Singh triumphant

Science writer counts the costs as British Chiropractic Association abandons libel claim. Zoë Corbyn reports

April 15, 2010

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has dropped its libel case against science writer Simon Singh.

The controversial case was brought after Dr Singh wrote a comment piece in The Guardian newspaper in April 2008. In it, he described chiropractic treatments for infant conditions such as asthma as “bogus” and said the BCA “happily promotes” them.

The case has sparked a major campaign calling for the reform of England’s libel laws.

Earlier this month, the Court of Appeal ruled that Dr Singh’s article should be treated as opinion, meaning that he did not have to prove in court that what he had written was fact to avoid a libel ruling against him.

In a statement released today, Dr Singh’s lawyers say that the court’s ruling “has led the BCA to abandon its claim”.

Dr Singh told Times Higher Education: “I have won my case, but I have had to pay more than £100,000 to defend myself and sacrifice two years of my career. As of today, the libel laws remain the same and anyone else could go through the same turmoil.”

The BCA says in a statement that following the Court of Appeal’s ruling, it had “taken the view that it should withdraw to avoid further legal costs being incurred by either side”.

It adds: “As those who have followed the publicity surrounding this case will know, Simon Singh has said publicly that he had never intended to suggest that the BCA had been dishonest. The BCA accepts this statement, which goes some way to vindicating its position.”

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