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Gary Null, PhD – Who’s the Quack? Stephen Barrett Gets Busted

 

October 10, 2016

The Progressive Radio Network

Thousands of high-quality independent scientific studies have been recently conducted

confirming the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, including an organic plant-based diet of whole

foods, a proper balance of nutritional supplements, daily exercise, stress management and

being educated and conscious of toxic chemicals in our home or work environment. People

have been able to make positive choices. Unfortunately, the majority of people have not made

these changes over the past 40 years.

There are multiple and complex reasons; but one part of this puzzle is becoming clear: Who do

we trust when it comes to making healthy choices? On the one hand, some people claim that

eating everything in moderation, including staples of the Standard American Diet (SAD)- highly

processed carbohydrates, meat and dairy- is just fine. They believe that our epidemic of

diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes are rooted in cigarette smoking,

excessive sun exposure, genetics, or too much alcohol. However, there is another school of

thought that posits that any toxin, whether it is mercury from an amalgam filling or a vaccine, or

aluminum from cosmetics or soda cans – is also unsafe. This group also believes that sugar, in

the average amounts consumed, is a substantial contributor to our disease epidemic.

Furthermore, those in this camp claim that our heavy reliance on an animal-based, pro-

inflammatory diet is a factor contributing to poor health. So the public is left questioning which

information they should follow.

One of the many people who have championed of the orthodox “everything in moderation” view

of health in the United States is Stephen Barrett. A self-titled “Quackbuster” and one-time

licensed psychiatrist, Stephen Barrett is committed to questioning anyone who advocates for a

lifestyle outside of “pill or procedure” and what he views as scientifically-supported health

advice. Mainstream media quotes Stephen Barrett, publications such as Consumer Reports

have relied upon him as a consultant, and he has gone so far as to sue people who tout

different forms of alternative healing which he believes are committing health fraud. More often

than not, the mainstream media has aligned with Stephen Barrett. The result is that many

scientists, physicians, health advocates or researchers who challenge the existing conventional

medicine paradigm may find themselves being portrayed as “quacks”.

Yet skepticism about the mainstream media grows daily as evidence of its often slanted

reporting piles up. Journalist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Swanson detailed how

biased segments of our major media outlets are in a recent piece appearing on

counterpunch.org last month. Swanson revealed that public relations firms are regularly hired by

corporations and trade groups to write op-ed articles and place them in prominent newspapers.

(1) According to the article, one PR firm, Keybridge Communications, is responsible for

ghostwriting around 3,000 op-ed pieces a year that help shape the public view on issues

ranging from healthcare to education and politics. (2) The PR firm collects $5,000 for each op-

ed it creates. (3) This price tag is a sobering reminder of just how much wealthy corporate

interests dominate the flow of information in today’s mainstream media.

Given the corporatism that infests much of our major media outlets and since the health of

millions of Americans is at stake, it is our opinion that we ask if the “expert advice” of these

individuals including Stephen Barrett is based on a true gold standard: a double-blind, peer-

reviewed, placebo-controlled scientific research. Also, is the research being referenced

conducted by scientists without conflicts of interest and who also hold degrees and licensure in

dietetic science, nutritional science, biochemistry and environmental chemical sensitivities?

Many of these spokespersons routinely claim that alternative therapies should be debunked and

are not based on quality science. These therapies include chiropractic and homeopathy.

To begin, let us examine a history involving the American Medical Association (AMA) and

chiropractic therapy as one example of institutional bias.

The Campaign Against Chiropractic

The AMA may be the most powerful medical monopoly in American history. They are the

guardians of the gates of orthodoxy. For over 50 years, the AMA led an ongoing campaign

against many types of alternative therapies, including chiropractic. So much so that the AMA

created a secret department of investigation, which was tasked with surreptitiously attacking

chiropractic care and preventing it from being accredited. The aim of this department was to

keep chiropractic at the level of a scientific cult.

In an article published in 1985, I explained how the AMA had been waging a ruthless war

against the field of chiropractic since the 1960s:

The AMA was alarmed at the chiropractor's' growing ability to compete for the loyalty of

patients. It did a study to find out how best to "contain and eliminate" the growth of

chiropractic in America, and concluded that the most important strategy was to isolate

chiropractors from other health-care providers and from public facilities such as

hospitals. This would not be easy: Many medical physicians and chiropractors,

particularly in rural America, freely referred and consulted back and forth. The AMA

began by instructing its state societies to remind their members that its Principles of

Medical Ethics required a practice of medicine based on science, and that it was

unethical to deal with any unscientific practitioner or with a "member of a cult.” (4)

In another article I wrote for Caveat Emptor, I outlined more strategies employed by the AMA in

an attempt to damage chiropractic's reputation:

•The AMA attempted to discredit chiropractic through subversive propaganda

techniques.

•The AMA's committee and intelligence arm secretly sponsored an anti-chiropractic

book, which it then disseminated as an “independent” work.

•The AMA systematically attempted to enlist all state and county medical societies to

wage similar warfare against chiropractic.

•The AMA systematically attempted to teach anti-chiropractic attitudes to children

throughout the nation’s school systems. (5)

For years the mainstream media went along with the claim that manipulative therapy was not

backed by science, and therefore chiropractors shouldn’t receive coverage by insurance or

receive referrals.The goal was to marginalize chiropractors outside the realms of medicine and

healing, and in large part it was successful. They did such a good job that chiropractic care was

widely considered a negative and a pejorative for decades. By 1970, the discipline was

struggling to survive.

But then an interesting event occurred. I wrote an article in 1976 based upon files that were

taken out of AMA headquarters which revealed the organization’s attempts to denigrate

chiropractic and engage in other highly questionable campaigns.

Here I described some of what the AMA was up to:

True, while the AMA has brought the level of government financed revenues of medical

schools to almost 50%, there is a long list of proposals that at one time or another were

vigorously – but, as it turned out, vainly – opposed by the AMA. A listing of the important

social legislation that the AMA unsuccessfully tried to kill includes:

Child Labor Laws; Social Security for the Aged; Minimum Wage Legislation; The Forty

Hour Week; Medicare; Medicaid; Mass X-Ray Screening for Chest Diseases like TB and

Lung Cancer; Government-sponsored VD Clinics; Compulsory Reporting of

Communicable Diseases, etc., etc.

Looking at the social, ethical, not to mention medical, values of the legislation opposed

by the AMA, a profession which should feel particularly flattered (and reassured) that is

so high on the AMA's current list, is the chiropractic profession. The evidence suggests

that the AMA seeks, in fact, nothing less than the utter discreditation and eventual

elimination of the entire profession. (6)

More information began to circulate about the AMA’s questionable attacks on the field, and five

chiropractors went on to sue the AMA in 1976. The AMA was found guilty of conspiracy in

violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and Restraint of Trade, along with ten other major

medical organizations in the country. One organization settled before it went to trial. In total,

about one million documents were uncovered. The AMA had lost at many levels and it couldn’t

question chiropractic after that. But major media downplayed the final verdict and it was a non-

event buried in the news.

People are using this powerful organization’s publication, the Journal of the American Medical

Association (JAMA) as standard in scientific research. In point of fact, it’s not a gold standard.

After all, this was the publication and the medical organization that, for more than 30 years,

advocated through its full page ads in its journals that women should “calm their nerves” and

“soothe their throats” by smoking cigarettes. In fact, in one of their ads they said that over

50,000 physicians smoke one particular brand of cigarettes, giving a sense of confidence to

both physicians and their patients that smoking cigarettes was a good and healthy practice.

Now just imagine how many millions of men and women from the 1930s on smoked cigarettes

without being warned by their physician of its dangers. How many developed emphysema, lung

cancer and heart disease because of smoking? And yet medicine has never apologized for this

error in judgment that has had deadly consequences for millions of Americans. So we should

understand that the AMA and its journals are not a gold standard. They are replete with

misinformation. To give you an example, let us focus upon the actual independent science in

addition to the tens of millions of patient visits showing the proven benefits of chiropractic.

Chiropractic offers perceived benefit to patients

Kanodia AK, Legedza AT, Davis RB, et al. Perceived benefit of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for

back pain: a national survey. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2010;23(3):354–362.

Chiropractic adjustment helps with joint issues and pain

Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, et al. Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. Chiropractic &

Osteopathy. 2010;18(3):1–33.

A growing body of randomized controlled trials provides evidence of the effectiveness

and safety of chiropractic therapies

APA LeFebvre, R., Peterson, D., & Haas, M. (2012). Evidence-Based Practice and Chiropractic Care. Journal of

Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 18(1), 75–79. http://doi.org/10.1177/2156587212458435

Chiropractic care as effective as medical care in reducing symptoms of carpal tunnel

syndrome

Davis PT, Hulbert JR, Kassak KM, et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1998 (Jun);21 (5): 317-326

Chiropractic adjustment aids neck pain

Manual and Instrument Applied Cervical Manipulation for Mechanical Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial J

Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2016 (May 12) [Epub]

Spinal adjustment reduces allergy and Crohn’s Disease symptoms

Yasuhiko Takeda, D.C., Shouji Arai, D.C., Hideaki Touichi, D.C. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ Volume

4 ~ Number 4 ~ Page 1.

Spinal manipulation assists patients with lower back pain

Shekelle PG, Adams AH, Chassin MR, Hurwitz EL, Brook RH. Spinal manipulation for low-back pain. Ann Intern Med

1992;117(7):590-8.

Chiropractic therapy may offer a wide range of physiological benefits

Hannon, Sean. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ April 26, 2004 ~ Pages 1-9.

Stephen Barrett has made a career out of attacking the validity of chiropractic. How Stephen

Barrett can continue to denigrate this modality despite all the evidence supporting it is puzzling.

But it is not just chiropractic that the AMA, Stephen Barrett and others attack. Another such

therapy is homeopathy.

Homeopathy Under Attack

Historically, the medical community has rejected anything that competes for its patients, even if

the alternative indicates a safe and efficient means of treatment. The orthodox approach often

does not show both safety and efficacy, yet we find that if 100 studies on a particular drug are

conducted and 99 of the studies are negative, the only study to receive any publicity will be the

single positive study. For example, there has never been a gold standard study comparing the

quality of health and various medical conditions between fully vaccinated children and children

who were unvaccinated over a 3-5 year period. Nor have vaccine trials been conducted with a

true placebo. When a vaccine study is conducted, the vaccine is compared to the same formula

minus the viral component in the vaccine. This is then considered the placebo and consequently

is based upon bad scientific protocol.

When it comes to a field of alternative medicine such as homeopathy, which has helped millions

of Americans, and is highly accepted in other nations around the world, it’s no surprise that

mainstream medicine and its apologists such as Stephen Barrett would go to great lengths to

discredit it. Yet, the independent science reviewing homeopathy and its benefits are clear. Here

is a glance at some of the research showing this therapy’s benefits:

Meta analyses showing evidence of homeopathy’s benefits

Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homeopathy.

Br Med J 1991; 302: 316–23.

Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of

placebo-controlled trials. Lancet 1997; 350: 834–43. 3

Linde K, Scholz M, Ramirez G, et al. Impact of study quality on outcome in placebo controlled trials of homeopathy. J

Clin Epidemiol 1999;52: 631–6.

Cucherat M, Haugh MC, Gooch M, Boissel JP. Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy – A meta-analysis of

clinical trials. Eur J Clin Pharmacol

2000; 56: 27–33.

Homeopathy benefits patients with fibromyalgia

Bell I, Lewis D, Brooks A, et al. Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized

homeopathic remedies versus placebo. Rheumatology 2004; 43: 577–82.

Relton C, Smith C, Raw J, et al. Healthcare provided by a homeopath as an adjunct to usual care for fibromyalgia

(FMS): results of a pilot randomised controlled trial. Homeopathy 2009;98: 77–82.

Homeopathy helps reduce insomnia

Brooks AJ, Bell IR, Howerter A, et al (2010). Effects of homeopathic medicines on mood of adults with histories of

coffee-related insomnia. Forsch Komplementmed 17: 250-257.

Naudé DF, Couchman IMS, Maharaj A (2010). Chronic primary insomnia: efficacy of homeopathic simillimum.

Homeopathy 99:6 3–68.

Positive impact of homeopathy on sinusitis

Friese K-H, Zabalotnyi DI. Homeopathy in acute rhinosinusitis. A double-blind, placebo controlled study shows the

effectiveness and tolerability of a homeopathic combination remedy. HNO 2007; 55: 271–7.

Zabolotnyi DI, Kneis KC, Richardson A, et al. Efficacy of a complex homeopathic medication (Sinfrontal) in

patients with acute maxillary sinusitis: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter

clinical trial. Explore (NY) 2007;3: 98–109.

***

At the end of the day all we can surmise is that Stephen Barrett was only giving his opinion on

alternative therapies, which he has every right to do. But then what about the things that he

defends? Are they defensible? We decided to take a look and we put his defense against the

prevailing independent body of science. Here is what we found.

A quick glance at Barrett’s website, Quackwatch.com, reveals an entry from him stating:

Many vitamin pushers would have us believe that refined (white) sugar is ‘the killer on

the breakfast table’ and is the underlying cause of everything from heart disease to

hypoglycemia. The fact is, however, that when sugar is used in moderation as part of a

normal, balanced diet, it is a perfectly safe source of calories and eating pleasure. (7)

Here are just a handful of independent studies which clearly implicate sugar as a toxic health

hazard:

Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Linked to Heart Disease

Lawrence de Koning, Vasanti S. Malik, Mark D. Kellogg, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, and Frank B. Hu.Sweetened

Beverage Consumption, Incident Coronary Heart Disease and Biomarkers of Risk in Men. Circulation, March 12 2012

DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.067017

How Fructose Causes Obesity and Diabetes

Takuji Ishimoto, Miguel A. Lanaspa, MyPhuong T. Le, Gabriela E. Garcia, Christine P. Diggle, Paul S. MacLean,

Matthew R. Jackman, Aruna Asipu, Carlos A. Roncal-Jimenez, Tomoki Kosugi, Christopher J. Rivard, Shoichi

Maruyama, Bernardo Rodriguez-Iturbe, Laura G. Sánchez-Lozada, David T. Bonthron, Yuri Y. Sautin, and Richard J.

Johnson. Opposing effects of fructokinase C and A isoforms on fructose-induced metabolic syndrome in mice.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 27, 2012 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1119908109

Corn Syrup and Obesity

Bray, George et al. Consumption of high fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol. 79, no. 4, p. 537-543, April 2004.

Soda and Sugary Beverages linked with Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, V. S. Malik, B. M. Popkin, G. A. Bray, J.-P.

Despres, W. C. Willett, F. B. Hu. Sugar Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2

Diabetes: A Meta-analysis.Diabetes Care, 2010

Fructose intake connected with an increased risk of cardiovascular illness and diabetes

in teenagers

N. K. Pollock, V. Bundy, W. Kanto, C. L. Davis, P. J. Bernard, H. Zhu, B. Gutin, Y. Dong. Greater Fructose

Consumption Is Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk Markers and Visceral Adiposity in Adolescents.Journal of

Nutrition, 2011; 142 (2): 251 DOI:10.3945/jn.111.150219

Fructose consumption increases the risk of heart disease.

K. L. Stanhope, A. A. Bremer, V. Medici, K. Nakajima, Y. Ito, T. Nakano, G. Chen, T. H. Fong, V. Lee, R. I. Menorca,

N. L. Keim, P. J. Havel. Consumption of Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup Increase Postprandial Triglycerides,

LDL-Cholesterol, and Apolipoprotein-B in Young Men and Women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,

2011; DOI:10.1210/jc.2011-1251

The Negative Impact of Sugary Drinks on Children.

Lustig, RH, and AA Bremer. “Effects of sugar-sweetened beverages on children..” Pediatric Annals 41.1 (2012): 26-

30. pubmed.gov. Web. 1 Apr. 2012.

Sugar and High Blood Pressure

Lustig, RH, and S Nguyen. “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the blood pressure go up..” Expert Review of

Cardiovascular Therapy 8.11 (2010): 1497-9. pubmed.gov. Web. 2 Apr. 2012.

Sugar Consumption Associated with Fatty Liver Disease and Diabetes

Lim JS, Mietus-Snyder M, Valente A, Schwarz JM, Lustig RH. The role of fructose in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and

the metabolic syndrome. Nature Reviews of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2010; 7:251-64.

Fructose: metabolic, hedonic, and societal parallels with ethanol.Lustig RH. Journal of the American Dietetic

Association 2010; 110:1307-21.

The Adverse Impact of Dietary Sugars on Cardiovascular Health

Johnson RK, Appel LJ, Brands M, Howard BV, Lefevre M, Lustig RH, Sacks F, Steffen LM, Wylie-Rosett J. Dietary

sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association.Circulation 2009;

120:1011-20.

Princeton Study Shows High Fructose Corn Syrup Promotes Weight Gain

Bocarsly, ME, et al.. “High-fructose corn syrup causes characteristics of obesity in rats: Increased body weight, body

fat and triglyceride levels.” Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 97.1 (2010): n. pag.pubmed.gov. Web. 1 Apr.

2012.

Rats Fed High Fructose Corn Syrup Exhibit Impaired Brain Function

Stranahan, Alexis M, et al..“Diet-induced insulin resistance impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognition in

middle-aged rats.”Hippocampus 18.11 (2008): 1085-1088. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com. Web. 2 Apr. 2012.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Intake Linked with Mineral Imbalance and Osteoporosis.

Tsanzi, E,et al. “Effect of consuming different caloric sweeteners on bone health and possible mechanisms..”Nutrition

Reviews 66.6 (2008): 301-309. Print.

Diet of Sugar and Fructose Impairs Brain Function

R. Agrawal, F. Gomez-Pinilla. ’Metabolic syndrome’ in the brain: deficiency in omega-3 fatty acid exacerbates

dysfunctions in insulin receptor signaling and cognition. The Journal of Physiology, 2012; 590 (10): 2485 DOI:

10.1113/jphysiol.2012.230078

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Is Adversely Associated with Childhood

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Yu, C.-J., Du, J.-C., Chiou, H.-C., Feng, C.-C., Chung, M.-Y., Yang, W., … Chen, M.-L. (2016). Sugar-

Sweetened Beverage Consumption Is Adversely Associated with Childhood Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity

Disorder. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(7), 678.

http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13070678

As the research showing sugar’s toxicity can no longer be suppressed, information exposing the

manipulation of science around this American staple is also coming forth. Recently, the New

York Times published an article revealing the decades-long corruption that has plagued the

sugar industry. Author Anahad O’Connor writes that in the 1960s the American sugar lobby paid

off Harvard researchers to arrive at research conclusions which underplayed the link between

sugar and heart disease, and overstated the connection between saturated fats and heart

disease. (8) It was this seminal research that has influenced governmental health guidelines for

a half century. (9)

So profound are the conflicts of interest in science today that a 2015 article appearing in the

American Heart Association’s Circulation Research found that the “majority” of research

published today “will not stand the test of time.” (10) That same year saw the publication of

another article in The Lancet in which author Richard Horton surmised that

much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies

with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts

of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious

importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. (11)

Such brazen industry influence on public health policy makes it even more important that we

question the conclusions of conventional medicine-linked experts like Stephen Barrett.

On another page of Barrett’s website, he discusses the artificial sweetener aspartame, stating

that internet information claiming that aspartame may be dangerous is “pure rubbish.”(12) In

point of fact, research has linked aspartame to a variety of health conditions. It was also recently

reported that California is currently considering labeling aspartame as a carcinogen (13). Here is

just a small sampling of studies indicating that aspartame is a hazardous substance.

92% of independent studies show aspartame may negatively impact health

Briffa, John. “Aspartame and Its Effects on Health: Independently Funded Studies Have Found Potential for Adverse

Effects.” BMJ : British Medical Journal 330.7486 (2005): 309–310. Print.

Aspartame is associated with oxidative stress (inflammation)

Ashok I, Sheeladevi R, Wankhar D “Acute effect of aspartame-induced oxidative stress in Wistar albino rat brain.”J

Biomed Res. 2015 Sep;29(5):390-6. doi: 10.7555/JBR.28.20120118. Epub 2014 Jan 12.

The intake of aspartame may disrupt metabolism and increase weight gain

Swithers, Susan E., Camille H. Sample, and Terry L. Davidson. "Adverse Effects of High-intensity Sweeteners on

Energy Intake and Weight Control in Male and Obesity-prone Female Rats." Behavioral Neuroscience 127, no. 2

(2013): 262-74. Accessed September 9, 2016. doi:10.1037/a0031717.

Consuming aspartame shown to induce glucose intolerance

Suez, Jotham, Tal Korem, David Zeevi, Gili Zilberman-Schapira, Christoph A. Thaiss, Ori Maza, David Israeli, Niv

Zmora, Shlomit Gilad, Adina Weinberger, Yael Kuperman, Alon Harmelin, Ilana Kolodkin-Gal, Hagit Shapiro, Zamir

Halpern, Eran Segal, and Eran Elinav. "Artificial Sweeteners Induce Glucose Intolerance by Altering the Gut

Microbiota." Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 70, no. 1 (2015): 31-32. doi:10.1097/01.ogx.0000460711.58331.94.

Aspartame is shown to increase food cravings

Yang, Qing. “Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings” Yale Journal

of Biology and Medicine. 2010 Jun; 83(2): 101–108. Published online 2010 Jun.

Aspartame intake is linked with glucose intolerance

Kuk, Jennifer L., and Ruth E. Brown. "Aspartame Intake Is Associated with Greater Glucose Intolerance in Individuals

with Obesity." Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 41, no. 7 (2016): 795-98.

doi:10.1139/apnm-2015- 0675.

For even more evidence of the shocking disparity between Barrett’s claims and independent

science, we only need to refer to another page on his website where he states the following

about pesticides:

The pesticide residue of our food supply is extremely small and poses no health threat to

the consumer. Foods "certified" as "organic" are not safer or more nutritious than other

foods. In fact, except for their high price, they are not significantly different. (14)

Yet again, we find a large body of evidence that flies in the face of Stephen Barrett’s claim that

pesticides pose no threat to human health. Here are just a few of the hundreds of studies

proving as much:

Consuming organic foods limits exposure to disease-causing pesticides

Forman J, Silverstein J; Comm on Nutrition; Council on Environmental Health. Organic foods: health and

environmental advantages and disadvantages. Pediatrics. 2012 Nov. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23090335

Organic diets can significantly limit exposure to toxic chemical residues in food.

Curl CL, Fenske RA, Elgethun K. Organophosphorus pesticide exposure of urban and suburban preschool children

with organic and conventional diets. Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Mar. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/

PMC1241395/

Pesticides in surface water linked to birth defects

Winchester, P., et al. 2009. Agrichemicals in surface water and birth defects in the United States. Acta Paediatrica,

98(4).

Childhood cancer associated with residential pesticide use

10 Leiss, J., et al. 1995. Home pesticide use and childhood cancer: A case-control study. American Journal of Public

Health 85:249-252.

Exposure to organophospate pesticides connected to ADHD in children

Bouchard, M. F., Bellinger, D. C., Wright, R. O., & Weisskopf, M. G. (2010). ATTENTION

DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER AND URINARY METABOLITES OF ORGANOPHOSPHATE

PESTICIDES IN U.S. CHILDREN 8–15 YEARS. Pediatrics, 125(6), e1270–e1277.

http://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2009-3058

Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children’s Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus

Pesticides

Lu C, Fenske RA, et al. Organic diets significantly lower children’s dietary exposure to organophosphorus pesticides.

Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Feb. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1367841/

The evidence leads us to a series of unanswered questions: If we can find quality independent

scientific references supporting the benefits of alternative lifestyle choices such as plant-based

diets, then why can’t the health journalists or Consumer Reports find and document the same

information?

Further, we are curious as to how Stephen Barrett, who as far as we can determine holds no

degrees in nutrition, dietetic science, homeopathy or chiropractic could be considered an expert

by the mainstream media. Finally, how closely have they scrutinized Stephen Barrett’s

campaigns of those things he disapproves of? Our investigation uncovered some surprising

insights.

Here are some additional reasons for questioning Stephen Barrett’s objectivity on health

issues.

1. Stephen Barrett writes off all therapies he doesn’t understand, claiming that they are too

illogical to be effective. According to Barrett, many therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy

and chiropractic therapy “don’t need to be tested [because] they simply don’t make any sense.”

(15)

2. Stephen Barrett admits his bias when, on the one hand, he is a self-professed authority on

many forms of alternative health, while on the other hand, he admits he doesn’t critique

mainstream medicine, saying "that's way outside my scope." (16)

3. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) lists Barrett as one of their “Scientific

Advisors.” The ACSH has come out in favor of toxic pesticides and BPA as well as the practice

of fracking. Documents leaked in 2013 to Mother Jones exposed that the ACSH is in fact heavily

funded by corporations including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Procter and Gamble and

the agribusiness conglomerate Syngenta. (17)(18)

The criteria used to claim Stephen Barrett is a scientific advisor is suspect. Stephen Barrett’s

background does not qualify him as a scientist. Barrett, as far as we can determine, holds no

degrees in nutrition, dietetic science, homeopathy or chiropractic and therefore his opinion on

these treatments should be given little or no weight.

Barrett has lost several court cases and has withdrawn from several legal actions

involving his work as a “Quackbuster.”

4. In 2007, a judge for the Appeals Court for the State of Pennsylvania upheld a 2005 ruling

against Barrett, which dismissed his claims of defamation by chiropractor Tedd Koren. (19)

5. In 2003, Barrett brought a case against the Intelisoft Multimedia corporation claiming that

Intelisoft was responsible for defaming Barrett for by disseminating libelous comments of Tim

Bolen. The case was dismissed. (20)

5. In 2001, Judge Haley Fromholz of the Superior Court of Los Angeles ruled against Barrett’s

organization, the NCAHF, in a legal action against a producer of homeopathic products, King

Bio Pharmaceutical. The NCAHF was arguing that King Bio was making false claims about their

products. Barrett and his colleague, Wallace Sampson, appeared during the case as expert

witnesses, receiving payment from the NCAHF itself. The final ruling sharply called into question

Barrett’s credibility on the issue at hand:

As for his credential as an expert on FDA regulation of homeopathic drugs, the Court

finds that Dr. Barrett lacks sufficient qualifications in this area. Expertise in FDA

regulation suggests a knowledge of how the agency enforces federal statutes and the

agency’s own regulations. Dr. Barrett’s purported legal and regulatory knowledge is not

apparent. He is not a lawyer, although he claims he attended several semesters of

correspondence law school. While Dr. Barrett appears to have had several past

conversations with FDA representatives, these appear to have been sporadic, mainly at

his own instigation, and principally for the purpose of gathering information for his

various articles and Internet web-sites. He has never testified before any governmental

panel or agency on issues relating to FDA regulation of drugs. Presumably his

professional continuing education experiences are outdated given that he has not had a

current medical license in over seven years. For these reasons, there is no sound basis

on which to consider Dr. Barrett qualified as an expert on the issues he was offered to

address. (21)

***

So what have we learned? We have learned that there are individuals, corporations, think tanks

and members of the media who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of being

guardians for orthodoxy, regardless of what independent science shows.

Whether it relates to vaccines, fluoride, mercury fillings, GMO safety, pesticides, or the quality of

the American diet, those who have offered an alternative opinion have been attacked, vilified

and denigrated. They were the “outcast other” of no value. We were told by the media to not

listen to them because they were quacks and charlatans. Yet if one takes an objective look at

the last 50 years of independent science and all the advocates of what we now consider to be a

healthy lifestyle- the Ralph Naders, Rachel Carsons, and Sidney Wolfes- we see that they have

been on the side of truth. Meanwhile the entire medical industrial complex- the foundations,

corporations, so-called experts and lobbyists- have continued to deceive the public about critical

health issues of our day. It is time for us to demand an end to this medical tyranny.

Endnotes

(1) Swanson, David. "Public Relations Firm Claims to Have Ghost Written Thousands of Op-Eds in

Major U.S. Newspapers." Www.counterpunch.org. September 02, 2016. Accessed October 02,

2016. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/02/public-relations- firm-claims- to-have- ghost-written-

thousands-of- op-eds- in-major- u-s- newspapers/.

(2) Ibid

(3) Ibid

(4) Null, Gary. “Medical Genocide Part 2: The War on Chiropractic” PENTHOUSE magazine, Oct

1985

(5) Null, Gary and Pehme, Kalev, “Chiropractic: Health Care Without Drugs” Caveat Emptor, 1980

(6) Null, Gary. “The AMA’s Treatment of Chiropractic: A Case of Malpractice” Caveat Emptor, 1976 ,

6:4.

(7) Barrett, Stephen, and Victor Herbert. "Twenty-Six Ways to Spot Quacks and Vitamin Pushers."

Twenty-Six Ways to Spot Quacks and Vitamin Pushers. Accessed September 15, 2016.

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/spotquack.html.

(8) O'connor, Anahad. "How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat." The New York Times. 2016.

Accessed September 15, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the- sugar-

industry-shifted- blame-to- fat.html?_r=0.

(9) Ibid

(10) Begley, C. G., and J. P. A. Ioannidis. "Reproducibility in Science: Improving the Standard for

Basic and Preclinical Research." Circulation Research 116, no. 1 (January 2, 2015): 116-26.

doi:10.1161/circresaha.114.303819.

(11) Horton, Richard. "Offline: What Is Medicine's 5 Sigma?" The Lancet 385, no. 9976 (April 11,

2015): 1380. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(15)60696- 1.

(12) “Aspartame” http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/QA/aspartame.html

(13) Fox, Stephen. "Aspartame, the Artificial Sweetener, Being Considered Under California's

Proposition 65 for CARCINOGEN Labeling." OPed News.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Aspartame-the- Artificial-by- Stephen-Fox- Ajinomoto_Artificial-

Sweetener_Aspartame-Poisoning_California- Proposition-65- 160917-707.html.

(14) Barrett, Stephen, and Victor Herbert. "Twenty-Six Ways to Spot Quacks and Vitamin Pushers."

Twenty-Six Ways to Spot Quacks and Vitamin Pushers. Accessed September 15, 2016.

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/spotquack.html.

(15) Ladd, Donna. "Doctor Who?" Village Voice. June 22, 1999. Accessed September 06, 2016.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/doctor-who- 6421391.

(16) Ibid

(17) Scientific Advisors-American Council on Science and Health http://acsh.org/about-acsh/scientific-

advisors

(18) Kroll, Andy, and Jeremy Schulman. "Leaked Documents Reveal the Secret Finances of a Pro-

Industry Science Group." MotherJones.com. October 28, 2013. Accessed September 6, 2016.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/american-council- science-health- leaked-

documents-fundraising.

(19) Chiropractors Claim Court Victory Against Infamous ’Quackbuster’ World Chiropractic Alliance –

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chiropractors- claim-court- victory-against- infamous-

quackbuster-58111652.html

(20) “No. 2– 02– 0886”

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/opinions/appellatecourt/2003/2nddistrict/october/html/2020886.htm

(21) http://www.quackpotwatch.org/quackpots/california_superior_court_judge_.htm1