Corporate Threat

Re: Your Statements Concerning Atkins and Use of Atkins Trademarks

Dear Dr. Greger:

This is on behalf of Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. (“Atkins”) in regard to certain statements appearing on your website located at…

The Atkins Corporation Legal Department recently sent us this threatening letter accusing us of defaming Atkins, much as the tobacco industry accused public health advocates of defaming Philip Morris.[538]

We are not the only ones Atkins has tried to silence. Fearing, in Atkins own words, that health educator Nathan Pritikin had begun “to be listened to,” Atkins filed a $5 million dollar lawsuit charging Pritikin with slander.[541] When Pritikin tragically lost his 28-year battle with radiation-induced leukemia,[542] Dr. Atkins reportedly continued his lawsuit against Pritikin’s grieving widow.[543] The Atkins Corporation is now threatening us for (currently transitioning to to avoid any confusion with the Atkins corporate website).

This website allegedly “impinges on Atkins’ rights.”’s “defamatory” statements, according to the Atkins Corporation, “continue to harm Atkins’ reputation and cause injury to Atkins.” To read their letter in full, click here (1.7MB, pdf). Thankfully, under law the truth is considered an absolute defense against defamation. A point-by-point rebuttal to their accusations follows (the Atkins letter is quoted in indented italics).

Notwithstanding your self-proclaimed concern for the public interest, your campaign to scare the public with aspersions and false innuendo about Atkins and the ANA [Atkins Nutritional Approach, i.e. the Atkins Diet] undermines the public interest in receiving accurate information.

Philip Morris also accused their critics of “false innuendo.”[544] We intend to show that there is nothing false on

Furthermore, this opportunity to rebut their accusations gives us a chance to point out further falsehoods perpetuated by the Atkins Corporation.

Accusation 1: Ignores “the overwhelming weight of the evidence

Accusation 2: Ignores the 34 studies “Supporting Atkins”

Accusation 3: Relies on “Mere Opinions”

Accusation 4: Relies on Outdated Critiques

Accusation 5: Left Out “Crucial Inforamtion”

Accusation 6: Understates the Amount of Fiber in the Diet

Accusation 7: Purports that Atkins Claims Supplements are Necessary

Accusation 8: Provides “Inaccurate Interpretation”

Accusation 9: “Distorts” Biochemistry

Accusation 10: “Exaggerates” Side Effects

Accusation 11: Engages in Selective Citation

Accusation 12: Makes “Unsupported” Arguments About Bone Risk

Accusation 13: Spreads “the Biggest Myth of All” About Kidney Risk

Accusation 14: Objectionably Asserts Diet is Bad for Heart

Accusation 15: Makes “Misleading” Assertion About Saturated Fat

Accusation 16: Claim Regarding Teen’s Death “Without Support”

Accusation 17: Cites Claims “Lacking in Merit”

Please be advised that if you persist in misrepresenting the Atkins Nutritional Approach and the research supporting the ANA, [Atkins Diet] you do so at your own risk. We intend to monitor closely the website and other oral and written statements by you.

We intend to continue to warn the public about the serious potential dangers your diet presents. “When unproven science becomes a sales pitch,” declared a spokesperson for the American Institute for Cancer Research about low-carb diets, “some people get rich and the rest of us get ripped off.”[842]

-Michael Greger, M.D.