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Bad Science 1, Quacks 0

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I was going to talk about the rather pleasant walk we had today around Hatfield Forest but Ben Goldacre and the Guardian's victory in their battle with Matthias Rath is more important. Rath has dropped a year-long libel action against the Guardian and been ordered to pay costs.

The vitamin campaigner was accused by The Guardian of endangering thousands of lives in South Africa by promoting his pills for things such as treating AIDS while denouncing conventional medicines as toxic and dangerous.

After the high court awarded initial costs of £220,000 to the Guardian, its editor said: "We are very glad that Rath has dropped his libel action, doubtless designed to discourage other journalists - in Britain and abroad - from looking too closely at his dubious claims and methods. We will seek to recover the costs of defending our journalism." - which I think means they're after more money before they'll be satisfied.

Good.

The Guardian articles appeared in January and February last year in the Bad Science column written by Ben Goldacre. Ben was been something of a hero of mine for a long time and his columns are always worth reading. Here he is on his own web site talking about the outcome of the Matthias Rath case. Well worth a read.

There's other cases ongoing too. The British Chiropractic Association has also sued The Guardian for libel over an article Simon Singh wrote for Chiropractic Awareness Week back in the spring. The Guardian have had to take the article offline while that action is ongoing but it's all over the web. A Google search currently shows this as the top hit for example, which has the full text plus some cross references to back it up.

Tags: badscience Written 14/09/08

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