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Our response to Dragons Den Series 21, episode 3

January 22, 2024

Action for M.E. are aware of the Dragons Den episode which aired on BBC One on 18 January, during which a contestant made unevidenced claims relating to the efficacy of ear seeds and other Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as effective treatment for M.E./CFS.

In response, our Chief Executive, Sonya Chowdhury, wrote directly to the Director-General of the BBC on Friday 19th January to express concerns with the way in which the episode and contestant’s website suggest that ‘acu seeds’ are an effective form of treatment and the dangers associated with promoting misleading information relating to health conditions.

Further to this, we have coordinated an open letter in collaboration with other M.E. charities and organisations which has been submitted to the Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee and Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, drawing their attention to our shared concerns with the unevidenced claims made during the episode and as a reminder of the responsibilities major broadcasters, such as the BBC, hold in providing us with factual and reliable content and information.

We hope that our concerns, and those of the wider M.E. community, are listened to and that we are offered the opportunity to address the claims made, alongside working to ensure that this situation does not arise again in the future.

Update: Friday 26 January 2024

BBC have pulled the Dragons' Den episode in which unevidenced claims were made relating to the treatment of M.E.

We look forward to working collaboratively to prevent this situation from happening again.