U.K. conference on dubious cancer treatments investigated and then shut down (UPDATED)

Totnes cancer conference investigated by Trading Standards

A conference on alternative treatments for cancer being held in Devon is being investigated.

One speaker at the Totnes Cancer Care conference is a former doctor from Italy, who claims cancer can be cured with baking soda.

The clinic is run by Dr Stephen Hopwood, a former GP who now favours holistic medicine.

Devon County Council confirmed trading standards staff were investigating the conference and the clinic.

Trading Standards is the body which enforces the Cancer Act and the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, to protect vulnerable people from false and misleading advertising.

“What I’m having a go at here is advertising specifically to people who are at the most vulnerable time of their lives,” she said.

“There are, very rightly, safeguards in place to protect people against adverts for remedies which really have no basis in evidence.”

Tip: @SLSingh Simon Singh on Twitter

Skeptical activism at its finest! For more on how this story developed, you can go here: Cancer in Totnes.  Several people were outraged and got involved to shut down the Conference.  Critical thinking WIN!

THE TOTNES cancer conference, which would have heard from a disqualified Italian doctor who believes baking powder can cure cancer, has been shut down by Trading Standards and Totnes Town Council as it contravenes strict laws against advertising cures for the disease.

The dramatic move, which was agreed by the Town Council this evening, follows a complaint about the Totnes Cancer Health Care Conference from Dr Sarah Wollaston, the MP for Totnes.

From the BBC article, this is a great quote: We would also advise people to be very wary of any therapist who claims that they can ‘cure their cancer’. There are A LOT of them out there.

UPDATE: (23-Mar-2012) Cancer event ruled illegal.

TODAY’S CANCER conference in Totnes has been ruled illegal by Devon Trading Standards, but organiser Dr Stephen Hopwood is still going ahead with a “private event” at a new venue.

Devon Trading Standards have told Dr Hopwood the Totnes Cancer Health Care Conference and his cancer clinic are in breach of the 1939 Cancer Act, which bans the advertising, by any organisation, of treatments or cures for cancer.

  2 comments for “U.K. conference on dubious cancer treatments investigated and then shut down (UPDATED)

  1. Anonymous
    March 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    It hasn’t been cancelled. It’s just been moved to a different venue. Apparently there is still a small amount of freedom of speech in this police state

    • March 22, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      These doctors have been speaking and making money with their ideas. How do people questioning and speaking out against irrational and possibly dangerous methods make a “police state”? I believe that there is a strong foundation for speaking out against this; it’s not like the commenters are just saying they didn’t LIKE what was being promoted.

      I also said it was shut down. That did not presuppose that it was not going to take place at all.

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