(formerly Campaign Against Health Fraud)
[back] HealthFraud groups [back] Shills
[An outfit set up by Allopaths that only attacks non-Allopathic medicine and doctors. Go figure.]
Founder members: Dr Vincent Marks Professor Michael Baum Caroline Richmond Professor Arnold Bender
Members: Professor Tim McElwain Dr Simon Wessely
See: DIRTY MEDICINE by Martin Walker.
In 1992, the minutes of the CAHF Annual General Meeting disclosed that in the year 1991-1992 the Campaign received a grant from the Wellcome Foundation. Other granting bodies included medical insurance companies and other pharmaceutical companies.
Those who represented the core of the Campaign Against Health Fraud at its formation in 1989 remained involved over the next two years; others pulled in on the fringe soon drifted away. On April 3rd 1989 at a Steering Committee meeting held at the Ciba Foundation, two joint presidents were elected: Dr Michael O'Donnell, broadcaster and former GP, editor of GP magazine, and television and radio presenter Nick Ross. At that time, soon after the press launch, the leading Campaign activists were Dr Nick Beard; Dr Christopher Bass, a psychiatrist and committee member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; Dr Simon Wessely; Professor Michael Baum and his brother Professor Harold Baum, Professor of Biochemistry at King's College Hospital; Diana Brahams, barrister and journalist; John Walford; Mark Pownall; Dr lain Chalmers; Dr Vincent Marks and Duncan Campbell. The Campaign Against Health Fraud by Martin Walker MA
Apart from Caroline Richmond's obvious connections with Wellcome, most other leading members also had links. Professor Michael Baum worked at the Royal Marsden Hospital which was joined to the Institute of Cancer Research where Dr Robin Weiss had developed testing kits with Wellcome. In 1990 at the same time as he took up a position at the Institute of Cancer Research, Michael Baum became clinical advisor to Breakthrough, a cancer charity which is raising money for a Breast Cancer Centre at the Royal Marsden Hospital. The Centre will be staffed by, amongst others, a team of eight Wellcome-funded scientists The Campaign Against Health Fraud by Martin Walker MA
By the time of the second AGM in 1991, commitment appeared to be waning. While there had been over sixty members at the first AGM, only twenty-one were present at the second. The Campaign felt that it had been penalised when earlier in the year it had been refused charitable status because of its campaigning activities. The meeting decided to change the name of the organisation from the Campaign Against Health Fraud to HealthWatch. The point of this cosmetic exercise was to make the organisation appear less combative and more charitable. It also placed HealthWatch in the context of a number of other groups, mainly set up by the police: Neighbourhood Watch, Homewatch, Carwatch. The Campaign Against Health Fraud by Martin Walker MA
The American Council Against Health Fraud (CAHF), was also a major progenitor of
the British Campaign Against Health Fraud, now HealthWatch.
Stephen Barrett was
a founder member of the organisation. CAHF has had to restructure itself over
the years, after facing a number of legal actions against its most prominent
members. James Randi was forced into separating and so not attracting financial
odium to the group when he was sued by Uri Geller.
The American CAHF laid down the initial blue print for a number of organisations that followed, this being a very loose knit organisation whose members independently campaigned and took legal action against those with whom they appeared to disagree. At the same time groups also wrote position papers on everything from Homoeopathy to Cancer therapy, deriding all forms of non-orthodox therapies while tacitly, although not openly supporting pharmaceutical medicine and all corporate products that might have been accused of damaging the environment and environmental health. [Jan 2008] Shaking Hands With Monsanto and Big Pharma: The Guardian and Observerís ongoing war against alternative medicine. A review of Suckers by Rose Shapiro By Martin J Walker