Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Comments A British Columbian Publication Won't Post

On October 30, 2011 I read this article by naturopath Brenda Gill 
in the online edition of, a British Columbia publication.

I left the following comment which as of today, November 2, 2011, has not been posted.

Be careful what you consume. While it is true that observational studies do not reliably show cause and effect, it is also true that dietary supplements including vitamins do not have to be studied before they are sold and usually aren't. As a result, there is no way to know if they offer benefits, cause harm or are just a total waste of money. Only the extremely naive like naturopaths would believe that they either offer benefits or can’t hurt without solid evidence demonstrating that. There could well be something out there that many people take which is as lethal as tobacco and that by the time that is discovered it will be too late to prevent a lot of needless premature deaths.
Rosemary Jacobs

This is not the first failure of or a naturopath writing for it to refuse to post a comment I submitted.

Is there a pattern here?

I don’t take an Internet site seriously that doesn’t permit readers to post comments or offer an easy way to contact the site owners and authors to present differing opinions or evidence that they may have gotten their facts wrong. To me such a failure indicates that the people involved are promoting their personal beliefs, agendas or goods and services and that they don’t want their readers to hear anything that might make them think that the material on their site could possibly be inaccurate. 

However, I do take seriously a site that provides for comments, especially one that bills itself as a news site, until, that is, I discover that the site refuses to post negative comments. I think that is downright deceptive. As far as I’m concerned not only does it indicate that the authors are promoting their beliefs, agendas and/or businesses, it also shows that they want readers to believe that they are being open and objective while in reality they are deliberately preventing anyone who disagrees with them from telling that to their readers. 

The only way I have found to contact anyone at is by going to their site and clicking on the “contact us” link. That brings up a form to fill out. After one has done that, he clicks the “submit” button and wonders if anyone in authority at the publication will ever see it. 

I am now going to fill out the form, give them this URL and request that they leave a comment here explaining why my comments on their site have never gotten past their moderators. 

Brenda Gill, naturopaths, British Columbia, newspapers, 


  1. An update to this article will be found here:

  2. Hi, provides helpful and accurate consumer health information about the side effects that typically arise from the use of prescription or over the counter medications, natural or health supplements and even certain types of food.

    Side Effects

  3. There are many sites that provide information on the side effects of drugs and supplements. The problem is that they report them after they have injured or killed people not before.

    Drugs must be well studied before they are sold so that side effects can be identified before they are marketed. Drug manufacturers must present studies showing that their products offer benefits, the amount that offers them and the amount that is toxic to the average person taking them before they can sell them. Yet when they are used by large groups of people, other problems may become apparent which didn't show up in drug trials which is the reason for post marketing surveillance of drugs and why any problems they are suspected of causing have to be reported to the FDA. This is not a guarantee that drug companies will not get away with fraud on occasion or that drugs will always be safe and effective, but it does greatly increase the odds in the patients favor.

    Supplements do not need to be studied before they are sold and they aren't. That means that any dangers they pose are not known until people start using them and are injured or killed by them.

    As a result, any information you may find on supplements claiming that they are safe cannot be considered reliable simply because the data isn't available to accurately evaluate them. Some substances, like cigarettes, take decades of consumption before their lethal side effects are known. And with supplements the formulations often change so that while you may think that one has been used for years, it many not have been.

    Also, until a supplement is well studied scientifically, there is no way to know if it offers benefits so that, unlike with a drug, there is no way to weigh the risks of taking it against the benefits. It is like playing Russian roulette.

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