First Do No Harm

Quackbuster Stephen Barrett:
"Not an Expert," Declares Judge!
First published in 2003

Stephen Barrett, the Wizard of Odds, played his odds and lost. He just hasn't had a very good year.

Stephen Barrett has attacked some of the most successful alternative therapies in the world. He has issued threats and initiated lawsuits, and until last year, got away with all of it. Then, his world began to crumble.

Barrett filed a lawsuit against King Bio Pharmaceuticals, makers of homeopathics. Now, science has already established the value of homeopathy, but Barrett, ignoring science while pandering to the pharmaceutical industry, just had to do something. The result? Here is an excerpt from the judge's decision:

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 Presumably his professional continuing education experiences are outdated given that he has not had a current medical licence [sic]  in over seven years.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. Moreover, there was no real focus to his testimony with respect to any of the issues in this case associated with Defendants' products.

C. Credibility of Plaintiff's experts

Furthermore, the Court finds that both Dr. Sampson and Dr. Barrett are biased heavily in favor of the Plaintiff and thus the weight to be accorded their testimony is slight in any event. Both are long-time board members of the Plaintiff; Dr. Barrett has served as its Chairman. Both participated in an application to the U.S. FDA during the early 1990s designed to restrict the sale of most homeopathic drugs. Dr. Sampson's university course presents what is effectively a one-sided, critical view of alternative medicine. Dr. Barrett's heavy activities in lecturing and writing about alternative medicine similarly are focused on the eradication of the practices about which he opines. Both witnesses' fees, as Dr. Barrett testified, are paid from a fund established by Plaintiff NCAHF from the proceeds of suits such as the case at bar. Based on this fact alone, the Court may infer that Dr. Barrett and Sampson are more likely to receive fees for testifying on behalf of NCAHF in future cases if the Plaintiff prevails in the instant action and thereby wins funds to enrich the litigation fund described by Dr. Barrett. It is apparent, therefore, that both men have a direct, personal financial interest in the outcome of this litigation. Based on all of these factors, Dr. Sampson and Dr. Barrett can be described as zealous advocates of the Plaintiff's position, and therefore not neutral or dispassionate witnesses or experts. In light of these affiliations and their orientation, it can fairly be said that Drs. Barrett and Sampson are themselves the client, and therefore their testimony should be accorded little, if any, credibility on that basis as well.

This was just one loss in court. The story gets better.

Some of you know how we here at the International Wellness Directory have taken an stance against fluoridation. The stuff is just not what the American Dental Association has been preaching. I do not drink the stuff and I have just three fluoride treatments a year…and then detox the heck out of myself.

Well, Darlene Sherrell had a web site dedicated to fighting Fluoride Poisoning. She had been under attack by Stephen Barrett and his ilk for some time. She fought back and attacked Barrette. Barrett filed a libel lawsuit against her. He's threatened many people with defamation of character lawsuits (including yours truly) but this was the first time it has gotten to court.

Here is the background, from the Health Freedom Law web site (www.healthfreedomlaw.com):

In the summer of 1998, Darlene Sherrell, challenged Barrett to come forward to name a study demonstrating the safety of current fluoride levels in drinking water and the effect excessive daily intake of fluoride as a possible cause to chronic fluoride poisoning. At the time, in response to Sherrell's challenge Barrett was "careful to state that he is and was aware of hundreds of studies pertaining to the safety of fluoridation of drinking water..." However, "...He did not testify that any study demonstrates the safety of current fluoridation levels..." Barrett had rebuked Sherrell's continuous challenges and sent a message to her stating that she (Sherrell) was "delusional."

Long story short, the case was dismissed. Barrett who claims to be backed by the FDA, FTC, DHHS, NCI, HIH, AMA, and ADA showed up with one witness and his own lame testimony. Barrett claimed to have hundreds of studies, but couldn't produce one.

Next, Barrett attacked that famous quack, Dr Hulda Clark who says she can cure all diseases. Now, personally, I don't believe anyone can cure all diseases. There is something very mystical about healing. And Dr Hulda is probably a bit whacko. But, I still love her. She has some darn good ideas and science is beginning to prove her out, though again, no one can cure all diseases. Well, Barrett lost his case against her too.

Now, this isn't over yet, because there are laws against filing frivolous lawsuits and Barrett is just beginning to feel the backlash of his programmed stupidity. He's been slapped left and right with lawsuits for filing frivolous lawsuits, and it is estimated that he now owes somewhere close to half a million dollars.

After years of threatening everyone and everything with lawsuits, Barrett is on the losing end of every single one of them. This being the case, he dropped his lawsuit against Dr Joseph Mercola, who runs one of the best alternative medicine web sites in the world (and much of what we find and pass on to you comes from the good doctor).

So, to all those wonderful organizations who give credence to the garbage published at Quackwatch (and their ilk) and to the URAC (www.urac.org) that certifies Medically Sound Web Sites (Barrett's web site is certified by URAC), we say, your time is running out. Barrett is no expert, he has no science to back up his claims, and his web site has enough BS to fertilize all the farms in the Great MidWest.

Medicine as we know it, is on the brink of destruction. Healing is where the heart is. The future of Medicine is going to be based upon what Edison and Socrates tried to tell us long ago: "We are what we eat" along with what ancient texts, including the Bible, have told us for centuries: Our Creator (Nature) has supplied us with all the medicines we will ever need. Now, if we can stop the corruption of our environment by monied interests, heck, Paradise isn't too far off.

See Also:

The History of Quackery

The Six Components of the 2008 Quackbuster Operation

Health Care for Dummies

Quacks on Quacks (ABC's Prime Time Expose)

Quackpot Watch ― The Last Days of QuackBusters


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