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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Beware the Spinal Trap

Today Bloggers around the world have been invited by Sense About Science to reprint the original article by Simon Singh which is the basis of the current misconceived libel case from the now discredited British Chiropratic Association.

However, each of these reproductions will have a missing couple of sentences.

It was only these two sentences which the BCA complained about, but the Guardian pulled the whole article. The BCA have never objected to this.

Rather than republish the entire article, and by the wonder of Schedule 1 to the Defamation Act 1996, I hereby reproduce the two allegedly defamatory sentences:

"The British Chiropractic Association claims that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence. This organisation is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments."

Bizarrely these sentences are actually now published on the BCA's own website, so it may be that the legal protection of the 1996 Act is unnecessay.

For the rest of the now-suppressed article, go to the site of Sense About Science.
free debate

9 comments:

DrBobUK said...

Spot on.

I'm not sure what the purpose of publishing a modified version of the article is, though I have a theory or two.

As you say, it seems that if the article had been published in its new form, any response from BCA would have been rather different, maybe limited to request for right of reply, if that.

Perhaps this is some attempt to demonstrate what Simon originally meant to say. Still, it seems to me that journalists need to be as careful with words as scientists are with their chemicals...

(Nice ref to Defamation Act too ... thanks)

SVETLANA PERTSOVICH said...

What a silly step!...

truthspeaker said...

The original article, including the allegedly libelous sentences, is hosted at Respectful Insolence and also at my blog, www.truthspeaker.org. Both those blogs are hosted in the US.

markie126 said...

You good man - keep up the good work.

markie126 said...

BTW this statement is on the GCC website under their FAQs

"You may also see an improvement in some types of asthma, headaches, including migraine, and infant colic."

Mark Curry said...

Final question!

What is to stop 100's of people posting the entire article including the missing paragraphs as notes on their facebook profiles and sharing them with their friends?

Dave Cole said...

What is Schedule 1 to the Defamation Act 1996?

xD.

SVETLANA PERTSOVICH said...

Mark,
I asked similar question. Only (probably, because of my inherent love to hyperbole ;) ) the number 15000 figured in my question instead of 100. And I didn't limit possible activity only by Facebook...

Peter Bowditch said...

The missing words also appear at The Millenium Project. They seem quite reasonable to me.