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Feature Sugar

Sugar: spinning a web of influence

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 11 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h231

Re: Sugar: spinning a web of influence

A few weeks ago the BMJ published an article purporting to show that over 200 MPs and peers were in some way connected to the private health industry and that this affected the way they voted with regard the government's NHS reforms. The excellent Radio 4 programme, the scourge of the innumerate, successfully demolished this showing that those with a direct involvement were barely 10% of that number, and not even all of those voted for the reforms. The programme attempted to contact the author and eventually discovered that he was a "researcher" for the Unite trade union. The presenter drily suggested that we should be told how many MPs had links with Unite.

Now we have the same technique of attacking the integrity of scientists and others by innuendo, without any evidence whatsoever that the quality of their research had been in any way affected..

Of course the BMJ does not want impartial research, it wants people who conform to its prejudices and get the "right" answers and have correct opinions. Some years ago I commented on a similar attack on those who formulated diabetes guidelines and actually had been involved in drug trials - so had some actual knowledge of the drugs. Unfortunately the strain of holier than thou sanctimoniousness, mixed with juvenile agitprop, shows no signs of diminishing. Perhaps the BMJ could ease its tormented conscience by refusing adverts from the evil pharmaceutical industry?

Competing interests: I eat chocolate

14 February 2015
Michael Schachter
Clinical Pharmacologist
Imperial College London SW7 2AZ