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Clean up on aisle two!!!

“Alternative” medicine is something that is both a huge money spinner for its purveyors and it  overwhelmingly  the case that most of it has almost zero evidence to back up the many claims made about these pill potions and devices they  are just flat out  and unmitigated bull shit.   Its bullshit that plays upon a couple of societal    memes. Firstly it plays upon the notion that if something is “Natural”  then it can’t harm you, well Ricen is a natural substance found in the seeds of the castor oil plant but if you ingest even a small amount of it you will die a painful and  horrible death. Secondly it relies on the mistrust of the scientific method and the scientific establishment in essence its the product of an all pervasive conspiracy theory about “big Pharma ” and their desire not to better the health of humanity but to make money from the drugs that they produce. The thing is that rather being a critique of the capitalism of the drug industry what purveyors of the “alternative” pills potions and devices  see a good economic niche which allows them to cream off a motza from a very gullible public ever keen to be healthier with the least amount of effort possible.

Have you got that I am a total cynic about alternative medicine?  Good! then you will understand why I find the news that  the Chaser Boys are being sued for defamation so amusing:

In the segment, broadcast on March 21, presenter Craig Reucassel is seen saying the case of Swisse’s product ‘‘highlights everything that’s wrong with the regulation of natural medicines in Australia’’. Reucassel, his Chaser colleague Julian Morrow, who also appears on and produces The Checkout, executive producer Nick Murray and the ABC are named as defendants. Advertisement Mr Murray said on Thursday evening: "We deny all the ridiculous imputations and will be defending it vigorously". In addition to asking the court to order the removal of the segment from the ABC website, Dr Sali seeks aggravated damages because the defendants ‘‘were recklessly indifferent as to the truth of the program’’ and broadcast the segment without contacting him or ‘‘making any proper enquiries as to the truth of the program’’. Dr Sali is the founder of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine, which conducted a clinical trial on the product and according to The Checkout was funded by Swisse. ‘‘The program was meant and was understood to mean that the plaintiff performed clinical tests... and then manipulated the published results for the commercial benefit of Swisse,’’ Dr Sali alleges. (click for source)

In the segment, broadcast on March 21, presenter Craig Reucassel is seen saying the case of Swisse’s product ‘‘highlights everything that’s wrong with the regulation of natural medicines in Australia’’.Reucassel, his Chaser colleague Julian Morrow, who also appears on and produces The Checkout, executive producer Nick Murray and the ABC are named as defendants. Mr Murray said on Thursday evening: “We deny all the ridiculous imputations and will be defending it vigorously”. In addition to asking the court to order the removal of the segment from the ABC website, Dr Sali seeks aggravated damages because the defendants ‘‘were recklessly indifferent as to the truth of the program’’ and broadcast the segment without contacting him or ‘‘making any proper enquiries as to the truth of the program’’.Dr Sali is the founder of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine, which conducted a clinical trial on the product and according to The Checkout was funded by Swisse. ‘‘The program was meant and was understood to mean that the plaintiff performed clinical tests… and then manipulated the published results for the commercial benefit of Swisse,’’ Dr Sali alleges.
(click for source)

The thing is I can’t help thinking that Dr Sali may well end up doing his company more harm than good by serving a writ on the producers of the Checkout because there is one fundamental and essential defence against any claim of defamation and that is the truth. If what you say is the truth then it does not matter a jot how much harm that utterance may do to an individual or their business. It will be an interesting case to watch and I for one am on the Checkout’s side on this issue.

Cheers Comrades

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33 Comments

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    Hmm, I think you might be on the wrong side, Iain. From The Age article:

    Sali, claims that The Checkout defamed him by saying he ‘‘manipulated’’ clinical tests of a Swisse appetite suppressant to benefit the company.

    That means The Checkout will have to prove the tests were manipulated, and how do they do that? It’s not about the benefits of natural medicines, it’s about slamming someone’s honesty & integrity. At the very least, they could be forced to publicly apologise. In any case, all the show has achieved is to promote Swisse products. After all, The Chasers are hardly experts (on anything) and by highlighting the products on TV it’s, as they say ….. there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    I expect that the writers are very careful to check their sources before they go to air and I also expect that such things are run past the legal department as well.
    That said I think all that they would have to prove (on the balance of probabilities) is that the tests were neither independent nor scientifically rigorous which is not that high a hurdle to clear.

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh well, I don’t really care one way or the other, Iain.

    Ummmm, on second thoughts I’ve just remembered that my son-in-law (who works in the pharmaceutical industry, but not for Swisse per se) often gets free premium Medallion Club seats for us at the footy @ Etihad Stadium (worth $5,500 per seat per year!) and that the company that pays for them is …. you guessed it.

    So I’m backing the pill guy.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Is that what they call enlightened self interest there Ray????
    Owe your soul to the company store then…

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    I love Swisse products.

    They’re the best.

    The Checkout is a sham and should be banned.

    (Do Swisse make Viagra by any chance?)

  6. Iain Hall says:

    You must be angling for some free samples as well as seats at the footy eh????

  7. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m willing to be their guinea pig.

  8. SockPuppet says:

    Speaking of pigs …. how do you like my new image Iain?

    Yes Im back. As a dog.

  9. Iain Hall says:

    What a cute puppy you are Socky!!!
    Welcome back!!!

  10. SockPuppet says:

    Hes Rays puppy. I borrowed him.

    No priczes for guessen my realname now not thistime ay?

  11. Iain Hall says:

    No one will need to even bother Socky, especially if you can do neat tricks like this:

  12. SockPuppet says:

    I do not show my privates public like that dog does Iain.

    Anyhow I have a post coming up. I dunno if you will like it. Its about footy. And elephants. In rooms.

  13. Iain Hall says:

    Go for it Socky I’m sure there are some religious types that read this blog

  14. SockPuppet says:

    Its up Iain.

    I a wait the realmen to comment.

  15. GD says:

    That’s not a sockpuppet post, it’s just another Ray Dixon fan rant about the AFL that no-one else is interested in.

    Bring back the real Sockpuppet, along with Norm and Mustafa and the Blue Gums Caravan Park.

    Geez, have you lost your sense of humour?

  16. Iain Hall says:

    Give Socky a chance GD he has been asleep for a long time and he needs to warm up a bit… :cool:

  17. SockPuppet says:

    yOU will have to Be patient GD if you want to get into the caRAVAN WITH LAURA.

  18. GD says:

    Oh yeah, Laura Hall, the chickie babe who was banned from drinking in the UK. Forget Grevillea Gardens, can I put a deposit on that mobile Love Shack with Laura installed?

  19. SockPuppet says:

    You can rent it by the night gigguy. Shes included in the rent. Just give her a sixpack of Backyardi Breezes and shes yours.

  20. damage says:

    Pig or Dog? Equal reflection.
    (edited by Iain)

    Play nicer or you won’t be able to continue playing here at all is that too hard to understand?

  21. GD says:

    BTW Socky, what’s with this metrosexual ‘cute as a puppy’ image? Where’s the real pig? You can’t fool us blokes..

  22. SockPuppet says:

    “Where’s the real pig?”

    He just got edited.

  23. damage says:

    He just got protected.

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    Look “damage”, I didn’t see your comment but, obviously, it must have been pretty offensive for Iain to delete it.

  25. Iain Hall says:

    If you play nice here and keep it friendly you will have no problems Damage its that simple., Like it or leave

  26. Ray Dixon says:

    He doesn’t know how, Iain.

  27. damage says:

    I have no issue with that Iain and it is your blog, but you could (not that you should given it is your blog) also ask others to show the same friendliness. FFS the pig or the dog are apt self avitars.

  28. Ray Dixon says:

    So you call someone a “pig” and a “dog” and then you point the finger elsewhere about behaviour?

    Look, damage, the only person causing a problem here is you. Get over it and grow up.

  29. damage says:

    I’ll help Socky with his next lot of avitars.
    Jack Ass, Goat, Weezle, Snake, Skunk, Worm, Louse, Viper, Maggot, Twitt, Termite, Vulture, Rat, Eel. Jackle, Cocroach, Sheep, Dung Beetle, Fly.
    But he’ll always be my bunny. :-)

  30. Ray Dixon says:

    Yeah, and you’ll always be a hopeless troll. And pointless. Just go away.

  31. damage says:

    Oh Ray. I thought that the sockpuppet had a sense of humour? Why not let her answer for herself?

  32. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh, what have we here? An anonymous troll having a go at someone else for using an alias? That’s intelligent.

  33. Richard Ryan says:

    On the subject of pigs, giving advice to aliens ( bloggers who use screen names) is like feeding strawberries to pigs, who don’t appreciate the strawberries, nor the imposters the advice. Shalom, Richard Ryan.

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