Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Briffa demented loon: Official

In an apparent effort to ensure that no one is in doubt about his status as a complete nutjob following his comments on MMR and skin cancer, John 'SucroGuard' Briffa is accusing the charity Diabetes UK of deliberately trying to destabilise patients' blood sugar in order to increase the amount of medication they use in order to benefit BigPharma. You couldn't make this deranged shit up:
"Diabetes UK is the UK’s largest and most prominent diabetes charity...However, I’m doubtful that Diabetes UK is fulfilling its brief in this respect, seeing as it continues to suggest that diabetics should include starchy carbohydrates which every meal (see herefor more on this)...Yet, these starchy staples break down into sugar, and some of them can release their sugar quite quickly into the bloodstream too. And if we eat them in quantity, like we often do, that only adds to their disruptive effects. Now, what rationale is there for diabetics to include “at each meal” foods that are disruptive to blood sugar?...However, I reckon there’s another, far more relevant way of interpreting this sentence which goes something like: “The more starchy carbohydrate you eat, the more out-of-control your blood sugar level will be, the more ‘diabetic’ you will be, and the more likely you are to start to take medication for this or to need to increase your medication regime.” Remember the advice to eat generally sugar-disruptive starchy carbs with each meal comes from the UK’s largest diabetes charity which, it says, campaigns for “better standards of care for diabetics”.
What sort of care is it referring to, do you think? Because on the face of it, it doesn’t look like nutritional care is part of its remit. And if that’s the case, maybe what’s being referred to here is medical care including medication...I don’t want to come across unduly cynical, but is it right that a diabetes charity should have a less-than-transparent financial relationship with the drug industry. And is it right that this charity should be giving nutritional advice that, at the end of the day, looks likely to benefit the pharmaceutical industry. And after all of this, should it then go on to partner with that pharmaceutical industry in ‘research’ highlighting the need for people to take their diabetes medication. Or did I miss something?"


Political Scientist said...

The festival of Briffa continues apace...

Has he always been like this? I hadn't heard about him until he started making remarkable comments on JDC's blog.

Jon said...

I am trying yet failing to come up with something in suitably hushed, demure, sympathetic tones as befit watching someone experience a loss of control and throw a fit/tantrum in public.

This could not, in any way, be construed as a response to Dr Crippen's post on Sucroguard?

Anonymous said...

Yes, "hissy fits" springs to mind as a description. Or "toys out of the pram".

Though my favourite version of this sentiment is the Aussie: "Look out - he's spat the dummy".

It is odd that after many years of fairly low-profile borderline nutri-nonsense (combined on and off with bits of GP-ish common sense in his Observer column days) Dr B seems too have tired of simply preening for his followers on his own blog and has developed a taste for thrusting himself into the wider consciousness by making increasingly daft pronouncements.

This is almost the only way I can rationalise his bizarre dive into MMR. He made himself look quite ridiculous by parroting a sort of modified JABS line about the safety evidence for the vaccine being obviously not good enough, but then being evasive or simply refusing to respond whenever anyone asked (and lots of people asked, usually very politely): "what evidence would there need to be, then?"

Anthony Cox summed it up pithily:

"Amazingly, Briffa believes he has exposed the scientific flimflam surrounding MMR vaccine in a single weekend using Google."

Eventually, of course, the Vaccine Crazies like John Stone and Cybertiger turned up to help Briffa out, making the company he is now keeping fairly clear. With friends like that...

I have the impression, having read his stuff over the years, that Dr B has been getting gradually more "out there", or at least getting more disinhibited about letting it all hang out. I think the first real sign was when he started using his Observer columns a few years back to make approving noises about food combining.

Of course, since his foray into MMR we have learnt that Dr B uses the same discredited "IgG food sensitivity diagnosis" tests as people like Patrick Holford, and sends some of his patients to an "Applied Kinesiologist".

What next? Diagnosis by dowsing?

Anonymous said...

Well, he seems to have a fan in cybertiger at least. What an endorsement.