Attack on nutritional therapists throws the baby out with the bathwater
A high-profile investigation into nutritional therapy by UK consumer magazine, Which?, has concluded that nutritional therapy practitioners are, “Giving out advice that could seriously harm patients’ health”. However, while the investigation raises serious questions that must be addressed immediately by the nutritional therapy sector in the UK, the Which? report contains numerous and significant flaws and biases that made it difficult to draw any solid conclusions.
‘Mystery shoppers’ visit practitioners
The Which? investigation involved three reporters posing as patients and visiting a total of 15 nutritional therapists to seek advice for non-existent conditions. These included ductal carcinoma in situ – a type of breast cancer – fatigue and difficulty conceiving. The consultations were recorded and later transcribed, and both the consultations and the advice given by the nutritional therapists were reviewed by an ‘expert panel’ convened by Which? According to the panel, eight of 15 consultations were ‘fails’, six were ‘dangerous fails’ and one was a ‘borderline pass’.
Important issues revealed
Undeniably, some of the advice given by the nutritional therapists targeted by the Which? investigation gives serious cause for concern. In particular, diagnosis of medical conditions is legally the exclusive province of medical doctors in the UK. Other issues identified in the ‘serious fail’ category include advising cancer patients to delay conventional cancer therapy and missing so-called ‘red flag’ symptoms that could indicate the possibility of a serious underlying medical condition.
Errors in judgment such as these are not made by responsible and competent nutritional therapists, which comprise the vast majority of practitioners in the UK. Code of Practice (COP) adopted by practitioner organisations, such as the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy (BANT) – featured heavily in the Which? investigation – must provide clear guidelines to their members on these and other matters if professional responsibility and integrity are to be maintained. Practitioners who flout their professional body’s COP should face severe sanction, and professional organisations representing nutritional practitioners must work swiftly to get their houses in order before public trust suffers irreparably.
Full Article Here Taken from anh-europe.org