The ASA & trolls working together to censor progressive thinking

If I told you that a private company had instructed me to remove this video, I would expect you to be shocked. What do you think about the same private company instructing me to stop saying this: “the calorie theory and conventional weight loss advice is wrong” and this: “weight gain and loss also depends far more on carbs consumed, than calories, or fat, consumed“? Appalled? Outraged?

That’s exactly what has happened, over the past year. The private company is the Advertising Standards Authority.

Executive Summary

* You probably think that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is an official body. You would be wrong. It is a self-appointed, self-regulated, upholder of the opinions of another non-official, self-appointed, self-regulated body: the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP).

* CAP make up ‘the Codes of Advertising Practice”; the ASA apply them. Think of CAP and the ASA like Simon and Louis in the X Factor, only not as entertaining: Simon makes up the rules, Louis follows them.

They are two sides of the same coin; partners in crime. One has a red web site; the other has a blue web site – look how similar they are. Well, they do live at the same address: Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6QT. They even publish a shared annual report.

* Both bodies use the tag line “Legal, decent, honest, truthful.” These are not legal bodies, (as in set up by law) let alone decent, honest or truthful. These two organisations are more misleading per se than any misleading advert I have seen. The most misleading thing is that they lead you to believe they are official bodies. They aren’t. They write to you as if they have legal powers. They don’t. You can’t even lodge a complaint about them being misleading because they are accountable to no one.

* CAP/ASA decided in 2010 that they will extend their self appointed remit to the internet.  As someone who does not place adverts and does not allow adverts on any of my web sites, I would not expect to have anything to do with either body. CAP and the ASA have different views. They have decreed that, if you are connected to ‘a product’ in any way e.g. author of a book, web pages that they decide are connected with that book shall be deemed adverts.

* CAP have opinions. They have opinions on things you may not even think warrant an opinion. They have opinions on global warming, fat burning, the calorie theory, current dietary advice, cholesterol, stripograms (yes, really!) and religious organisations, just as examples.

* In my world of diet, health and nutrition, CAP believe that the current dietary advice is correct. They believe the calorie theory. They believe that Flora gunge is good for the heart and that cholesterol is bad. They have no evidence for any of this – but they are a self-appointed regulator, so they do whatever they like.

* A troll writes to the ASA and complains that you say things on your web site like “the calorie theory and conventional weight loss advice is wrong“. The ASA then writes to you saying:

i)     We have decreed that your web page is an advert;

ii)     You are in breach of the CAP code; and

iii)    You must stop saying things that CAP don’t like, or we will put you on our naughty boys’ list.

Hence – we are now on the naughty boys’ list. Or, as Dr Malcolm Kendrick says, we now have a badge of honour!

This blog is about censorship. This blog is about one unofficial body trying to silence any views that are different to the opinions of their partner unofficial body, which you can assume to be conventional. It’s also about the scum levels that troll cowards are stooping to, to try to silence progressive thinking.

Censorship

We asked CAP for evidence for their codes. The full exchange can be seen here. The bottom line is that CAP have no evidence for their opinions, against which they are judging us and in the field in which they are demanding evidence from us.

I wrote to the ASA chair, Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury, and the CAP chair, James Best, and asked them four questions:

1)      What gives the ASA/CAP (you are two parts of the same) the right to try to censor free speech?

2)      Who gave the ASA/CAP the power to police any debate on the internet (including, but not limited to, health, nutrition, climate change etc) upon which CAP holds an opinion for the ASA to enforce?

3)      How do you justify demanding evidence from me when a) you have none of your own (in my area of expertise anyway – see Appendix) and b) when the ASA are not able to consider our evidence because it differs from CAP’s opinions?

4)      What will you do about this case, now and ongoing, given that I will not remove content from the World Wide Web, which challenges the status quo, just because CAP holds a conventional view?

I have not yet received a reply from CAP. The ASA chair did not deign to reply, but the head of casework replied on his behalf. Her response was as follows:

1) “Marketers have a right to express their opinions freely so long as they do so in line with the rules set out in the CAP code.”

i.e. you can freely express your opinions so long as they are the same as CAP’s. CAP holds conventional opinions and thus any non-conventional views are not allowed.

That’s censorship.

2) “Our authority to regulate marketing materials derives from an agreement from Government through which the ASA is designated as the ‘established’ means for administering the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Practice Regulations 2008 (the CPRs), which prohibit unfair, misleading or aggressive marketing to consumers.”

This is misleading. It implies that the ASA have been appointed by the Government to regulate adverts, which they have not. All that they have is access to the Office of Fair Trading (now abolished, by the way), which everyone else in the UK also has. They have no government authority to impose their opinions across the internet and to silence debate.

3) “It is not for the ASA to disprove a claim that a marketer has made and we are entitled to base our rules on generally accepted public health advice in the interest of consumer protection.”

i.e. we don’t have to provide evidence. We don’t have to disprove your evidence. We “are entitled” to rely on conventional thinking and insist on any non-conventional views being removed.

That’s censorship.

4) “If you refuse to comply with the advertising code following an ‘Upheld’ ASA adjudication, our Compliance team has a range of sanctions that include posting your name on our wall of non-compliant advertisers.”

i.e. if you do not allow yourself to be censored, we will put you on our naughty boys list.

That’s censorship and bullying and all sorts of other contemptible behaviour.

Logic & futility – you cannot win

Logic 1

To use one of our examples, a troll objected to this videoas it implied that conventional weight loss advice was wrong.” You bet it does!

The ASA decreed that the video is an advert for the book The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it? That’s tenuous enough – but go with it. They then say that you’re not allowed to imply that conventional weight loss advice is wrong (because CAP have decreed that it is right) and therefore you must remove your ‘advert’ a.k.a. the video. Yes – seriously folks – George Orwell was way more prophetic than he/we realised.

If my site contained details of a book that reflected CAP’s opinions, there would be no issue. The Simon and Louis, Yin and Yang, of CAP and the ASA would not be trying to censor me. The ‘but for’ is therefore my content, not the notion that I am ‘advertising a book’.

That’s censorship.

Logic 2

To use another of our examples: This is a direct quotation from ASA correspondence:

The claim “In no way is the body as simplistic as energy in = energy out – and, therefore, we do not need to put less energy in and/or try to get more energy out. We need to eat better, not to eat less” in ad (e) [ZH – that’s a web page] and comparison in ad (g) [ZH – that’s the video] misleadingly implied that conventional weight loss advice was wrong.” Again – you bet it does!

The ASA have decreed that this is i) in breach of CAP’s opinions (sorry – the CAP code) and ii) misleading. We pointed out to the ASA that – IF the web pages are adverts (and we have never accepted this – they are my editorial content) then we have two options:

i) Write conventional nonsense, which makes CAP happy, but then site visitors would be misled because the book is anything but conventional; or

ii) NOT mislead visitors and make site content clear that I do NOT subscribe to conventional wisdom, but then CAP would put you on the naughty boys list.

That’s censorship.

You cannot win in the ASA/CAP world of Alice in Wonderland.

The bottom line

We shared the attempt to elicit evidence from CAP with the ASA and asked a specific question:

Please can you let us know how the ASA can review evidence submitted, in a “legal, decent, honest and truthful”, way when you exist to impose the opinions of CAP and the evidence submitted is counter to the opinions of CAP?”

The ASA replied back “As you are aware, it is the role of CAP to write, and review as necessary, the rules and it is the ASA’s role to apply them. Whilst I have noted your comments, because the ASA simply apply those rules I would not be able to consider as part of the investigation the evidence base or validity of those rules.”

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen. CAP admit they have no evidence. The ASA admit they have no choice but to administer the opinions of CAP. If someone complains to the Alternative-view Silencing Agency about you, don’t waste a second of your time submitting evidence. It makes not one iota of difference. Knowing this – you may like to choose your response more appropriately. From now on, ours will be “to ignore”.

“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell.

 

p.s. I always like to check conflicts of interest. To quote the ASA: “The ASA is funded by advertisers through an arm’s length arrangement that guarantees the ASA’s independence”. Ha ha. Check out P35 of the 2013 Annual Report, Unilever had 3 of the top 6 most complained about adverts. None were upheld by the Alternative-view Silencing Agency. Don’t bite the hand that feeds eh!?

48 thoughts on “The ASA & trolls working together to censor progressive thinking

  • avatar
    December 29, 2014 at 4:55 am
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    Facinating reading. Thank godness for people like you. The statins subject is what led me here and what disturbing reading it makes. Thank you for putting this info in the public arena. Im going to email the links to concerned friends and family. Cheers :-)

    Reply
  • avatar
    December 7, 2014 at 1:33 am
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    I read the “adjudication” report today via a Twitter link from a well known Internet troll.

    Their “adjudication” is, as expected, based on no knowledge or understanding of the subject matter except “mainstream” opinion.

    The failure of the ASA chair, Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury, and the CAP chair, James Best to respond to your questions is evidence of either their cowardice or that they know the positions of the CAP and ASA are indefensible.

    The UK is unfortunately permeated with censorship of dissenting opinions and has some of the most draconian libel laws in the free democratic world. The classic example is of course Ben Goldacre and the homeopathic lobby.

    I think that if they put you on their “wall of shame” you might have good case for a libel suit. Problem of course is that you are not likely to have the financial capability for the withering fight that they will put up against you, because unfortunately the law is for the wealthy only… Your only hope is for an angel who can fund/run a pro-bono case.

    Keep up the fight and I wish you well.

    Reply
    • avatar
      December 7, 2014 at 8:32 am
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      Thank you for your support and kind words :-)

      Reply
  • avatar
    December 3, 2014 at 10:54 am
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    I read the adjudication on the ASA website today and I think your submission (or as much as they summarised) was impressive. Well done. I would suggest you have grounds to report CAP to the ASA as they have information on their website which they cannot substantiate. They have an obligation to act on a complaint and so they must investigate themselves! It would be good for the public to see them apply the same standards to their own content.

    I’d also be obliged if you would contact me direct on my email address in connection with an investigation into this area that I think you may find quite useful.

    Keep up the good work.

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  • avatar
    November 27, 2014 at 4:50 pm
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    Congratulations on having raised the ire of an officious, self-important bunch of hypocrites. You aren’t really doing anything until you have pissed somebody off and you clearly have the mettle for the forge. (Pun and mixed metaphor intended.)

    Lay on, Macduff, And damn’d be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!”

    (I know it didn’t turn out well for MacBeth but it’s still a good line.)

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  • avatar
    November 25, 2014 at 9:03 am
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    The ASA can only get at you because you are advertising a book, despite the fact that our free speech democracy permits citizens to write, publish and sell (and therefore presumably advertise) books whose contents do not break the law (e.g incitement to criminal acts). The ASA clearly finds these fundamental liberties disagreeable: it may be all very well for citizens to write what they wish, the ASA’s attack on you implies, but woe betide them if they try and market any textual material that contradicts received scientific/medical opinion.

    One is left speechless: it’s Orwell’s Ministry of Truth dystopia come true.

    Thank goodness the ASA is a toothless organisation. But so was the Nazi party before it came to power and started burning books.

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  • avatar
    November 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm
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    An excellent but shocking article, Zoe – shared on FB.
    Good to see the conventional approach is working so well, eh?
    I’ll await to see any more responses you get and then write to them also.
    ~ Jacqui

    From Facebook
    “The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the self-regulatory organisation (SRO) of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom. The ASA is a non-statutory organisation and so cannot interpret or enforce legislation. However, its code of advertising practice broadly reflects legislation in many instances. The ASA is not funded by the British government, but by a levy on the advertising industry.

    Its role is to “regulate the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in the UK” by investigating “complaints made about ads, sales promotions or direct marketing”, and deciding whether such advertising complies with its advertising standards codes. These codes stipulate that “before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation” and that “no marketing communication should mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise”.

    Guy Parker has been chief executive of the ASA since June 2009; his salary for this role is £120,000.”

    Words fail me…

    More at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Advertising-Standards-Authority/105461702822056

    Reply
  • avatar
    November 24, 2014 at 9:52 am
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    Excellent piece.

    We’ve had our own problems with the ASA.

    What really gets my goat is that unlike Trading Standards, there is no logic to their arguments and nothing you can do to reason with them.

    As has been said here, you either play ball or they list you as having broken their rules for all potential customers to see.

    I wonder if anyone has ever actually been taken to court by this bunch of corporate thugs?

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  • avatar
    November 23, 2014 at 3:12 am
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    Zoe, so many commenters before me have already said it well, so I will just add my encouragement to you to keep up the great work. You’ve helped me and so many others who have struggled to understand and dissect the myriad points of view regarding nutrition and weight loss; those arses are just trying to bully the ‘smart kid’ who they’re afraid of. You have our deepest respect and appreciation for all you do–hang in there and all the best! xox

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  • avatar
    November 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm
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    Many congratulations on your badge of honour!

    I take it as a good sign when those representing the status quo feel a need to fight back… we must be giving them cause for concern, or why would they bother?

    On the topic of trolls and why they do what they do: I read somewhere (must find it again) that the Chinese government was reportedly paying people a small piece-rate, to go on-line and seek out anti-Chinese government sentiment at blogs, forums and so on, then comment in such a way as to sow doubt, confusion and disruption in an effort to try and derail this thinking. Presumably the paid commenters would be working from a script.

    For companies with billions of Pounds/Euros/Dollars at stake, I fully expect that such tactics would be seen as a useful way to spend part of their huge marketing budgets.

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  • avatar
    November 22, 2014 at 7:37 pm
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    The ASA reminds me of the goons from the TV Licensing companies subcontracted by the BBC to “remind” people to pay their TV Licences in the UK. I’m not debating the rights or wrongs of paying or not paying a TV Licence, but some of those people genuinely believe they have powers which exceed that of the police! I was speaking to one of their ex-employees and he was resolute in his belief that he could’ve entered any premises without permission or any form of court order – powers which not even the police “normally” have. I could not convince him otherwise.

    Well done for not being intimidated Zoe and standing your corner.
    I’m 99% certain you won’t hear from the ASA goons again.

    Reply
  • avatar
    November 22, 2014 at 8:27 am
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    Zoe,
    I’m reminded of a comment I heard about Michael Moore, the slim trim, facially neat saviour of the universe whose speciality is the half truth, on a radio programme, by a BBC radio producer who had the misfortune to be involved with him in a radio programme some years ago. The quote was of this nature. The salient two words are exact and most of the rest of the sentence is pretty well spot on as my verbal memory is of legendary quality.. The voice was posh by the way, which added to the effect, or edded to the effect…
    “In some thirty years of radio programming, Michael Moore is the most dysfunctional fuck it’s ever been my misfortune to work with.”
    The next time you write to them you could begin your letter with,
    Dear Head Dysfunctional Fuck…

    Reply
  • avatar
    November 21, 2014 at 7:10 am
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    Dear Zoe,
    That is really ridiculous, the ASA surely have gone beyond their remit, and well done for ruffling some feathers. You have lots of support out here so keep up the good work.
    Your books are ones we recommend to our patients.
    Joanne McCormack GP Warrington

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  • avatar
    November 21, 2014 at 2:37 am
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    Do they have any power? I am across the pond, where Industrial Foodlike Substances are seriously taking over the world…but we are still allowed to say so. I have actually started feeling that the nutrition ship is (EVER so slowly) starting to change directions…which is perhaps frightening ‘Food’ and Pharma and their myriad paid minions?

    I am aghast at this…how can any reasonable person think you should be castigated because you’re not towing the conventional ‘wisdom’ line?? Of course I’ve just answered my own question…clearly they are not reasonable!

    Reply
    • avatar
      November 21, 2014 at 8:07 am
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      Hi Sandy – the subject of the ASA happened to come up in conversation with a lawyer recently. He had had dealings with them and found them to be the most arrogant, infuriating, intransigent organisation he had ever come across! You are quite correct in assuming that we are not dealing with reason or reasonable here!

      The troll/ASA also didn’t like this blog (http://theharcombediet.com/2014/06/low-carb-athletes/) because, and I quote: [it] “marketed treatment for obesity which would not take place under suitably qualified supervision.” Sign posting people to media articles on professional athletes who have made dietary changes and experienced changes in athletic performance is not allowed?! We are in the UK, in 2014, yes?!

      We wrote back to the Alternative-view Silencing Agency and asked – what is this supposed to be an ad for? They replied “This is no longer in the scope of our investigation”, which must be ASA speak for “Oops – not even we can claim jurisdiction over this one.”

      Our experience has been incredible – if this blog gives just one individual/small business the confidence to tell this bunch of cowboys to (insert rude word) off – it will have been worth it :-)
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    November 20, 2014 at 7:37 pm
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    Hi Zoe.
    This is really scary. I did not quite understand – do they have legal right to demand you taking your video and articles down?

    Reply
    • avatar
      November 21, 2014 at 8:02 am
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      No they don’t – they just behave as if they do. It will be interesting to see what their next move will be because we’re ignoring them from now on :-)

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        November 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm
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        Hello, Zoe.
        I commend and applaud you in everything you’re doing. These people are the most insidious and unpleasant that there are. I’ve had more than my fair share of run-ins with them, and others. I’ve taken a much more bullish approach to what I’m publishing on my website now! They and their acolytes think they’re protecting people whereas I would argue they are actually exposing people to more harm.
        Go go go!
        Oliver Dowding

        Reply
        • avatar
          November 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm
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          Hi Oliver – many thanks for this and we’re thrilled it’s helped you with your approach. That was all we wanted to achieve from the blog – one person having the encouragement to similalry stand up to the Muppets.
          Go to you to!
          Best wishes – Zoe

          Reply
  • avatar
    November 20, 2014 at 6:07 am
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    Well done, Zoe! Like you said, it is a badge of honor! You could even include it in your “marketing” — “Learn the truth that the big food corporations and their ASA bully boys want to keep hidden”. I suspect you don’t go in for cheesy (pun intended) marketing, but the desire to learn a secret that others are trying to hush up is a huge pull that is often used to market products and services.

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    • avatar
      November 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm
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      You make a very good point! In all literature, call the ASA / CAP out for who they are – Industry shills!

      “The Book the ASA (Funded by and in bed with and never ruled against because it won’t bite the hand that feeds it UNILEVER, TESCO, KELLOGS etc) tried to ban…”

      Reply
  • avatar
    November 19, 2014 at 6:32 pm
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    Hi Zoe,
    so, if you write a book about nutrition you can’t post an opinion about nutrition on your web site, unless that opinion is their opinion? I only see two options: a) they are stupid (extremely stupid) or b) they are paid to bully you. But nobody is so stupid, right?

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  • avatar
    November 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm
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    Leading the charge of the trolls and the frivolous ASA complaints is The Nightingale Collaboration (a party of 2 consisting of Allan Henness and his wife), connected to Simon Singh and Sense about Science, all of whom spend an inordinate amount of time attacking non-conventional medicine and anything that departs from the status quo. Scientism, courtesy of organized “skeptic” groups.
    I notice that in most other countries any complaint has to be brought by a dissatisfied consumer who actually purchased a product based on crooked advertising (such as bait-and-switch).
    What’s presently going on in the U.K. with the ASA is not “consumer protection” it’s active censorship based on the opinions of people who have an axe to grind.

    Reply
    • avatar
      November 19, 2014 at 7:24 pm
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      Hi Laurie – many thanks for this. We are aware of the Nightingale two! Devoting the short time that we have on this planet to complaining and nothing but complaining. It doesn’t get sicker or sadder! Pond scum is always best ignored :-)
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    November 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm
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    This is disgraceful censorship, but also fascinating. On Amazon, your books receive very good reviews, with many reviewers detailing the tasty foods they now eat and how much weight they lost. Given this is the route down which most book buyers now go, this gagging method will have very little effect on you personally, although for anyone unknown seeking to publicise online, a book containing radical views on any number of topics, it could have serious consequences. Are these Amazon reviews to someday be deemed adverts? What a bizarre situation.

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  • avatar
    November 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm
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    The evidence that the conventional calorie theory is wrong is LITERALLYa great big pile of stinking poo.

    If it were correct the evidence would be a really small pile of carbon.

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    November 19, 2014 at 2:19 pm
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    This is terrible and what I want to understand is why? Why do they have such a problem with what you are saying? Is it money?

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      November 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm
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      It is money Angela. Enormous amounts of money depend on the acceptance of particular nutrition hypotheses. For example, from Tesco’s website:

      Flora Pro active Buttery 69.8p per 100 g
      Tesco English butter 40.0p per 100 g

      And how much does a two-egg omelette cost? About 35p. Even if they could be perfectly preserved, nobody’s going to get rich selling omelettes. But if people eat them rather than carb laden, cheap to produce and highly profitable cereals and ready meals, large food companies will suffer.

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    • avatar
      November 19, 2014 at 5:08 pm
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      Hi Angela – Jonathan makes one of the main points – money. There are huge fake food and pharma interests vested in maintaining the status quo. Sell us lucrative fake food, treat the concomitant sickness with drugs there’s no money to be made from healthy people eating real food.

      As for what drives trolls – too cowardly to even put their name to what they do – they are narcissistic psychopaths – don’t waste any time trying to understand such low life! (http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2014/sep/18/psychology-internet-trolls-pewdiepie-youtube-mary-beard)

      One of my fave Mark Twain quotations is: “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

      Many thanks for your nice comment
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    November 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm
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    Hello Zoe
    It is unlike you to make such basic editorial mistakes, but I beleive (and I may be wrong as I am now based here is Aus) that the organisation that chastises you is in fact the Codes for Retail Advertising Practice or CRAP as they are most widely known.

    Sadly I don’t think the Naughty boy monicker really has any kudos, especially when your insightful comments have far more important ivories to knock over.

    Look forward to meeting finally in Cape Town next year.

    Reply
    • avatar
      November 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm
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      Hey! Great to hear you’ll be there – looking forward to meeting :-)

      Reply
  • avatar
    November 19, 2014 at 10:59 am
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    I’d love to just say to the ASA / CAP:

    “Prove the calorie theory is correct or &*^% Off!”

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  • avatar
    November 19, 2014 at 7:39 am
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    This angers me no end. I’m a big fan Zoe, currently in phase 2 and loving the new lighter, happier, healthier me. I absolutely believe in your books and love that that you’ve stood up to these corrupt bullies. How can it be that I’ve tried every ‘diet’ under the sun but nothing works (healthily) yet 2 months on your plan and the whole house is healthier, slimmer and less hungry!! No cravings. Thankyou for showing us the way, I can’t thank you enough x

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    November 19, 2014 at 4:33 am
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    I consider you a source of truth. Yet I cannot understand how you are a “bad boy”. You don’t appear to have a Y chromosome. What gives? The check is in the male?

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    November 18, 2014 at 8:19 pm
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    To be positive, CAP and ASS are a great scam! They probably get paid a lot by their corporate lords and have zero risk of getting into legal problems. Well, I guess there is some risk – that Zoe and other like minded people get the facts out in the open. (thank you, btw)

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    November 18, 2014 at 7:46 pm
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    Holy cow – it is actually quite scary how much more open my eyes are since the so-called horse-meat scandal. That made me start reading ingredient labels – which led me to Harcombe – which led me to losing three stone so far, being ‘cured’ of asthma, heartburn, joint pain, high cholesterol and blood pressure and heart palpitations etc – which has now led me to question just about everything in the ‘public domain’ unless I can ‘see’ proof of claims without a big fat money trail… I live and learn! Keep up the good work Zoe – and perhaps we should start a little campaign asking the ASA and CAP for proof that the ‘eat-badly plate’ and calorie counting WORKS, given the stats on world-wide obesity – and if they can’t provide that then all references to THAT should be removed from the internet!

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  • avatar
    November 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm
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    Keep up the good work Zoe!!

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  • avatar
    November 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm
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    Logically, shouldn’t they also try to suppress your books? Or would that be too much even for their defective ethical circuits?

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    • avatar
      November 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm
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      they probably go to amazon.com and leave snotty ignorant comments on her book’s page.

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    November 18, 2014 at 5:32 pm
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    Keep at it Zoe, you have a lot of support and it is scandalous that some morons at the ASA have nothing better to do than waste your time and in so doing gag free speech. Of course, as is typical of such people they have got their facts wrong. Not surprising as these types of people do not think for themselves and don’t understand when other people do.

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    November 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm
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    Hi Zoe,
    Congratulations for getting on the naughty boys list with ASA/CAP!!Shills or trolls love the internet because they can hide behind their keyboards and anonomously attack views they do not agree with.However they lack the cojones to be visible because their arguments are weak.

    So if they have something they disagree with they should show their faces and argue succinctly their points-if not SHUT UP.

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  • avatar
    November 18, 2014 at 5:14 pm
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    BRAVISSIMA, Zoe! i admire your persistence when you’re challenged by lying assholes.

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  • avatar
    November 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm
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    Zoe alot of what you said is your opinion – where is the evidence and clinical data for your 2 women – just a reminder carbs are 50-60% and fat 30 – 35% – although the carbs will alter soon to 50 %. It is not even a realistic comparison and you are supposing that the high fat woman will feel less hungry! You need a lesson on the eatwell plate – it is a guide!

    I have no doubt you will not post this – if you are out there you must accept constructive criticism!

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    November 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm
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    Dear Zoe,

    I am one of your many fans. I believe in you and I did wonder whether you’re going through this unchallenged. Why? Because I once wrote something on a blog (I’ve since taken it down – it was a long time ago) and a solicitor (no less) wrote to the Blog host demanding that my Blog be taken down. To their credit, the Blog host said “no” and instructed said solicitors to deal with me directly.

    I never heard from them again.

    However, the incident did make me think: so much for free speech. I had basically regurgitated (with source) a reference to argue my point as to why I doubted what a member of the health profession had told me. In their complaint, the person claiming to be the solicitor supporting the said health professional (I know, I should have known better than to have named the individual) claimed that since I am a nobody, I therefore have no right to question the word of a long standing professional and certainly not in such a public manner – and that my reference/source was rubbish anyway. My blog received a mere 245 ‘hits’. I reckon the large part of those hits were repeat visits from the solicitor, health person and their friends.

    Following my experience, I don’t dare write Blogs anymore or partake writing on/to Blogs. This is my first comment on a blog in 6 years.

    When I read your blog, I’m here thinking: I only questioned a minuscule part of the standard dieting mantra, and I received a complaint. Heaven knows what grief Zoe must be receiving.

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    • avatar
      November 18, 2014 at 4:56 pm
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      Hi Laura – thanks so much for sharing this. At my first public speech, a journalist said that she had been threatened with legal action by the sugar lobby. I guess my mum told me to stand up to bullies!
      As Tim Noakes has spotted – the more they try to silence you – the more impact you must be having :-)
      Best wishes – Zoe

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