Sunday, 27 September 2015

Silly Sally And The Lancet

Regular readers will remember previous articles here about Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies and why she is not fit for purpose. Well, I'm starting to think she merits her own dedicated sidebar tag here after reading an astonishing quote on Friday.

Via the Telegraph:
“As chief medical officer, it is my duty to raise concerns about possible misreporting of health issues that might cause public alarm.”
Funny she should say that because, if you've kept up with Sally's burblings about e-cigs, you may remember her making claims like this earlier in the year.
“We don't yet know about vaping. I mean clearly they put in flavourings, we don’t know the impact of those. Butterscotch has had to be withdrawn because people got chronic lung disease.”
It was an entirely false claim which was reported on the BBC, and arguably might have caused "public alarm". Implying that e-cigs are all dangerous because of one insignificant and incorrect piece of information about one of thousands of flavours is the epitome of "misreporting of health issues that might cause public alarm". So by Sally's own description of her job, she should have been reporting herself for misconduct, surely? 

As if that wasn't astounding enough in itself - along with the over 3,000 references to e-cigs in recent correspondence between vaper-hating dangle-belly Martin McKee and silly Sally - this is even curiouser (emphases mine)
A senior government adviser attempted to undermine a controversial study suggesting that Alzheimer’s is a transmissible disease before it was published in the journal Nature. 
Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer at the Department of Health, approached the editor of a rival scientific journal, The Lancet, to discredit the study in the eyes of the public, The Independent understands. 
Dame Sally told Richard Horton, the editor of The Lancet, that the study on Alzheimer’s was likely to result in a public scare and asked him for advice on how to handle the media reaction before it came out in Nature. 
In an unsigned editorial in The Lancet this week, Dr Horton writes that an unnamed government source informed him on the study’s impending publication and urged him to consider what he might do to reduce further the risk of a scare. 
Although The Lancet’s source is not identified, The Independent understands that it was Dame Sally, who knows Dr Horton personally and has shared several conference platforms with The Lancet’s outspoken editor.
Apropos of nothing, obviously, but we know of another recent piece of research which was subject to an "unsigned editorial in The Lancet" and which "attempted to undermine" and "discredit the study in the eyes of the public", now don't we? 

And I'm only guessing here, but I think Sally would have been consulted by Public Health England every step of the way to their publishing their favourable report about e-cigs which - as she has stated publicly - she has a pathological dislike for. 

I'm sure this is a complete concidence and that the same behind-the-scenes collaboration between Sally and unsigned Lancet editorial writer Horton - co-chair of an event with McKee last year where it was stated bluntly that e-cigs don't work - hasn't occurred in this case.

So I'm heartened that a fellow jewel robber has notified me by email this weekend that they have submitted an FOI to make absolutely sure. I sometimes well up in admiration for readers here wanting to contribute to the sum of human knowledge and clear up innuendo like this. Bravo! 

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