UK Alt-Med Practitioners Are Feeling The Pain....

Via JREF, it seems that the Nightingale Collaboration is having an effect.

"Evidence emerged this week that alternative medicine practitioners in England are feeling considerable pain caused by the ongoing work of skeptical activists. A new web site called “ASA Sucks” has surfaced, which claims to be a campaign against “self appointed vigilantes” who “attack complementary medicine”. On Twitter a corresponding account named @Against_The_ASA began debating various UK skeptics on the topic on Wednesday."

"This anger has its origins in a skeptic project that is one year old this week: Nightingale Collaboration. It was first announced by Simon Singh at JREF’s TAM London event last year. Its purpose is to encourage skeptics to file complaints to the various UK regulatory agencies about claims or behavior of alternative medicine purveyors. UK skeptics are fortunate that they have a number of such official channels including ASA, the Office of Fair Trading and others..."

"...The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is just one of the agencies that Nightingale recommends to skeptics. It is not a government agency, but rather an independent body set up by the UK advertising industry in the 1960s to ensure that advertising is as “legal, decent, honest and truthful” as possible. Despite not being a government agency, it does have various means at its disposal to deal with offenders, including sanctions. On March 1, 2011 ASA extended its remit to include online commercial messages (i.e. websites). This made its complaint process considerably more attractive to skeptics, since many alternative medicine proponents do not engage in traditional advertising, but nearly all of them have a web site of some kind. The unsupportable claims on those websites were suddenly “fair game” for ASA complaints, and the Nightingale crew sprang into action..."

Of course the site is very, very hurt at being held to making only truthful claims. Bizarrely, they keep on going on about human rights being breached. Apparently, they are labouring under the misbelief that there is human right that enshrines a right to practice medicine without an license and to lie to people whilst doing so.

(Note: New Zealand has it's own Advertising Standards Authority, which hears complaints about advertising which breach standards for responsible advertising.)

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I sense a restart of the

I sense a restart of the Skeptical Activisim meetup in Wellington... :)

Yeah. I'll try and be there

Yeah. I'll try and be there if the timing suits.

I think also I'm allowed to say now as the media embargo is over that the site I took to the Advertising Standards Authority for it's claims selling homeopathic vaccines has settled and made radical changes to the site when I checked. Still selling the stuff and still got links to anti-vaccination sites, but not related to product sales so have to consider that a win.

Oh good! When?....

Oh good! When?....

Planning activisim : Reboot