Sunday, 24 June 2007

quackbuster busted

Barrett Loses Appeal, Leaves Town

Self proclaimed Quackbuster, Stephen Barrett, MD, recently handed crushing
defeats by chiropractor Tedd Koren and Ilena Rosenthal, has announced he is
leaving his home town and operating base in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (reports Dr Tedd Koren DC)

On June 11th, 2007, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a lower court
dismissal of Barrett's defamation suite against Dr. Koren. Barrett's case was so
lacking in merit the judge blocked it from going to the jury. Barrett simply had
no case against Dr. Koren. This followed another stunning defeat last month
in California. There an appeals court ordered Barrett and crony Terry Polevoy, MD
to post bonds of more than $400,000.00 after they lost a defamation case against
Illena Rosenthal virtually identical to the Koren case.

Perhaps the fact that lawyers and judges in Allentown are catching on to his
intimidation schemes explains why Barrett is moving to Chapel Hill, North
Carolina. Barrett can run but he can't hide. Chapel Hill collection
attorneys are already being asked to locate his assets to pay his unmet legal
obligations. Assets of other Quackwatch, Inc., principals might also be

Who Is Steven Barrett, What Are Quackbusters?

Steven Barrett is an unlicensed Pennsylvania psychiatrist, who, though he failed
his psychiatric boards and has been criticized for his lack of expertise by
several courts, still claims to often advise the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FBI, State Attorneys General, HMOs,
Consumer Reports, medical journals and state medical, chiropractic  and
dental boards.

The insurance industry cites Barrett's highly opinionated "Quackbuster" attacks
to deny paying claims for chiropractic and other natural healthcare.

Barrett and the "Quackbusters," a vigilante group of self proclaimed skeptics of
any medical or health modality that avoids drugs, surgery or radiation, attack
almost all non-conventional healthcare practices as quackery.  Ignoring all
scientific research to the contrary, they dismiss Gulf War Syndrome, Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder, Chemical Sensitivity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and
dietary supplements as rubbish. Double Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling is on
their "quack" hit list along with many well known and respected doctors and
scientists, including Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, and dozens of others.

Barrett claims to give over 500 interviews a year to newspapers, magazines, and
television shows, including CNN and the Today Show. He claims to have been
a peer reviewer for seven medical journals, including the Journal of the American
Medical Association, even though he had no license to practice medicine when he
did the reviewing.

The Quackbusters run over 70 websites. Millions of people go to them every
year. Look up chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy or even vitamin C, as well as
almost every other natural health topic, on the Internet and you (and the public)
will be led to Quackbuster sites advising you of natural health "dangers."
In all these forums Barrett and the Quackbusters relentlessly attack the consumer
right to informed choice. These activities continue the AMA's anti-quackery
committee's activities that were struck down by federal courts as an illegal
restraint of trade in a landmark lawsuit brought by Illinois chiropractor Chester
Wilk. They also help insurance companies deny consumer reimbursement
At the same time, Barrett flacks for products like aspartame (NutraSweet), which
is the subject of tens of thousands of consumer complaints. Question (asked
on Barrett's web site): "An email message is being circulated with many
statements to the effect that aspartame is dangerous. How worried should I
be?" Answer (from Barrett): "Not at all. The message is pure

What Did Dr. Koren Do to Provoke Barrett's Shakedown?

Dr. Tedd Koren is a well-known chiropractor, researcher, writer and
lecturer. Barrett sued Dr. Koren in 2003 for calling him a Quackpot,
saying he was in big trouble because of a racketeering law suit brought against
him and attacking his lack of a medical license in his internet newsletter.
The trial judge and three appeals judges agreed unanimously that these statements
were so far from defamation that no jury could be legally allowed to call them
defamation. Dr. Koren also said Barrett was "delicensed." One of the
three appeals courts judges thought a jury might be able to find this to be
defamation. However two appellate judges disagreed and jurors interviewed
after the trial said they too saw through Barrett and felt that he was a
litigious, ungrounded and biased denier of the truth.

In part jurors formed this view because Barrett testified with great
self-satisfaction in the Koren case that he had sued many doctors-close to
forty-in similar cases, demanding up to $100,000 if they wished to avoid a costly
lawsuit. Some paid-how many is yet to be discovered.  Drs. Koren and
Rosenthal and a few others did not. Barrett has failed to win a single
lawsuit in this shakedown scheme.

During heated and often dramatic courtroom proceedings, Mr. Negrete pointed out
many of the questionable statements Barrett includes on his websites attacking
chiropractic, as well as facts about Barrett's own credentials that shocked
even his supporters.
Mr. Turner says, It is very important that a very responsible judge in
Barrett hometown recognized that he was making false allegations and
dismissed the case. Barrett has cost untoward numbers of consumers pain, anguish
and probably serious harm by his misrepresentation of the facts about subjects
ranging from acupuncture to zinc."

Mr. Turner, who among other campaigns led the team that got acupuncture needles
approved as safe by FDA, worked with a Senate committee to abolish the
dysfunctional vaccine regulatory agency, worked with whistleblowers to stop the
Swine Flu inoculation campaign, kept aspartame off the market for ten years, and
played a key role in lobbying the Organic Food Production Act through Congress
(all areas on which the Foundation for Health Choice focuses), says, "Our
objective is to end Barrett's abuse of consumers by eliminating the false and
misleading information from his website and his entire network of websites and
replacing it with sound, useful information for consumers.

Says Dr. Koren, "This is just the beginning. Just as the FTC battle was not about
Tedd Koren alone but had ramifications for the entire chiropractic and natural
health professions so the Barrett v. Koren battle will have major ramifications
for all. We're going to give the Quackbusters a taste of their own medicine.
They'll learn how dangerous medicine can be."


Animus said...

Good news travels fast. There is no fate too fierce or gruesome for Barrett and of course his Canadian mini-me, CrazyTerry Polevoy. Both these men are responsible for the deaths of likely thousands who have been led away from scientifically valid diagnositcs & therapeutics.

Anonymous said...

In Barrett's defense, 'ol Tedd IS a quack. He's the closest thing to the AFLAC duck.

Anonymous said...

In Barrett's defence?Is that like in Hitler's defence?

Tony said...

It's a good news to read about Barrett being exposed. He's a professional debunker, member of the pseudoskeptical and debunking organization CSICOP (now it changed its name to CSI). You may read more on pseudoskeptics here: