Early Day Motion 1770: Dore Promotion

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Early Day Motion 1770: Dore Promotion was an Early Day Motion proposed by Paul Flynn MP on 8th January 2008.

The motion stated:

"That this House is appalled at the gullible uncritical promotion by the media of Dore, a claimed miracle cure for dyslexia, in the absence of scientific proof of its value; notes that there were five resignations from the editorial board of the journal Dyslexia in protest at false claims published in that journal on the efficacy of Dore; welcomes Ofcom's finding that Dore's television advertisement was in breach of its rules on evidence; calls on the Jeremy Vine Show, Channel Five News, Radio Five Live, BBC London, ITV Central, ITV Yorkshire, the Daily Mail, the Daily Record, Scotland on Sunday, Tonight with Trevor McDonald and You and Yours to correct the false impressions they broadcast on an unproven treatment; and congratulates the bloggers and journalist Ben Goldacre for exposing this bad science and other exploitative snake oil salespeople."

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Background

The Dore programme is a drug-free course of treatment for dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia and other learning difficulties. It consists of a series of exercises which are claimed to develop the functions of the cerebellum.

The treatment was much criticized. A number of papers published in the British Dyslexia Association's journal found the only significant piece academic research Dore initially offered in support of their treatment to be poorly designed and unreliable.[1] Claims were made and widely publicised that the Dore method used physical training methods for astronauts used by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)[2]. NASA responded to that claim, saying that they were not conducting research into dyslexia, and had no evidence that any of their interventions might be effective in treating dyslexia.[3].

The UK's Independent Television Commission and Ofcom upheld complaints made about a 2002 news item on British television in which Sir Trevor McDonald hailed Dore as a "breakthrough in the treatment of dyslexia". It repeated this decision about a later item on Richard and Judy, and found a television commercial made by Dore to be in breach of Advertising Standards Code Rules for using a medical doctor to discuss medical evidence, and implying that professional medical advice and support would be part of the treatment.

Following criticism of Dore from bloggers and journalists, Paul Flynn MP proposed the motion, and wrote on his website:

"Will the media react and repent their gullibility ? Persuade your MP to sign. The number is 1770."[4]

In May 2008 Dore Australia went into voluntary administration; later in the same month Dore closed all their UK centres due to financial problems; the company went into liquidation, and thousands of parents and staff may have lost their advance payments and wages.[5]

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List of signees

The motion was signed by 37 MPs.

 

References

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12775086?dopt=Citation
  2. http://www.dyslexia-teacher.co.uk/NASA.html
  3. http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2006/02/wynford_dore_an.html
  4. http://www.badscience.net/2008/06/rock-and-roll/
  5. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article4022998.ece