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Presumably his professional continuing education experiences are outdated given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.
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
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
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.
The History of Quackery
The Six Components of the 2008 Quackbuster Operation
Health Care for Dummies
Quacks on Quacks (ABC's Prime Time
Quackpot Watch ―
The Last Days of QuackBusters