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BBC News: Dragons’ Den: BBC defends show after ME criticism of Acu Seeds

The BBC has defended the inclusion of a wellness business in Dragons' Den after complaints from health groups.

By Steven McIntosh


Campaigners for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) complained the show promoted “unfounded” claims that a product could help the condition.

Businesswoman Giselle Boxer said her Acu Seeds product helped aid her recovery from ME.

The BBC said products being featured on the programme should not be seen as an endorsement of them.

However, the corporation said it was taking the concerns raised seriously and the episode would not be available on iPlayer while it was being reviewed.

In the episode, which aired on 18 January, Boxer said she had used “diet, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and ear seeds” to aid her recovery from ME, and had turned the latter idea into the brand Acu Seeds.

MEA Comment

Whilst we welcome the BBC decision to remove this episode of Dragons Den from iPlayer, the reasoning behind the continuing defence to transmit the programme is both unconvincing and inconsistent

In particular, the BBC News article states:

A disclaimer on the company's website states that the product is not used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

But the BBC News Article then goes on to state that:

Acu Seeds are described as a “DIY needle-free ear acupuncture for anxiety, migraines, hormonal conditions, insomnia, weight loss and more”

All of which are referred to in the promotional material.

Dr Charles Shepherd,
Trustee and
Hon. Medical Adviser
to the ME Association.
Member of the 2018-2021 NICE Guideline Committee.
Member of the 2002 Independent Working Group on ME/CFS.

Dr Charles Shepherd
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