... so ends a pretty good section from BBC's Inside Out SouthWest program, which on 12th Nov ran a piece on The College of Natural Nutrition.
For those of you in the UK, the BBC iPlayer has the program here, it runs from about 1min 7secs to 11 mins 38 secs. (Unless some kind bod pops it onto YouTube, I'm afraid non-Brits will have access issues).
(As an aside, it was also BBCs Inside Out Southwest program that confronted Neal's Yard about selling homeopathic products for malaria and, along with a complaint from this site, managed to get the products withdrawn.)
The main villain in the piece is Barbara Wren, who runs the College of Natural Nutrition. A quick hunt on Google shows that she is anti-vaccines:
Barbara Wren, Principal of The College of Natural Nutrition, regards the customary procedure of vaccination as having a considerable damaging effect on the health of the growing and adult individual. Throughout her twenty five years of practicing, Barbara was able to observe the unequivocable results that vaccinations have on long-term disease patterns, affecting the physical, mental and emotional being.
and the College of Natural Nutrition happily plays along with the 'WiFi causes cancer' hoax that pops up every so often. Luckily, Nicola Summers at The College of Natural Nutrition is on-hand to explain how:
In natural nutrition terms, the pulsing electromagnetic signal enters the body, disrupts the electron cloud that surrounds our cells, which impacts the way the cell behaves, alters the charge of the cell and ultimately influences how the cell reproduces. This will of course have an extremely stressful impact on the body leading to dehydration, mineral misplacement, congestion, lack of ability to break nutrients down fully and so on.
If I meet her, I must ask her more about the electron cloud that surrounds her cells - one can only assume that the phrase "In natural nutrition terms" means the same as "in made-up lala land". She also kindly provides a link to EmFields, which is the new incarnation of Alasdair Phillips of PowerWatch.
So, all in all, The College of Natural Nutrition is shaping up to be proper little microcosm of nonsense. Like so many areas of woo, water seems to be key. Keeping rehydrated will of course keep most diseases as bay, but not any old water.... oh no, you need special, fetishist water - allow Barbara to explain:
Some Helpful Hints on Drinking Water:My bold, purely through lack of comprehension what it means.
Nothing, no substitute liquid, replaces pure water.
I usually recommend using bottled water, in glass if possible. Look for 'empty water' i.e. for a low content of minerals, especially sodium (Na) and calcium (Ca). Of the bottled waters, Volvic is one of the best, as it has the lowest surface tension and is one of the "emptiest"; unfortunately it has the disadvantage of being in plastic bottles.
If you can distill [sic] water, and thus "empty" it, that is ideal. Reverse osmosis with the addition of an activated filter is quite a good alternative. In many areas it is possible to have distilled water delivered, quite inexpensively. The best solution is in fact to have a still, which I consider to be a good investment, and to distill into glass. Any other sources are a compromise to a degree, and we have to select what we can from among the options. I use a little still which does a gallon every 8 hours and there is no message in distilled water. If you use distilled water, you need to pour it from a height of about 15 ins, in order to oxygenate it (and "enliven" it). Also you may wish to use a crystal, for example placed in a water jug, to energize water.
Crystal therapy box ticked. Not a surprise if you take a look at the company she keeps on MySpiritRadio.
One of the students of Wren's is Barbara Nash, whose insurance company paid out £800,000 without accepting liability for giving advice to a patient (interviewed in the InsideOut program) which when allegedly followed left the patient brain damaged. Ben Goldacre, who was also interviewed for the program, wrote about the Nash case in his Guardian column at the time.
Anyway, you can imagine that BBC Inside Out SouthWest didn't have to delve to far into the lectures of Barbara Wren before the alarm bells rang.
Firstly, Barbara Wren's claim to cure thyroid cancer by using a dressing of castor oil and urine was met with understandable incredulity by Catherine Collins from the British Dietetic Association. Obviously, given Barbara's distrust of WiFi, it shouldn't come as a surprise that she reckoned the cancer was caused by a computer under the person's bed - a 'huge electromagnetic disturbance'.
Secondly, Barbara Wren suggests (insists?) on her students taking 25 times the maximum recommended dose of Iodine in supplement form, which is only available from the petshop as a water treatment chemical for fishies.
The presenter makes a valiant effort to take Wren to task over these suggestions, but to no avail.
This leads her to finish up with the line "Be aware of who you believe and what advice you swallow", but that isn't easy when most of the Main Stream Media is uncritically pumping this kind of rubbish out, giving people like Barbara Wren a platform from which to spout this type of nutritionist bullshit.