Robert Young is an alternative medicine practitioner who believes that disease is caused by a pH imbalance in the blood. He's written books about his beliefs, and runs a retreat where for $2,000 a day he can treat you by balancing your blood pH to treat cancer, lupus and diabetes, amongst others.

"The prime origin and cause of cancerous tissue is the over-acidification of the tissues then the blood due to lifestyle and dietary choices. A cancerous tissue begins with our choices of what we eat, what we drink, what we think and how we live. Cancer is a liquid and this liquid is a toxic acidic waste product of metabolism or energy consumption."

Robert claims to have discovered a New Biology, that supersedes what scientists currently understand.

Young has several accreditations, such as multiple degrees, including a Master of Science and a PhD. Most appear to be unaccredited, coming from what in the US are called Diploma Mills - unregistered colleges that tend to give out qualifications for a fairly large fee and a modest amount of effort.

In 2007 Kim Tinkham appeared on Oprah to talk about how she'd decided to trust Rhonda Byrne's idea called The Secret - an idea about us being able to get whatever we desire if only we want it enough. Kim announced on the show that she was not going to use conventional therapy, but instead was going to use a mix of the Law of Attraction and alternative therapy to cure her cancer. Unfortunately the alternative therapist she found was Robert Young, and he told her that dietary changes to help remove the acid from her body should cure her. Kim died in 2010.

He was arrested and has now been found guilty on two charges of practicing medicine without a license, but cleared on a charge of theft by fraud. He's currently looking at up to 3 years and 8 months in prison. However, there are still pending charges against him to be deliberated on, for practicing medicine without a licence and for grand theft.

There are similar companies in New Zealand, including one which sells water filters which create alkaline water to adjust your body's pH. They have made claims about conditions their water filters can help treat, and I have a successful Advertising Standards Authority complaint against them for their false claims:

'The information given here is for educational purposes only and is not meant to cure or treat any disease or illnesses. Consult your doctor for specialised medical advice.'

This company quoted a supposed "study" by Young in defence of their claims, which thankfully the ASA didn't consider to be sufficient evidence