engage with Good Thinking. It was as if Good Thinking was the last thing on your mind. You seemed to reject Good Thinking, and I suspect that you want to continue to close your mind to the merits of Good Thinking.

Now that your schedule offers you enough free time to report Good Thinking to the Charity Commission, I will take the opportunity to remind you that the offer of a meeting is still open. I think it would be a good use of your time to find out what we do and why we do it, and then your criticisms in Parliament might be better informed and could be taken more seriously.

You may no longer be on our Christmas card list, but I still wish you a merry Christmas and here’s to an evidence-based 2017.

Simon Singh
Founder of Good Thinking.

I can only wonder if Mr Tredinnick saw that response coming when he last consulted his astrology chart.

Leave a Reply