Health experts go fishing

Fishing public health P

Its not surprising that some public health advocates have become more than a little frustrated with the wheel spinning and lack of traction in dealing with the obesity issue in New Zealand. The problem has dragged on for decades with no sign of improvement despite the research, reports, meetings, conferences, programmes, accords, policies and of course those all important 'conversations' about it. It now appears that their frustration has finally become too much to bear as three health experts prepare to file defamation proceedings in the High Court against Carrick Graham and Cameron Slater, the publisher of the Whale Oil blog for his "negative focus on various public health experts and advocates."

No doubt the action will be closely watched by those who have fought for so long to encourage political and food industry support in the fight to stem the obesity 'epidemic' that has and will continue to imposed a huge social and economic cost on New Zealand.

Media release from Doug Sellman, Boyd Swinburn and Shane Bradbrook - (June 2016)
Today, we have filed defamation proceedings in the High Court at Auckland against Carrick Graham and Cameron Slater.

The proceedings relate to a series of blog posts and comments published on the Whale Oil website. For some years, Whale Oil has published articles with a negative focus on various public health experts and advocates. It was not until the book Dirty Politics was published in August 2014 that it became clear Carrick Graham was involved in the publication of material on Whale Oil.
We had hoped things would change, but the various articles and comments remain live on Whale Oil, and Mr Slater has continued to publish further material. Accordingly, we have decided to bring these proceedings to address what we claim is a campaign of deliberate and sustained defamation.
While we will continue to speak and write on important public health issues, we will be making no further comment on the matters at issue in the defamation proceedings as they are properly dealt with by the Court.