Unproven health advice over UK TV is a no-no

A TV show claimed a recipe of basil leaves and peppers could prevent cancer. Where did that claim come from?

Yoga TV show fined £25,000 over basil cancer cure claim.

A digital TV channel has been fined £25,000 after viewers of its Yoga for You show were told basil leaves and black pepper could prevent cancer.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said the show, on Asia TV’s Lamhe channel, carried “an appreciable risk of harm to viewers” due to the “unsubstantiated and unqualified medical advice”.

Dr Pankaj Naram claimed “11 holy basil leaves and three black peppers” could prevent cancer.

Ofcom’s report said Dr Naram’s claims, made in June 2014, could mean some patients “might not seek, forego, or delay conventional medical treatment on the basis of what they had seen”.

After investigating, Ofcom found that the programme had breached its broadcasting code by including material with the “potential for serious harm”.

Imposing the £25,000 fine, the watchdog noted concerns about the “potential toxicity of certain ayurvedic products” and said there was “no evidence” they can prevent, treat or cure cancer.

Naram was negative about chemotherapy and radiotherapy, treatments for cancer that are known to actually work. He also claimed that he had thousands of patients that recovered from their cancer using his “ancient secrets”. Not surprisingly, Dr. Naram was selling this wonder cure, which is in no way suspicious, nor a conflict of interest at all. His herbal store contains the quack Miranda warning but I guess the TV program did not.

Ofcom for the win. They have also nabbed a miracle soap seller, healing olive oil preacher, psychic Derek Acorah and another psychic show.

Sadly, it takes you two google pages of searching for “Siddha Veda Ancient Secrets” before you get anything skeptical – that’s this news story.

[£25,000 is approximately $39,000]. Let’s hope continued fines turns out to be a deterrent for such programming.

  5 comments for “Unproven health advice over UK TV is a no-no

  1. July 30, 2015 at 5:55 PM

    In the UK it is actually illegal to take any part in an advertisement to treat or cure cancer. DN readers may remember the case of Errol Denton, a Harley Street live blood analysis quack who was convicted of exactly this (and tried a “freeman on the land” defence in court, which left the judge seriously unimpressed).

  2. Sk3ptic0
    July 31, 2015 at 12:24 AM

    Is “Freman of the land” anything like “Sovereign Citizen”?

    I love watching videos of these so called Sovereign Citizens, while they are driving a car on public roads and going to shop at Walmart for survival gear.

  3. Adam
    July 31, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    Ah but you see, you need *holy* basil, not just your common variety basil. Holy basil receives magic and prayer drops in its liquid feed.

  4. Tony
    July 31, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    Religious nut, basil and pepper… I’m surprised he doesn’t own a chain of church/pizzerias.

    Or does he?

  5. Geoff
    August 3, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    And only effective on basil-cell carcinoma.

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