Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Rath gets a taste of Asmal's wrath

The Star, May 04, 2005

Rath gets a taste of Asmal's wrath
by Jeremy Michaels

Former education minister Kader Asmal has lambasted "Aids denialist" Dr Matthias Rath, saying his "kind of quackery deserves the old Afrikaans response: voertsek".

Asmal stepped into the row over Rath's public attacks on the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) with a scathing letter - of which Independent Newspapers has a copy - in which he defends TAC's "good faith" in the fight against HIV and Aids.

In stark contrast to Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's support for the discredited vitamin-seller, Asmal - now a senior African National Congress MP - has emphatically said he wants nothing to do with Rath or his organisation in future.

Tshabalala-Msimang has gone on record to say that "they (the Matthias Rath Foundation) are not undermining the government's position. If anything, they are supporting it".

Rath wrote to all MPs on April 14 charging that TAC was funded by a "pharmaceutical drug cartel" whose agenda was to destabilise governments which were not friendly to "the multi-billion-dollar drug and oil investment circles".

TAC and Rath are involved in a legal battle - to be heard in the Cape High Court on Friday next week - over the controversial dissident's claims that TAC is a front for the pharmaceutical industry.

In his letter to Rath, dated April 29, Asmal writes: "Your tendentious and scurrilous attack on an organisation acting in good faith to provide assistance to those on the margins of our country is without parallel in my experience."

TAC activist Zackie Achmat was delighted that Asmal had joined those who had spoken out against Rath, adding that Asmal "puts his finger on it".

Rath was not immediately available for comment.