30 November 2011

Burzynski Clinic in a tizz

      So the big news in Skeptic and medical blogging circles is the Burzynski Clinic, and the bizarre emails from Marc Stevens, to a number of skeptical bloggers.
Burzynski claim that Marc was hired for his SEO skills, and I will admit that he has been a remarkable success in raising the Burzynski Clinics profile, but Marc doesn't seems to have a big profile himself, as I can't find him via Google, and his Yahoo Answers profile has been deleted.

It all started off with this story From the Quackometer  how he saw a story in the Observer about how Peter Kay was raising money to send a child to the Clinic for treatment. Its certainly a worthy thing that Peter is doing, but as Le Canard Noir said, it's probably all for nought.

Among the others who got the nasty emails was Rhys Morgan a local hero for taking on the Miracle Mineral Solution, also known as bleach, and having it banned in the UK.

Read the emails between Rhys and Marc, two other names stick out Azad Rastegar and Renee Trimble. They both work at the clinic. They both have copies of these emails and they say nothing, only a retweet from @AzadRastegar on twitter from a patient who does seem to be getting better.

Regarding medical side of the treatment the mighty David Colquhoun covers it here   

Now it really get interesting as the Burzynski Clinic have finally released a statement. It mentions attorneys will be contacting UK based bloggers about alleged defamatory statements.
This would be rather interesting to see going to Court as the Burzynski Clinic would probably be in breach of the 1939 Cancer Act.

So basically Bloggers says the Clinic can't really cure cancer, The Clinic has only anedotal evidence that it does, the Clinic takes bloggers to Court in the UK, so the Clinic will actually have to prove in front of expert witnesses that it can cure cancer. I can't really see that the NHS and the UK Cancer Research  leaving this alone.

Martin Robbins who is the Science writer for the Guardian has just posted this to his Google+

Just got this follow up for the Burzynski lawyer. As I thought, he was straight with me, but the situation behind the scenes seems very confused. In any case, the below seems pretty clear now... I've not seen the press release, and I'm out of the country s will just post this as is...

"The clinic issued a press release on the blogosphere issue which was sent to your paper.  It covers the relationship between it and Marc Stephens It turns out some of the issues are more complicated that I had first thought. But the bottom line is that the clinic did hire Marc Stephens and one of his main tasks was to stop the dissemination of false and misleading information, and he initiated contact with at least some of these web sites with the knowledge of the clinic. As stated in the press release, the clinic is still going to pursue having these web sites remove misstatements or misleading omissions of fact. For the time being, these bloggers have managed to make this about threats by the Burzynski clinic rather than whether the information on these sites is truthful, accurate and fair. We're hoping that somewhere down the line, the media will focus of these issues."



 As I write this the most excellent Jen McCreight takes a stick to some of the claims and references in the statement.

So it looks to me that the clinic has scored an own goal.

"The highwayman demands 'your money OR your life,' but quacks demand 'your money AND your life!'" -anon

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