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Margaret McCartney: Uncertain science in soundbites

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3218 (Published 13 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3218

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Did the CMO say the opposite to what she intended ?

Of no fundamental consequence, but I can recall hearing the CMO's phrase, and it was as is stated in the article:

'the chief medical officer for England informed a select committee, “Do as I do when I reach for my glass of wine—think, ‘Do I want the glass of wine or do I want to raise my own risk of breast cancer?"'

Surely, the CMO should have said 'Do I want the glass of wine or do I want to reduce my own risk of breast cancer?', as I thought at the time I heard her talking.

This is a little surprising, because the CMO usually 'speaks very precisely' judging by what I had previously heard from her, It probably 'says something about my own mind' because I notice such things, and it appears most people do not ! Except - possibly true for the CMO as well - when it comes to proof-reading my own stuff !

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 June 2016
Michael H Stone
Retired Non Clinical
None Private Individual
Coventry CV2 4HN