Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tofurkey of the week

I have met sputum samples I like better than some of the folks over at Doctors for the Environment Australia (abbreviation DEA, not to be confused with the more police-type DEA who have a history of harshing the mellow of people like the enviro doctors).

Apart from the stupid name (Rival to my own NGO that I think I will call DR GRRRL -"Doctor Girls for Rum Reggae Rollerskating and Lurv"), they have at other times pushed for:

* An end to democracy as a cure for climate change. No sh1t.

* Advocating to patients that they stop eating meat to curb climate change.

* Population control and the payment of a "climate tax" for having children outside of the allotted quota. (As if we aren't paying already...)

* And most offensive of all, repeatedly spamming my work in-box with requests to bake cakes or shave my head to prevent climate change. For the record, I have shaved my head before, and not to raise money OR awareness for any cause. It was one more thing I can add to the list of "questionable stuff I have done to try and impress men". What it did was impress my lesbian flatmate, but thats another story.

The DEA are by and large not the type of people who embody the traits one would normally associate with the noble profession of medicine. They flagrantly disregard the principle of primum non nocere (first do no harm) and generally violate the bounds of good taste.* Just ask yourself if these are the sort of people you would want to invite to a dinner party or stick their fingers up your bottom fossicking for cancer? Which is why it is with great delight that I can report that they are now at least somewhat implicated in the Greenpeace GM wheat whipper-snippering fiasco.

Turns out an open letter protestiing the GM wheat trials was circulated (mostly via Greenpeace) from a group of concerned scientists and doctors. The inference being that they provided weight, urgency and grounds to Greenpeace's recent illegal bout of lawn-care activism.

That is, until one of the key signatories, Professor Dave Schubert, realised what Greenpeace had done and quickly moved to denounce their actions and distance himself from the organisation. Two of the eight signatories were Australian medical doctors from our old friends over at Doctors for the Environment. "No comment", they explained, making them at least slightly smarter than Shane Rattenberry.

It has also been pointed out that the open letter is eerily similar to one circulated previously by Greenpeace, with some of the same co-signatories, which protested Golden Rice trials in 2009, and cites the same evidence for concern. After corresponding with Prof. Schubert, one GM pundit came to the conclusion that not only did this signatory not even know the stated reason for the proposed wheat trial in the first place, but also did not write the letter he "signed", nor knew who the co-signatories were. The reasonable assumption being that Greenpeace itself authored the letter, and not very well, if their cut-and-paste job are anything to go by. Read further here. Nice to know they are keeping up to date with the latest evidence base.

* Thinking further on this, they also defy the Declaration of Geneva, one of the more widespread medical oaths that most graduating medical school adhere to, wherein the medical graduate swears they "...will not permit considerations intervene between my duty..."


  1. Dammit, I laughed so hard I missed SCRUBS.

    I have ignored our medical professional associations in disgust, the profession should know better and be the first sceptical scientists. What with big pharma corruption and biases (think of the years of detrimental antiarrhythmics we prescribed, CoxII inhibitors, back and forth HRT guidelines), meaninglessness of consensus, confirmation bias, annual free-for-all fight for grants, mates peer review.

    Good to see someone taking them to task.

    PS: Hope you not planning to do Gastro in Adelaide.

  2. Nice to see you back blogging I was a little concerned about you for a time. I see that you have lost nothing of your wit and only a bloke, there are plenty of them around. Your new photo is pretty flash.
    I do enjoy your writing, reminds me some what of my take no shit sister.


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