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The BBC Abandons Its Complementary Medicine Website Due to Pressure

Thursday, February 28, 2008 by: Gabriel Donohoe
Tags: mainstream media, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The BBC, Britain's venerable TV station known and respected worldwide for its impartiality and integrity, has suddenly closed down the Complementary Medicine section on its Health website (www.bbc.co.uk/health) .

This is believed to be in response to a curious and abnormal amount of letters and e-mails demanding that information on such therapies as homeopathy and cranial osteopathy be removed.

The BBC Health website is one of the most widely accessed websites in the world and has been online for almost 15 years. Its Complementary Medicine section had in excess of 40 pages on "alternative" therapies, objective evaluations, a practitioner 'search' facility, and other useful information. But the controllers of BBC Health have now decided to abandon all coverage of Complementary Medicine.

Recently, in the UK, there has been a concerted attack on "alternative" medicine from people like University College London Professor David Colquhoun who described 61 university complementary medicine courses (45 of them science degrees) as "gobbledygook". Professor Colquhoun went on to say that, "the teaching of complementary medicine under a science banner was worse than 'Mickey Mouse' degrees in golf management and baking..."

Another critic of "complementary" medicine is Michael Baum, Emeritus Professor of Surgery at University College London, who caused a storm by criticising Prince Charles's support for the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital (RLHH). "Homeopathy," says Professor Baum, "is no better than witchcraft." Criticising a 20 million refurbishment of the RLHH Professor Baum says that that money would have been better spent on drugs like Herceptin.

In May 2006, Prince Charles had addressed the World Health Assembly in Geneva to argue for homeopathy and its kindred therapies. The Prince urged a return to remedies "rooted in ancient traditions that intuitively understood the need to maintain balance and harmony with our minds, bodies and the natural world."

The decision by BBC controllers is a curious one, especially at a time when more than 40% of Britons use some form of "complementary" medicine and spend 1.6 billion pounds annually (Ernst). In Britain, the BBC is a public service broadcaster and its remit is to broadcast for the benefit of the public - not for commercial concerns. As public outrage begins to grow, we are sure to hear a lot more about this sinister development in the days and weeks ahead.

The BBC, in response to criticism of their action, says that the "complementary health section was incomplete and, therefore, not of a satisfactory editorial standard." They go on to say, "The BBC will continue to cover complementary health in other areas of its output, such as TV, radio and news programmes, and may reassess its complementary health content in future."

If you have ever accessed the BBC's "Complementary Medicine" site or believe that it should be restored, please take just a minute to complain or express your views using their online comment form at: (www.bbc.co.uk/feedback/)

About the author

Gabriel Donohoe is a writer, researcher, Shamanic counsellor, and natural health therapist in Ireland. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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