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Censorship in sports about nutrition

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, May 21, 2012

Censorship, Sports and the Power of One Word

Editorial by Howard Straus

(OMNS May 21, 2012) At the World Snooker Championships, one of the finalists, Peter Ebdon, who had qualified for the Snooker Championship finals an amazing 21 times in a row, was asked to remove a logo from his tee shirt. [1]

Anyone who watches almost any sport at all is certainly familiar with the blizzard of brand name logos for everything from banks to watches, from lubricants to cigarettes, from pain relief medications and golf paraphernalia to the naming of stadia. The commercialization of virtually every sport in this fashion is virtually a “given,” no matter how harmful or carcinogenic a product may be, to the extent that it is a multi-billion-dollar a year industry in itself, with star sports figures earning millions of dollars in product endorsements.

But Peter Ebdon raised a firestorm by wearing a logo that said, “Gerson Therapy.” Interestingly, few of the photographs of Ebdon in any of the articles clearly showed the logo. [2] Ebdon was moved to wear the logo after his father’s death from cancer. But the explosion from the cancer, pharmaceutical and medical industry was prompt. “World Snooker received several messages questioning whether he should be allowed to wear the Gerson Therapy logo,” noted the Telegraph newspaper article.

“Obviously, I’ve upset somebody somewhere, but personally, I think it’s too important for people not to know,” said Ebdon, in a post-competition press conference. World Snooker officials clearly disagree, justifying their censorship by pointing to a rarely-enforced 1939 law prohibiting the advertising of any cancer therapy, or virtually any public speech about it. This law is never invoked when white-coated oncologists touting toxic chemotherapy or other ineffective [3] but immensely profitable allopathic cancer treatments take to the airwaves. In a very personal endorsement of Gerson Therapy principles, Ebdon has become a vegan since his father’s death.

It is impossible to avoid the parallels to another, similar case. In 2004, when HRH Prince Charles mentioned the word Gerson once in one speech at the Royal College of Gynecology and Obstetrics, the medical and pharmaceutical industry in the UK pilloried him in the tabloid press for months. The Prince had said: “I know of one patient who turned to Gerson Therapy having been told she was suffering from terminal cancer and would not survive another course of chemotherapy. Happily, seven years later, she is alive and well. So it is vital that, rather than dismissing such experiences, we should further investigate the beneficial nature of these treatments.” It is not exactly a wild-eyed statement.

Yet attacks on Prince Charles went so far as to imply that the Prince was crazy and lament that royals could no longer be beheaded. The tabloids picked up the story, and ran with it around the world. It was only when they realized that they were exposing the name Gerson to millions of people who would have otherwise never heard of it that they finally went silent.

Now, once again, the name Gerson, put forth publicly by one person, on one occasion, has given the medical/pharmaceutical industry apoplexy, and generated tens of thousands of words of calumny in the controlled press. Many people must be wondering what generated that kind of reaction. This “over-the-top” response is the greatest acknowledgement that the word Gerson clearly generates such fear in the medicine-for-profit industry that its knee-jerk reaction is to spew abuse in all directions.

The pharmaceutical industry is the most profitable business on the face of the planet. Yet it is terrified of one word, whether spoken by a prince or worn by a snooker player. If they have to resort to silencing even the quietest whisper of dissent, they are exposing their lack of confidence in their own competitiveness as providers of methods and products that are supposed to enhance and restore good health.

(Howard Straus is the grandson of Dr. Max Gerson and author of the doctor’s biography, Dr. Max Gerson: Healing the Hopeless. [4] He is also president of Cancer Research Wellness Institute.)


1. April 24, 2012 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/snooker/9224683/Peter-Ebdon-told-to-remove-cancer-treatment-logo.html

2. For a photo of the offending logo, with negative opinion: http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2012/04/bbc-snooker-promoting-cancer-quackery.html

3. Chemotherapy contributes less than three percent to five year cancer survival in the USA. (Morgan, Ward and Barton. Clinical Oncology, 2004. 16:549-560) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Morgan%2C%20Ward%20and%20Barton.%20Clinical%20Oncology%2C%202004.%2016%3A549-560

4. Reviewed in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 2002, 17:2, pages 122-124. Scroll down to the third book review posted at http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2002/pdf/2002-v17n02-p120.pdf

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