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Hilary's Desk

Follow the money

Hilary Butler - Friday, April 17, 2009

In a move worthy of a Monty Python Movie, Dr Jay Gordon has earned my hero award for the decade, for his two 2009 April fool’s press releases sent to a subscription only obscure list called Lactnet, for lactation consultants and doctor who support breastfeeding. Jay is a breastfeeding advocate and passionate about the WHO code, and ethical medicine. He and many of his colleagues are very unhappy at the way the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) lives off money, earned from ordinary people who are duped into believing that formula is fantastic, and "vaccines vanquish victims". As an April fool’s joke, Jay sent out a spoof April Fool’s press release titled “AAP severs ties with Formula Industry” which read:

Press Release

4/1/2009

American Academy of Pediatrics—For Immediate Release

Dr. David T. Tayloe, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics which represents 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists has announced that it is severing all ties with the infant formula industry.

“This method of feeding substitution has harmed millions of children both in America and throughout the world and we pediatricians can no longer continue our relationship with the manufacturers of infant formula.” said Dr. Tayloe, who assumed the post of AAP President in October of 2008.

“Our alliance with the pharmaceutical industry is unethical. Our accepting millions of dollars and continuing to allow these business people to influence our policies while sponsoring our speakers, conferences and conventions is an ongoing embarrassment and we will end this ethical problem right now.”

“Further, I would like to apologize for our past mistakes involving the breastfeeding advertisement campaign and allowing the maker of Similac infant formula to print its corporate logo on the cover of a special edition of the academy’s book on breastfeeding.”

“Again, I can cannot express enough regret and can assure you that the AAP will immediately seek compliance with the WHO Code and will promote the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.”

Sincerely,

David T. Tayloe, MD, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics

April 1, 2009

Members of the list, party to the joke, sent emails to AAP, asking them if it was true or not. AAP also received a lot, praising it for leading the world in taking ethics finally, to an altruistic level.

Three hours later, Jay sent out another spoof press release called “Sincerer Apology” which read:

Press Release

4/1/2009

American Academy of Pediatrics—For Immediate Release on April Fool’s Day

Dr. David T. Tayloe, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics which represents 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists has announced that it is continuing ties with the infant formula industry.

“This method of feeding substitution is alleged and proven to have harmed millions of children both in America and throughout the world and, in spite of that proof pediatricians will continue our relationship with the manufacturers of infant formula.” said Dr. Tayloe, who assumed the post of AAP President in October of 2008..

“Our alliance with the pharmaceutical industry is deemed unethical by breastfeeding experts all over the world even by our own Committee on Breastfeeding. Our accepting millions of dollars and continuing to allow these business people to influence our policies while sponsoring our speakers, conferences and conventions is an ongoing embarrassment but we will not end this ethical problem because they support too many of our endeavors and doughnuts.”

“Further, I cannot apologize for our past mistakes involving the breastfeeding advertisement campaign and allowing the maker of Similac infant formula to print its corporate logo on the cover of a special edition of the academy’s book on breastfeeding.”

“Again, I will not express enough regret and can assure you that the AAP will continue to ignore the WHO Code and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.”

Sincerely,

(NOT!) David T. Tayloe, MD, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics

April 1, 2009

The AAP’s lawyer, Nicole Finitzo, threatened lactnet, asking them to remove all original items and copies on the lactnet server, wherever located, to be taken out of circulation, because the AAP considers the April Fool’s private press release a “patent misstatement of fact” which “misrepresents the AAP’s position, and is “defamatory”. AAP also claims that it misappropriate’s the AAP’s name; Dr Tayloe’s name and caused confusion and alarm on the lactnet list. AAP was then self-proclaimed in the most glowing terms, and therefore that Dr Gordon’s views are legally unacceptable.

In the 1980’s, another AAP member, Dr Robert Mendelsohn never hesitated to speak his mind openly, and freely. Robert was a self-professed medical heretic, or to some, an iconoclast, who had an impeccable CV, was unflappable, and had large sections of the USA public behind him. He constantly nailed the truth and though AAP hated his constant pricks at them, they wisely kept their mouths shut most of the time.

The truth is, that the truth hurts. Far from misstating the AAP’s position, Jay hit the nail right slap bang in the middle of the bulls-eye, and the “Sincerer Apology” just wedged the truth even tighter.

The AAP’s response tells you all you need to know about any medical organisation with rings in their noses. The answer is simple. Follow the money.

For more information and opinions:

http://drjaygordon.com/development/news/responsetotimesvaccines.asp

 

http://twitter.com/JayGordonMDFAAP

 

http://mamapundit.com/2009/04/the-aap-eats-its-own-at-the-behest-of-formula-companies/

 

http://viv.id.au/blog/20090417.4588/political-speech-and-pr-cleanup-video-of-the-aap-at-the-digitalnow-conference/

 

http://viv.id.au/blog/20090415.4540/and-objects-cant-cast-shadows-in-a-vacuum-aap-formula-funding-april-fool/

 

http://larvatusprodeo.net/2009/04/18/a-case-study-in-public-relations-online/

 

http://www.michiganlawreview.org/firstimpressions/vol107/gordon.pdf

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