Skeptic News: BBC promotes quack charity?

The BBC has run a piece that appears to uncritically support the Yes to Life charity.

Yes to Life state that they:

“offers support to people with cancer who want to take a proactive role in their treatment. Yes to Life helps open up choices, and supports people in finding a way forward that is right for them.”

In reality, under the guise of integrative healthcare, they exist to promote all manner of alternative medicine cancer treatments and as such has attracted criticism from the likes of David Colqhuon and Andy Lewis.  The charity offers advice on a number of treatments that have either been disproved, found to be dangerous or lack any substantial scientific evidence base. Among those mentioned on the charities website are: Neuroimmunomodulation Therapy , Vitamin C Therapy, Dendritic Cell Therapy, Osteopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Gerson therapy and everyone else. On Gerson Therapy alone Cancer Research UK say

“Overall, there is no evidence to show that Gerson therapy works as a cure for cancer. ”
“Available scientific evidence does not support claims that Gerson therapy can treat cancer. It is not approved for use in the United States. Gerson therapy can be very harmful to your health. Coffee enemas have been linked to serious infections, dehydration, constipation, colitis (inflammation of the colon), and electrolyte imbalances. In some people, particular aspects of the diet such as coffee enemas have been thought to be responsible for their death.”

The Charity also recommended Burzynski as a viable choice for cancer patients.

The Beeb may be impressed that a large number of celebrities have given their support to the campaign, instigated by Jo Bryant who has cardiac sarcoma, which includes Gary Barlow, Prince Harry wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan and sprinter Iwan Thomas, but it is irresponsible to run a piece about the charity without investigating the controversial advice they offer.

Anyone who believes that the BBC should be held to account over such uncritical reporting can complain here.

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0 Responses to Skeptic News: BBC promotes quack charity?

  1. Richard C says:

    To their credit, it seems that the BBC have responded to my and other’s complaints about this article. See how they’ve edited it over time:

    http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/523890/diff/0/1
    (keep clicking “Next version”)

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