Monday, April 12, 2010

Helmet marketing has trumped science

Australia ought to do what has needed to be done for ages - that is reject the self-serving logic of helmet promotion, and see it for what it is.

We need to shout to the world that we are no longer content with commercialism dictating the civil liberties we may or may not choose from. In particular we need to shout to the world that we are no longer content with the suppression of conflicting medical data.

To date our helmet beliefs have been amassed by various case and mechanical studies. No randomised controlled trials have been conducted in the helmet debate. We willingly continue with an anecdotal and common sense approach completely lacking in concrete evidence. Yet it is universally accepted that the randomised controlled trial reigns supreme as the medical experiment, namely because the rigour involved exceeds that of other forms of research.

Spielmans and Parry reveal some chilling 'Big Pharma' marketing tactics in their peer reviewed journal, "From Evidence-based Medicine to Marketing-based Medicine", and alarmingly there are parallels with this Big Pharma approach to the one Big Helma has adopted. Frighteningly, the suppression and spinning of negative data appears to be equally as rampant in helmet promotion as it is in pharmaceutical promotion

Not only has market segmentation of our politicians led to an impoverished range of transport options, but it has also led to an equally impoverished range of health options.

So to everyone out there who needs to listen (and that includes you helmet proponents who have been aware of the true bicycle helmet story all along) our current bicycling reality isn't good enough...

...give us back our bicycles and our civil liberties! - we want to use them both in tandem again!


  1. You would probably have seen this recent article about helmets. I like what Mr French says:

  2. I agree with you - Mr French makes a lot of sense!

    But the question that remains unanswered is why are we so committed to these restrictive MHLs, basically on next-to-no evidence, so that even when wonderful schemes like the Brisbane "City-cycle" present themselves we're still hell-bent on shooting ourselves in the foot?

    We are so compliant - I hate the way we've allowed the helmet mindset to become so entrenched - did you read some of the comments? Unbelievably dumb & uninformed!!!!

  3. I agree although I was heartened by how many agreed that helmets should be optional and that proper infrastructure was the key.

  4. true! - you're right! The issue of civil liberties does seem to be rising to the fore.