Venus TV gets pulled-up for “harmful” advice

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Free-to-air entertainment channel, Venus TV has been pulled up by media regulator, Venus TV for giving misleading advice on a show broadcast in September last year.

The programme titled, ‘Ruhaniat and Tib-e-Nabvi’ features live phone-ins and discussions. On the day of the mishap, the presenter gave medical advice to a number of callers about various topics, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

The presenter claimed the following:

“I tell people in my programme, blood pressure is actually due to constipation. Try to get rid of blood pressure, try to get rid of constipation. Then you will not need to take any tablets. If you try my suggestion ��� eat gulkand (conserve of roses) continuously ��� it will
work…”

“People who have diabetes should not eat roti (chapati) for at least three months. Instead feed them gram flour roti (chapati). Do not give them rice, potato, cauliflower, okra etc to eat. They should also avoid drinking tea…Diabetes is usually a disease caused by dryness and hotness. Those people who get diabetes face a problem of dryness and hotness.”

A viewer was concerned that the advice given by the presenter in the programme could be potentially dangerous to viewers.

The broadcaster said that it did not consider the programme to be harmful or offensive to the Muslim community or any other religious community. Venus TV added that the presenter, Allama Qadri, is a qualified scholar of the Islamic religion and is well known in the Asian community. Venus TV continued that the presenter has 40 years of experience in natural remedies and the products that he advised to use were all natural and fresh, and available in the high street.

Ofcom concluded that lifestyle and health advice about potentially serious medical conditions, can be broadcast providing that adequate protection is provided for members of the public so as to comply with the Code.

As a result of watching this broadcast, there was an appreciable risk that viewers who suffer from such serious medical conditions might forego or delay orthodox medical treatment in favour of the advice given during the programme. This in turn could have led to significant consequences for their health.

Ofcom considered that this programme failed to apply generally accepted standards by not providing adequate protection to viewers from material which had a potential to cause vulnerable members of the audience serious harm. The programme was, therefore, in breach Rule 2.1 of the Code.

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