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An end to health scares?

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 11 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:716
  1. Annabel Ferriman
  1. BMJ

    At last, something is going to be done about health scares Irresponsible, biased medical journalists are going to be taken in hand and forced to abide by a code of conduct which will be drawn up a by a working party of the great and the good, according to last week's edition of GP magazine.

    The working party is being set up as the result of a recommendation from the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology. In the committee's report on genetically modified food, published in May, the committee recommended that “media coverage of scientific matters should be governed by a Code of Practice, which stipulates that scientific stories should be factually accurate. Breaches of the Code of Practice should be referred to the Press Complaints Commission.” The readers of GP magazine must have breathed a collective sigh of relief.

    But wait a moment. Which guardians of the public good are going to set up this powerful working party? Two organisations are involved apparently: the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London and …

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