Chiropractors: call us bogus and we’ll sue

Simon Singh is a great public advocate for science, and I really enjoy his radio and TV appearances.

Last year Singh published a book called Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine On Trial. Around the same time the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) claimed that their treatments could help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying. In an article about his new book Singh called such claims from the BCA “bogus”.

Now the BCA are suing Singh for libel.

This is extremely worrying. There are clear procedures for acceptance in the scientific world: peer-reviewed journals, for example. Naming unsubstantiated claims as bogus should never have been allowed to go to court. But chiropracty seems to gaining an ever-stronger foothold in the NHS (although even there they only mention its use on the spine, joints, and muscles) which seems to give it ever-growing public acceptance.

Both the New Scientist and the Guardian are worried about this development.