Beeb cans CAM from online service

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Medicine

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has removed a section
devoted to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) from its
website in a move that has caused consternation throughout the
British CAM community.

Chairman of the British Complementary Medicine Association (BCMA), Terry Cullan, has appealed to a group of Westminster members called the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated and Complementary Healthcare (PGICH) to take action in response to the BBC's decision.

In a letter to PGICH chairman, David Tredinnick, Cullan urges the government "to initiate a full review into the action taken by the BBC."

When asked for its motivation by a member of the British Complementary Medicine Association (BCMA), a BBC Health spokesperson replied that the section's removal was part of an ongoing process of review.

"We strive to ensure that content is both of a high editorial standard and is as up-to-date and complete as possible," the BBC spokesperson wrote.

"As part of this ongoing activity we will often remove elements of the site which we feel do not meet these requirements, and where significant investment would be required to rectify this situation."

It added that the removal of the CAM section did not mean the BBC would not cover "the issues elsewhere on television, radio or online."

The section contained a range of information about complementary medicines such as botanicals and oils as well as complementary therapies like light therapy and massage.

Parliamentary plea In his letter to PGICH, which has not yet had a reply, Cullan stated: " removal of a well-established side to healthcare is hard to explain.

Even harder to accept, or even understand, are such excuses as those offered which include 'Editorially unsatisfactory' and 'Disproportionately time consuming' neither of which offer any obvious validity for an organisation whose sole purpose is to present all sides of news and events."

He questioned the timing of the section's removal given the increased public interest in CAM and increased use by health professionals including the mainstream medical profession.

"We can only guess at the real pressures that brought about this extremely disturbing decision," he said.

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