open letter re taverne

An Open Letter to All Complementary, Alternative and Integrated Medicine Colleagues

From Professor Jayney Goddard, President, CMA



Dear Colleague,


I am writing in response to the article about the new regulations on the licensing of homoeopathy and the recent media outcry concerning these regulations.  Within the Complementary Association we fully support evidence based medicine and if you look carefully at the large amount of research within the homoeopathic environment it is quite clear that there is plenty of evidence attesting to the efficacy of homoeopathy.


However I would like to draw your attention to the organisation that seems to be behind the complaint about the regulations concerning homoeopathic licensing.  If you do a quick search on the Internet you will find that Sense About Science is run by Lord Dick Taverne who has an interesting background, to say the least. 


I had to take some time to research Lord Taverne's background as I appeared with him on BBC1 quite recently.  I was shocked to find that he has been a long term avid supporter and spokesperson for the pharmaceutical industry. 


In the late 1980s Dick Taverne and Roger Liddle founded the consultancy firm Prima Europe. In 1990 Prima published The case for Biotechnology, a paper written by Taverne. Liddle and Taverne were joined on Prima's board in 1996 by Derek Draper. Prima's client list included Unilever, RTZ, BNFL, and Glaxo Wellcome. In April 1998 Prima merged with GPC Market Access and Lord Taverne resigned from Prima, because of lobby-firm rules prohibiting employment of sitting MPs and peers. Interestingly, GPC's clients included Pfizer, Novartis and SmithKline Beecham. 


Three months after Taverne's departure his former Prima co-directors Derek Draper and Roger Liddle were at the centre of the 'lobbygate' 'cash for access' scandal, which was one of the sleaziest episodes in the history of "New Labour".


Taverne's position on many things is curious to say the least.  When I met him in the green room at the BBC, the conversation turned to the subject of global warming.  This was just after the hurricane Katrina disaster.  Taverne went to great pains to explain to us all that there was "no such thing as global warming".  Furthermore, his position on organic farming and genetically modified crops is also worth considering. I can only assume he was being flippant when he said that organic farming "will be the death of us all" - well, let's hope that it was a misguided quip, however, it certainly didn't come across that way.


If this is the man who is behind the recent attacks on homoeopathy which, by the way, he most unscientifically dismissed as "mumbo-jumbo" during a BBC interview, then we need to worry.  The problem with Taverne is that he is well connected, and certainly has the ear of Big Pharma, he also comes across quite convincingly.  However, if you take time to read between the lines you'll quickly realise that Taverne is not a scientist, never has been and actually doesn't understand science at all, if we use a definition of science as follows: Science - systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. Taverne is then, nothing more than a mouthpiece for the pharmaceutical industry.


It is worth noting too that Sense About Science is one of the closest allies of The Royal Society - who have also been involved in the recent attacks.


To read more about Taverne and some of the appalling ideas that he is attempting to propagate, take a look at  There are many other websites that are also wise to his shenanigans.


All, however, is not lost - it is at this time that I call for all of CAM to come together in order to protect our profession.  It is not a time to sit on our laurels, after all, homeopathy is just one target for this man and his cronies.  He loathes all CAM, and will, undoubtedly, attack other branches of CAM in due course.  Then again, it might not be anything personal - after all, he is in the pocket of Big Pharma, and they would like nothing better that to see their biggest potential competitor blown out of the water.


The Complementary Medical Association is offering to facilitate a round table for all who are interested in seeing what we can do - together - to unite and protect our industry.  If you would like to know more about this please contact me at Info@The-CMA.Org.UK and our dialogue and strategic planning can begin. 


I am interested in hearing from everyone in the industry – regardless of your discipline or therapy, your level of seniority and regardless of whether you are a practitioner, student, running a college or even an organisation. 


I also want to hear from people more obliquely involved in the CAM profession, such as people who work in the natural health retail sector and manufacturing.  It is essential that we develop a way of connecting with as many people as possible so that we can communicate with each other rapidly and disseminate data so that we can develop ways of protecting our livelihoods. 


How you can help  . . .

The first step is to contact me by email. I’ll need your name, of course, and it would be helpful if you could give me a brief idea of what your role in the CAM profession is.  I value my privacy as much as I value yours and I respect the laws of this land that serve to protect our data.  I promise that your email details – or any other personal data - will never be passed on to a third party.


The second step is to tell your friends and colleagues within the profession about this initiative and get them to send me their details too.  It might help to copy this letter and give it to them. 


 Don’t forget that CAM in the UK is not the only target for the Big Pharma industry and that anyone involved in CAM overseas is also a potential target.  So, do remember to pass this letter on to them too.  Join with me in making this a global movement!


Yours faithfully


Professor Jayney Goddard

President, Complementary Medical Association

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