The nominations for 2013 so far:
Nominee: The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
Nominated by: Dr Peter Arnold
I would like to nominate the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, which has replaced the Medical Boards of all the states and territories. It has just sent out its latest newsletter, in which it propagates its views about the re-validation of medical practitioners, the competence of medical practitioners, the maintenance of up-to-date standards and all of that “good stuff”.
At the same time, nonsense about acupuncture appears on pages 8 – 9 of the newsletter. Surely this is utter garbage from a supposedly scientific, ‘standards’, and ‘competence’ organisation. How can anyone be competent in something which doesn’t work!
Surely this is as bad as the universities’ teaching this stuff and should also be exposed.
Nominee: Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation
Nominated by: Blair Donaldson
Sarah Laurie, CEO and medical director of the Waubra Foundation, is a non-practising GP resident in South Australia, which is nowhere near Waubra.
Sarah Laurie promotes herself as Australia’s foremost expert on an unrecognised, non-specific medical condition that has been labelled Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) by US pediatrician Nina Pierpoint. No mention of WTS exists in the 22 million peer-reviewed papers indexed by the US National Library of Medicine. While there is no formal definition of WTS, more than 220 symptoms have blamed on wind farms — see http://tinyurl.com/b7gdjhx.
Rather than facilitating medical research to dispassionately test her hypotheses, Sarah travels around regional communities (in Australian and overseas) and presents to town hall meetings organised by objectors to wind farms and climate change denial organisations. These meetings generally create significant outrage and frustrate the development of nearby wind energy projects.
The Waubra Foundation shares an office with a mining investment company in South Melbourne, a long way from the town of Waubra. None of the directors of the Waubra Foundation live within 100 kms of Waubra, yet at least five of them happen to own property very close to proposed wind farms. Sarah does not see any conflict conflict-of-interest arising out of this fact or the fact that the foundation is supported by people with uranium and fossil fuel interests and a strong opposition to wind energy.
Much like the AVN, Sarah amplifies the comments of objectors and ideologues, trades in undocumented and unverifiable anecdotes, and ignores or misrepresents the findings of qualified experts. Dr Geoff Leventhall, a noise and vibration consultant with more than a decade domain experience, recently wrote to a senate committee detailing many of the ways his work has been misrepresented.
Sarah frequently likens challenges to her theories to early denials of HIV / AIDS and the health risks of asbestos and tobacco, yet ignores the conclusions of 17 reviews – that there is no demonstrated link between wind turbines and ill-health. http://ramblingsdc.net/windreviews.html.
Sarah vilifies Prof Simon Chapman, School of Public Health at Sydney University, for his suggestions that WTS is likely to be a psychogenic phenomenon. Despite his long and successful career in public health, Sarah suggests that Chapman is not qualified to comment, ignoring the fact she has no qualifications in epidemiology, medical / public health research or acoustics, yet insists that the low levels of infrasound created by wind turbines is highly detrimental human health. This is in spite of the fact that infrasound levels have consistently been found to be much higher along coastlines and in cities where millions of people around the world reside.
Elsewhere, a court in South Australia accepted testimony from Dr Gary Wittert, head of the Medical Faculty at the University of Adelaide, showing that Sarah’s data from Waubra showed the opposite of what she was claiming. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/bad-day-in-court-for-anti-wind-campaigner-sarah-laurie.
Laurie signs all her correspondence as “Dr Sarah Laurie” despite the fact that she has not been a medical practitioner for more than ten years. The Waubra Foundation has been granted charity status as a health promotion charity, yet does not employ any medical researchers and is essentially an anti-wind lobby group intent on misleading people with unproven claims.
Nominee: Jason Woodforth
Nominated by: Michael Larkin
I’d like to nominate Jason Woodforth, member for the Qld seat of Nudgee, for suggesting that although illegal peptides and hormones in food for performance enhancement were bad, that they weren’t as bad as water fluoridation.
Nominee: Glenda Mather
Nominated by: Fiona Dobson
I nominate Glenda Mather, Rockhampton City Councillor, for successfully getting fluoride removed from the local water supply, stating that “fluoride causes fluorosis and dementia”.