Ecstasy as safe as riding?

A retired spinal injury consultant has said he was “flabbergasted” after sacked government drugs adviser Professor David Nutt controversially used his decades-old research paper as evidence to compare the dangers of horse-riding with those of the drug, ecstasy.

Dr John Silver, a member of Radlett United Synagogue, has spoken of his shock after Professor Nutt referred to a paper he had written more than 20 years ago, entitled The Hazards of Horse-Riding as a Popular Sport.

Professor Nutt, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), caused outrage after he used the paper to demonstrate his point that the Class A drug was statistically no more dangerous than an addiction to horse-riding.

He was then sacked by Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

“I was shocked that he referred to my paper,” Dr Silver said. “I wrote it so long ago, and really I had forgotten about it.

“I do think his comments were right because horse-riding is a lot more dangerous than people think.”

Dr Silver, 78, researched serious injuries from rugby, gymnastics, trampolining, and horse-riding accidents for more than 50 years.

    Last updated: 4:42pm, November 26 2009