Regarding Our Interview with Dr. Mercola

Mercola

A week ago, we published an interview with Dr. Mercola. He’s the founder of the massive alternative health website mercola.com, which gets millions of visits per day, and a company with 150 employees. Calling him successful at what he’s doing is an understatement.

We offered this interview as a look inside the mind of a fascinating man, while making it very clear that we in no way endorse all of his theories or products. However, after direct feedback from many readers I now realise that this was a mistake.

I believed we could show this interview without undermining our own trustworthiness. But it’s now clear that for many people offering our platform to a prominent alternative medicine guru (with views that often lack scientific support) reduces our credibility. Showing this video next to interviews with other people with controversial, but still firmly science-based ideas, might also undermine the trustworthiness of the latter.

Trustworthiness is a core value at Diet Doctor. We base all of our advice on the best available science and experience, and take this responsibility extremely seriously.

In light of this I’ve decided to remove the interview from our site. We’ll do our best to not repeat a similar mistake in the future.

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34 comments

Top comments

  1. Dave
    People don't need others to protect them from information and you shouldn't need to point out the obvious that you don't automatically believe everything another person believes just because you engage them. In my view, this "Fake" news hysteria is a slippery slow towards censorship. Sites all over the net are now making a stand on what they truly stand for. I'm disappointed in your obvious lack of trust in your audience.
    Read more →
  2. Loretta
    I've followed Dr Mercola for MANY years. Have not always agreed with or understood everything he promotes, but have been helped tremendously by him. He is always on the cutting edge, and as such, is sometimes OVER the edge. But he has the integrity to pull back and correct when he sees it. He's been way ahead of others, and criticized for it often; made fun of; called a quack. Only to find out later - sometimes years later - that he was on the right track all along.

    Sad that you cannot support someone with the courage to stick his neck out and take a stand on behalf of health and truth. Is he going to be perfect at it? Of course not. But I believe his intentions are honest.

    My disappointment is not in him. It is in you, and your "safe" decision to cut him due to pressure from those who don't totally agree with him. How sad.

    Reply: #33
    Read more →

All comments

  1. Sandhan
    What a pity that people are not sufficiently broad minded to make that deduction by themselves! Tragic sign of the times.
  2. Steven
    Glad I caught it when I did. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview, it was great to see his passion and Ivor seemed to be having a ball "geeking" out on the science. Time will tell if Dr Mercola was on point with some of his more "unconventional" theories or not...
  3. Teresa
    I do not think at all that the interview undermined the trustworthiness of dietdoctor! I cannot understand who did think it! You left your opinion very clear, and I appreciated you hearing the opinion of someone controversial. ..
  4. Luke H
    Wow that's really surprising. Personally, I wish you'd allow it to stay up. Any chance of releasing it on Youtube under Ivor's account or something?
  5. Clyde
    Thank you for removing that video. It's important to keep junk science off your membership pages. The LCHF science is interesting enough.
  6. Loretta
    I've followed Dr Mercola for MANY years. Have not always agreed with or understood everything he promotes, but have been helped tremendously by him. He is always on the cutting edge, and as such, is sometimes OVER the edge. But he has the integrity to pull back and correct when he sees it. He's been way ahead of others, and criticized for it often; made fun of; called a quack. Only to find out later - sometimes years later - that he was on the right track all along.

    Sad that you cannot support someone with the courage to stick his neck out and take a stand on behalf of health and truth. Is he going to be perfect at it? Of course not. But I believe his intentions are honest.

    My disappointment is not in him. It is in you, and your "safe" decision to cut him due to pressure from those who don't totally agree with him. How sad.

    Reply: #33
  7. Suz
    I am glad you removed it. He is way out there sometimes.
  8. Dr. Michael Abrams
    I'm a practicing optometrist and I thought what he had to say about blue light was way off base. There is 1000 times the blue light coming from the sun at a minimum. It made me question every other thing he said in the interview being as I am only more knowledgeable then him about light and vision. It did not in anyway effect my opinion of dietdoctor.com. I think it was a good move to remove the interview.
  9. Dave
    People don't need others to protect them from information and you shouldn't need to point out the obvious that you don't automatically believe everything another person believes just because you engage them. In my view, this "Fake" news hysteria is a slippery slow towards censorship. Sites all over the net are now making a stand on what they truly stand for. I'm disappointed in your obvious lack of trust in your audience.
  10. hp
    I was surprised to see Mercola on dietdoctor. I am shocked at the retraction. Everyone has a brain. Terrible move.
  11. Laura
    This is not censorship. It was unwise to feature Dr. Mercola in the first place. Diet Doctor is no place for quack science.
    Reply: #34
  12. Barbara
    I loved the interview, however "out there" it might be, and and I love how your site is cutting edge enough to put up a post and then retract it. Trial and error.
  13. Gentiann
    I agree with Laura statement: "This is not censorship. It was unwise to feature Dr. Mercola in the first place. Diet Doctor is no place for quack science."
    But what bother me even more is the fact that it's a big business site trying to convince people to buy a bunch of stuff they do not need in the 1st place.....I felt that the interview was giving him free commercial exposure (unwillingly from DietDoctor)
    Reply: #21
  14. Johanna
    Oh dear! One can decide whether to watch this interview, visit the site, or not. I think of it as no more or less extreme than standing up to big sugar - as you do - or promoting fasting - as you do. Others have said it: we have a brain. I like the choice, the many voices, the diversity of Diet Doctor. Don't let fear of what is "out there" rule you.
  15. Venita
    I've followed Dr. Mercola for years as well. I can judge for myself when someone is over the edge. While I respect your commitment to upholding your core values, I'm disappointed you deleted the interview. The interview spurred my motivation to continue learning LCHF. Although late to the LCHF party, Dr. Mercola may catch up with and surpass many experts on this web site. I love this web site but at times your insularity is disheartening.
  16. bill
    Dr. E:

    You said:
    "We base all of our advice on the best available science..."

    And yet you still use the canard that because people
    have used fasting for thousands of years, that proves
    the value and safety of it. You simply ignored my
    reasoning that the people who did not survive
    fasting couldn't stay around to record that it was not
    successful. Only those who survived fasting wrote
    the history regarding fasting. Why can't you understand
    that?

  17. 1 comment removed
  18. Robert
    This is a mistake. I don't agree with everything you say either, but I still like and recommend your site, because on balance, you offer valuable information and a good deal. You are simply lacking the courage to allow anything too far off your consensus group. And look, Mercola is not far off at all.
    Incidentally, I don't buy all that Mercola says either, but I'll continue to read his stuff. Maybe yours too, if it turns out you're not just censoring controversial opinion.
    Let me put it another way. You don't actually know what will turn out true or valuable, albeit "unscientifically" generated.
    Let me put it another way. Do you fully endorse everything about every interviewee you've ever hosted?
    Let me put it another way. Post a few more interviews with people you disapprove of.
    Let me put it another way. Please reconsider.
  19. Rob
    Its always dangerous when people appoint themselves Judge and jury Andreas !
  20. Diane
    I don't think controversy can be avoided, especially on a site like this.

    For example there are some people who are strongly criticising Dr Jason Fung but I don't see him being removed from the site. http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/2015/04/20/fung-us-among-us/

    I think it would have been best to leave the interview up with a disclaimer that you don't agree with everything Dr Mercola says. I didn't get a chance to see the interview but wish I had.

  21. M. Tola
    I moved to the US about 4 years ago. I was diagnosed with cancer the beginning of last year. I am also in remission.
    I love how the US is the land of science yet cancer is not a rarity in here.
    It has been annoying to me so much how cancer and other illnesses marked by many esteemed scientists as "matabolic diseases" had this much business around it and without really establishing a smoother way to help patients who're in desperate need of a natural way to deal with such an illness.

    This issue of dealing with how to help myself get rid of conventional medicine to deal with cancer naturally, pushed me to hit bottom till I found the advocacy for ketogenic diet proven scientificly and other Far East traditional medicine.

    I watched and followed up Dr Mercola for sometime but what annoyed me the most in his ways and in the US in general, can be summed up in these questions I keep asking myself:

    Why scientists are meshing science with Bussiness?

    Why isn't there a way to have a little wall between science and advocacy for selling products like crazy?!

    Would gambling with people's life stop some day soon! Because this supplement and dieting bussiness is crazy over the top!
    How can science regain moderate tendnacy and be independent from bussiness?!

    I think people who have been on the journey to heal them selves from great illnesses are desperate to listen to anything and they deserve a scientific based subtle
    answers not science meshed with promoting all this amount of products the way Dr Mercola does.

    Thanks

  22. Steve
    Andreas, that is one of the classiest retractions ever written. Good job, and keep up the great work.

    For those complaining about censorship, you're getting it wrong. Dr. Mercola's content is a google search or a youtube-subscription away. But dietdoctor.com's strength is it's commitment to evidence-based nutrition and health. Evidence-based. I cannot stress enough how important that is.

    I talk to so many people who have given up: "Oh, I hear so many conflicting things about what I should eat, I don't know who to trust anymore!" That is what we call "learned helplessness". Here is who you should trust: yourself. But "yourself" needs to get a basic understanding of statistics (because that is the "language" of nutritional and health studies.) And then you need to demand to see the evidence (the study) that a claim is based on, and evaluate it for yourself.

    I have followed Dr. Mercola's work for years through a feed from another website. Some stuff is spot on, some is la-la land. I would be embarrassed if I told my family and friends "Follow Dr Mercola and do whatever he says." I have no embarrassment telling them to follow dietdoctor.com. And I do tell people that.

  23. jes
    I think it is good that dietdoctor.com is exclusively science based. At least thats the reason I am a member. People can just go directly to mercola's homepage if they want to.

    Its very important LCHF 's credibility is not in any way tarnished by pesudo science.

  24. Lily
    Disappointing. Arrogant censorship. Shows clear lack of courage.
  25. deborah
    Glad you did this. Your team has worked too hard and too long, and the work is too important to let glibness and lack of rigor taint you. We all need to be able to send our doctors here.
  26. Steve Parker, M.D.
    It was the right decision, no doubt in my mind about it.
  27. Tania Smith
    Good decision, Andreas and team. It shows discernment to listen to your commenters and consider the content of your own site. There's nothing wrong with changing one's mind about a decision after hearing the other side and carefully considering an issue.
  28. Vilma
    I would've wanted to watch the Mercola interview just out of curiosity. That said, I completely agree with the reasoning behind this decision. What I absolutely love about Diet Doctor is that it's science based and I think it should remain so. No matter what anyone wants to say, many of the things Dr. Mercola believes are not proven by science. This doesn't mean we can't one day find they are true but as of right now, they have no evidence base which means that they can't be on a site that wants to remain evidence based. It's as simple as that. If someone wants to read about Mercola's views, they still can go to his site, no one is censoring it or telling you not to read or believe everything he has to say if you so choose. Diet Doctor deciding about their content on their website is not censorship and it's ridiculous to claim so.
  29. Carol Cotton
    I am 74 years old. I like the idea that I am wiser than I used to be. That includes the ability to access information, research it, and decide if I believe it's applicable to my goal of good health. I don't leave anyone out of that experience, including Dr. Mercola.
  30. Peter
    One of the basic criticisms leveled at the Diet Heart / Cholesterol brigade that has lead us to this disastrous situation with many suffering misery and death as a result is that this group refuse to even consider alternative ideas, views, theories and science that does not align with their own views. They attack alternative ideas and people expressing those ideas. They sanction the message and take eminent scientists to court for using social media to disseminate those views. They resolutely refuse to listen to anything that does not align with their own dogma and want to make sure that no one else gets the chance to consider any other view either.

    We have to be open to every idea out there if we are not to fall into the same trap.

    Include Mercola and everyone like him, listen to what they have to say, do your own research and make up your own mind. There may be a ton of rocks but you only need 1 diamond.

  31. anna
    I had atrial fibrillation and Chad many trips to the emergency room and stays in the hospital. I wasreferred to a "specialist" who put me on a statin and blood thinner that caused much bleeding under the skin. I realized I would be a permanent patient and cash cow if I didn't find a better way, so I researched Dr Mercola, took his advice, and haven't had an episode in nearly a year. Compared to regular visits to the emergency room and the "specialist", I will be grateful to Dr Mercola the rest of my life.
  32. Philip
    Why was the interview removed?
    I would love to listen to it.
  33. Donna Trimm Calk
    I could not agree with Loretta more. Dr. Mercola ends up being right so often, and when he's disproven he corrects himself publicly. I don't see the CDC, FDA, AHA, ACS, or the pharmaceuticals doing any of that, and you wouldn't remove interviews with their reps, I'm sure. This is a man of courage and foresight and your decision to remove the interview reveals cowardice and a lack of backbone.
  34. Peter
    Laura, I agree with your sentiments but the best way to treat something like this is for dietdoctor to add a postscript pretty much as stated above. Doing that is far far better than censorship. We are not school children needing a nanny to tell us what to watch and what not to. Give us information, give us guidance and then let us decide.
  35. Nancy
    If you had to remove the video, why did you post it in the first place. Whether or not you agree with Dr. Mercola, he has helped many people over the years. I am sure your information has done the same. Please trust people to be one step ahead of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz! We can think for ourselves and make wise decisions.

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