Thursday, 13 September 2007

Patrick Holford seems to think I'm important enough to hassle

Very, very strange.

Patrick Holford is a nutritionist. In the UK, the title 'Dietitian' is protected, but anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. So I'm a nutritionist too. Holford's ideas are not without controversy, and he even has a debunking website, Holfordwatch, all to himself. He gets 6 canards at the excellent Quackometer website. Recently, Holford has been appointed a visiting professor at the University of Teesside. This was not something you could expect Prof. David Colquhoun to take lying down, and so he sent an FOI request to Teesside, asking for the documents, including Holford's CV, that were used to make the appointment.

Prof. Colquhoun found a number of anomalies on the CV, as did folk at Holfordwatch. I left a couple of comments at Prof. Colquhoun's website, after I searched for and failed to find some of the media endorsements listed in Holford's CV. Apparently, Holford has now contacted various people who also commented on Prof. Colquhoun's website, and asked them to stop posting there to agree with Prof. Colquhoun. It seems that he was trying to threaten anyone who had posted to the site. Holford apparently couldn't be bothered to find my e-mail address, instead asking other people that he had contacted to forward the e-mail to me and other commenters. This is pretty bizarre behaviour in itself, with Holford acting as if people posting on someone else's blog have some special way of knowing who each other are. In any case, as yet, I've received no communication from Holford himself.

So it seems that Patrick Holford thinks it worth hassling people posting comments on a blog. Why, I don't know, but there it is. Prof. Colquhoun himself refuses to be intimidated and has backed up his points here. As for me, I'm flattered that Holford thinks me important enough to bother with. I don't have even the level of microfame that something like the Holfordwatch blog has, and it must be doubted that any comment I make anywhere is going to have much of an effect on the Holford nutritional supplement empire.


Shinga said...

Well, I'd like to pretend that receiving a letter from a certain person makes us an exclusive group, but it doesn't. However, for what it is worth, Welcome to the club!

Paul Wilson said...


I just found the whole episode so bizarre that I had to write something about it...

Jon said...

yes, welcome to the club Paul. We're thinking of having badges made up, when there's enough of us :)

Dr Aust said...

I felt so "conflicted" at being mentioned when I didn't have a blog that I have now started a started a (minimal) one.

Another victory for the "Power of Patrick".

BTW Paul, have you spotted that Patrick is bringing his UK "How To Live Forever - if you give me a few quid" tour - oops, sorry, that should have read "5 Secrets to 100%health" to the former UMIST, among other places?

Paul Wilson said...

Hm, I didn't know that Holford was coming to visit. Thanks for the heads up.