Wendyl’s conspiracy theory – debunked

Wendyl Nissen chucked her toys?when she read Dirty Politics and connected dots?that didn’t actually happen. ? At the center of her misery? ?Me.

Now, there is no love lost here, from either side, but she’s made a huge mess over nothing. ?Check out this guest post:

Dear Cam,

In Wendyl’s recent article she said “I’m all for free speech when there are genuinely held views, but I believe that if you are paid to express them by big industry or politicians with an agenda, that is not fair”.

So, lets just clear something up. I am a University Student studying towards a career in Health. Like Wendyl, I too will one day be trusted, respected and eventually give out advice to help people live better lives. I am not paid, nor do I have anything against people who want to make the world a better place. I was concerned at some of the science behind Wendyl’s columns and the posts on her blog, so I have emailed you at times over the last year. My analysis has been posted on WhaleOil (along with some of your commentary and choice of headlines).

My first “genuinely held view” was that Wendyl’s link to a site promoting home-made baby formula made with chopped liver was unsafe. Another reader pointed out the dangers of raw milk and egg, and I picked up on the possible dangers of the liver. I did the maths, researched papers on Vitamin A toxicity in infants and came to the conclusion that this was potentially harmful, even deadly. This was backed up by an overseas developmental pharmacologist. I even posted on Wendyl’s website blog page (including links to references) to warn her and her readers, but there was no response or comment from her. ?

My second “genuinely held view” was that Wendyl’s column was critical of the sugar content of Aunt Betty’s puddings, while the homemade pudding recipes on her own site contained almost twice as much sugar.
Fair enough I thought – nothing but simple maths involved. If I have over/underestimated the portion sizes maybe she could clarify the size of each portion and provide its nutritional values on her own recipes.

My third “genuinely held view” was that feeding garlic to cats was dangerous, as their bodies can’t metabolise the disulphides and thiosulphates which can cause anaemia resulting in death. ?I provided links to scientific sites and even a pet insurance website that warned against it. I was going to post a warning on her blog site, but there were already many of her blog readers already commenting that this was dangerous.

I have no doubt that Wendyl has the very best intentions. People trust her, and will be more likely to follow her advice because of that trust. But a lot of those people won’t have the scientific knowledge to evaluate for themselves whether something is safe or not. That means that she has an obligation to go that little bit further to make sure the trusted advice she provides is not going to cause harm. When others with good intentions, like myself, point out (on both WhaleOil AND Wendyl’s blog site) that her advice may not be correct or dangerous, she should check and double check any potential dangers or misinformation. On the whole her advice is reasonable – however I believe two of the examples above could have resulted in harm or even death.

Wendyl says in her article “Objectivity is the first rule of journalism.” I would invite her to read the posts on WhaleOil and read the science based concerns that have been raised by myself and others. If she does not agree with those genuinely held views, then she is welcome to respond either here or on her own blog. I do make mistakes and will happily admit to doing so if I am proven wrong – I am human after all, and I’m also only a university student.

My main reason for this email is that I feel a bit bad. My good intentions, free speech and genuinely held personal views seem to have played a part in the baby being thrown out with the bathwater. Wendyl has left her job, the WO team has been labelled with even more “dirty politics” and Wendyl and her friends and followers feel that NZ isn’t the place they once knew and that she is most likely the victim of a smear campaign by politicians and “big industry”.

So now that I’ve (hopefully) cleared that up – I hope Wendyl, her friends and supporters will be able to sleep a little easier tonight. I’m sorry that this usually quiet university student has caused such a misunderstanding and also for causing some people to have such a diminished view of the world that we live in.


Daniel aka DLNZ



Cash for comment eh Wendyl? ?What a shocker to discover it’s actually people calling you out and asking you to justify what you’re writing about.

It happens to me all the time.

Instead of packing a sad and blaming your problems on me, how about you get a backbone and defend your assertions instead of attacking me personally?

Yeah, I thought not.

“Whaleoil” isn’t just me Wendyl. ?It’s a large group of people with a wide range of backgrounds, skills and expertise. ?You’ve really made a bit of a mess out of this. ? And in the end, when you’re done with your character assassination of me, the actual questions still stand. ? Sugar. ?Liver and babies. ?Garlic and cats.

How about backing your position with facts?

Yeah, I thought not.