Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
“It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health
professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of
Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).
“Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil blog has repeatedly attacked the work being done by public health researchers, for example
in the areas of nutrition and smoking, and now he’s having a go at Otago University nutrition expert Dr Lisa Te Morenga.
“Once again we see him using the word ‘trougher’ in a blog post in an offensive attempt to undermine the credibility of
a health professional who is using her expertise to improve public health, and then on Twitter we see Carrick Graham and
Jordan Williams also laying into Dr Te Morenga.
“These smear tactics were well documented in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics book and the resulting political revelations
in the lead-up to the general election, and they’re unacceptable. Critiquing the conclusions of research is a valid part
of health debate and discussion but this is just nasty stuff on the part of Whale Oil and others. New Zealand’s health
professionals should be able to carry to carry out research and other investigations without fear of intimidation.”
Mr Powell says this latest attack on a health professional follows the recent visit here by British anti-tax spin doctor
Christopher Snowdon to talk about the evils of taxing sugary soft drinks.
“It’s all part of a relentless campaign to undermine and silence people who are working to address issues like obesity,
diabetes and public health. Our view is that sunlight is the best disinfection for those tactics.”