Complementary medicine

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 3 February 2012



(2012), "Complementary medicine", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 42 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Complementary medicine

Article Type: Food facts From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 42, Issue 1

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK, in response to complaints about the “advertising claims” made by practitioners on their web sites, has made ruling after ruling against individual practitioners, telling them to stop making any claims (“treat”, “cure”, “restore”) about their therapies. The ASA expanded its remit to “police” advertising claims, on behalf of the advertising industry in the UK, in March 2011. This enormous surge in complaints – and negative response from the ASA – comes after another extremely well-funded “anti-complementary medicine” campaign by pressure groups, including the Nightingale Collaboration and the group behind the development of a “Practitioner Targeting” piece of software programme called FishBarrel. It automatically searches the web for any claims like this – and, if they are coming from UK-based practitioners, reports them to the ASA (“like shooting fish in a barrel”).

The Complementary Medical Association (CMA) has had a formal meeting with the ASA to discuss this matter. The ASA explained that all they do is respond to complaints about advertising claims. They inform people that a complaint has been made against them and ask these people to “prove” that their claim is supported by evidence.

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