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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, May 3, 2010

Widespread Condemnation of Wikipedia Bias
Readers Report Suppression of Nutritional Medicine

(OMNS, May 3, 2010) The public has something to say about a lack of objectivity at the Wikipedia page on Orthomolecular Medicine :

One reader writes:

"I created a Wikipedia account to learn to edit in order to keep the orthomolecular side straight. If you check edits under CSC 42 you'll notice that after hours of editing, my edits have nearly all been replaced by original posts. Looks to be an edit war."

Another reader attempted to add the following text, unsuccessfully:

"Diseases that are accepted by conventional medicine to be the result of vitamin or other nutrient deficiencies are: scurvy, pellagra, beriberi, rickets, tetany, osteoporosis, goiter, Keshan disease, and iron deficiency anemia."

Here is some of the other correspondence that OMNS has received:

"It is clear that Wikipedia authors are biased against orthomolecular medicine. Those of us who use ascorbate and other vitamins in high doses know better. The science behind the use of vitamins as recommended by orthomolecular physicians and researchers is very well established. There are many hundreds of MDs, naturopaths, nutritionists and others who successfully treat patients with mega doses. And there are many thousands of well educated people who use the same on their own."

United Kingdom:
"Wikipedia? Rubbish! I don't care what anyone writes about orthomolecular medicine. I use it and it has served me well."

"Homeopaths are experiencing the same bias on Wikipedia. When a person posts truth about how homeopathy works, or bona fide research into the effects of homeopathic medicine, it is immediately changed to lies. I suspect that it is the same for virtually any form of natural medicine."

"There is no doubt in my mind that there is an organized campaign against orthomolecular research. In my experience there is one way to defeat them, and that is to do like you have done in this newsletter: let a hundred thousand eyes search for the truth."

"For over three years after being diagnosed with chronic lymphatic leukemia I have been receiving 100,000 milligrams of vitamin C intravenously, twice a week. My oncologist is extremely impressed that my white blood level has maintained a healthy level. My treatments have now been reduced to one treatment per week. I feel strong, have a great sense of well being, and I have had no ill effects from this mode of treatment." and

"Having headed up the research centers for several national medically-related corporations, I have reviewed articles at the Wikipedia site quite a large number of times in recent years and have long been familiar with its strong biased reports disseminated quite widely throughout their system. Their extreme negative spin has convinced me that there is a no-win status in trying to influence them."

"Creating a Wikipedia for natural medicine is the only way to ensure accurate data on the subject. I am not sure how we would manage data from Big Pharma backed authors."

South Carolina:
"I have noticed an almost universal Wikipedia bias against any form of alternative medicine, and against those who have well documented and reasonable concerns about the safety and efficacy of many practices of the pharmaceutical companies, especially vaccinations. ( and ) This attitude goes against the Wiki spirit that truth should be distilled through the process of debate. When labels like "quack" are thrown around so freely, when statements such as "these claims are not verified by science" (meaning the reigning establishment, of course), it does not lead to healthy debate and exposes the ignorance of those who must resort to name calling rather than intelligent conversation. There seems to be a power complex behind what was meant to be a public arena."

Elsewhere in USA:
"Wikipedia editors that have a long history of maintaining an article keep tabs on the content. After reading the article it seems quite clear that those holding a negative viewpoint have won the battle. The only way to get the article to be more neutral is to propose a change and cite peer-reviewed references in the Discussion tab . It is quite educational to read the existing Discussion to get a feel for the players involved and what their objections are likely to be."

A registered nurse writes:
"Wikipedia bias? Oh well, that leaves more great supplements for the rest of us!"

Allan N. Spreen, M.D.:
"The biggest objectivity problem with Wikipedia is that by its very concept, nothing can be trusted in any of the information. Bias is implicit. If they see something they don't like, they can remove it, without reference to qualifications. That's why I never use Wikipedia."

Ralph K. Campbell, M.D.:
"The old war is still intense. Wikipedia's account of Orthomolecular Medicine makes me regret that pharmaceutical medicine's stubborn defense of its practices can only be bolstered by attacking the enemy. Yet rarely does a week go by but "Medscape" warns physicians of a new "black box" label attached to a drug, due to bad side-effects. What is "normal" vitamin intake? Five to seven pesticide-laden fruit and vegetable servings a day, and processed foods virtually devoid of nutrients?"

Erik Paterson, M.D.:
"The Wikipedia account of Orthomolecular Medicine is quite misleading. Dr. Roger J. Williams found there to be a wide range of variations in human biochemistry and need for nutrients, work which has never been refuted. Mainstream medical scientists and doctors do not take such variability into account when considering the nutritional requirements of patients. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of the individual nutrients only provides enough to prevent the deficiency diseases in healthy people but offers nothing about the requirements of people who are ill. Orthomolecular physicians take the specialized nutritional needs of sick patients into account. Drugs, best described as deadly poisons given in sublethal doses, cannot be considered safe, since, in the USA alone, well over 100,000 patients per year die from the toxic effects of drugs given according to the manufacturers' recommendations. By contrast, deaths due to vitamins given in doses far higher than the RDA is zero ."

Interested readers may contribute to the Wikipedia Orthomolecular Medicine page .

Or can they?

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Editorial Review Board:

Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (Canada)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
James A. Jackson, PhD (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, MD, Ph.D (Sweden)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
Gert E. Shuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email:

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