Clauses Noted: 1
Publication: The Guardian
Ms Paula Ross, Chief Executive of the Society of Homeopaths, complained that an article about homeopathy was inaccurate and misleading when it stated that homeopaths were “killing patients”.
The Commission considered the complaint and recognised the newspaper’s argument that the specific claim had to be understood in the context of the article when read as a whole, noting its position that the reference sought to sum up the points made in a lengthy, polemical article about homeopathy. Nonetheless, the Commission was concerned that the article had moved from what appeared to be a legitimate argument (that homeopaths could be seen to be endangering lives, something with which others may have disagreed) to a serious claim which had not been fully substantiated.
In the circumstances, the Commission took the view that the newspaper’s offer of an opportunity in which to respond to the allegation – in the form of a letter for publication – represented a sufficient form of remedial action. While the complainant did not wish to take up the newspaper’s offer, she considered that the complaint was resolved on this basis.
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