Otago Uni public health ‘expert’ blog gets it wrong

So much for the University of Otago?s positioning as so-called public health experts.

On Tuesday they raced out a blog post trying to shame Health Minister Jonathan Coleman into supporting a sugar tax on fizzy drinks here in NZ.


It?s written by the usual anti-sugar troughers. Lets? remind ourselves who some of them are.

Dr Wilma Waterlander is obviously the lead author. She and Dr Helen Eyles had a lovely time recently at the 5-star Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh with its exciting social programme.

Prof Nick Wilson is a well-known trougher from the Otago University?s Wellington Department of Public Health Troughers, who last year was exposed by the Taxpayers’ Union over his misleading claims over a salt tax.

Then there?s 11-million-dollar woman Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu, well known for calling for a 20% tax on fat, salt, dairy, meat etc.

But hang on a minute, what?s this? Looks like they?ve been caught out botching their references. ?

When they posted the blog they said:



That sounded a little strange to trougher-watcher Carrick Graham, so he asked Wilma Waterlander nicely to confirm that reference.


It was a bold call considering the hefty list of troughers who had put their name to this blog post and who all hold the practice of peer-review with such reverence.

I asked Carrick Graham about this. He told me he even posted a question at the bottom of the blog, which is still apparently ?awaiting moderation?.


Wilma Waterlander obviously went away and checked. Having discovered their paper?s references were wrong, she quietly changed them.


Oh dear, not tidy. Not tidy at all.

Whatever happened to the peer-review process by the so-called esteemed public health researchers who are listed as a party to the blog post?

Troughers have a habit of putting themselves up on the holy pedestal of sanctimony that only researchers and academics can sit on. They reinforce this position by saying that their work is all peer-reviewed, while any work opposing that view clearly isn?t peer-reviewed. Worse, they cry a river of tears if they ever get questioned publicly, decrying criticism as an assault on academic freedoms.

How embarrassing for them to all agree to this post but not bother checking whether the references are accurate. What other publications have they put their names to that also have inaccurate references?

You?d think they?d be nice enough to thank Carrick Graham for helping them. I?m not holding my breath.