All you need to know about one of Devon’s leading ‘Freedom Alliance’ candidates

Dr Stephen Hopwood is a spokesman for the Freedom Alliance.

Owl is posting extracts of a recent blog on Dr H just to give a flavour of where he is coming from – go online for the full Monty. 

Quack Totnes Cancer Conference Ends in Farce – The Quackometer Blog 

“Earlier this month, I wrote about how Dr Stephen Hopwood was opening a new alternative cancer clinic in Totnes, Devon, that was to “offer real alternatives to the conventional approach to cancer health care”.

To celebrate the opening, Hopwood was holding a cancer conference, inviting people with cancer to come along, and inviting a range of cancer cure peddlers to temp attendees with their magic beans.

What followed was quite extraordinary.

Local Devon MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston, after re tweeting my blog post, got in contact with the local Trading Standards. She was not the first to do so; prior to my post, others had also expressed their concerns.

Trading Standards have recently come under academic attack for failing to act on breaches of various consumer protection laws around health claims. A study placed 39 complaints to various Trading Standards. None resulted in prosecution; many complaints were simply ignored.

But the involvement of a local MP no doubt prompted TS into action and the BBC reported that they had initiated an investigation into claims that the clinic and conference were in breach of the Cancer Act of 1939. Hopwood accused the MP for being a “shop front” for the pharmaceutical industry. Classy.

A local Trading Standards Officer told Hopwood,

In view of the above I would advise you to remove the above references regarding the treatment, either by direct means or otherwise, of cancer from your website, and other documents associated with your business. I would also recommend that you remove any other references made regarding the treatment of cancer not specified above. Failure to do so could render your business liable for prosecution under the above legislation. I would request that these references are removed within the next 7 days.

Unexpectedly, local radio station Totnes FM waded in to report the story. Given that Totnes is a hotbed of New Age thinking and the radio station airs programmes such as “The Psychedelic Shed” and “Totnes Tales” with their in house medium, I was surprised at their no nonsense approach to the story. They kept people up to date with the latest developments and even invited Dr Hopwood on for an hour where he was given the grilling of his life……”

See also: No action over Totnes ‘baking soda’ cancer doctor