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Medical Mccarthy Ism

Medical Mccarthy Ism

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Published by Gary Null

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Published by: Gary Null on Nov 14, 2011
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01/25/2013

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Stephen Barrett and Medical McCarthyism
By S.L & R.A
(Concerned that those who engage in uncontested attacks against supporters of alternative healthwould misconstrue me and my co-author as such, we mean to clarify the following: we are not advocates of the alternative health movement, rather, we are advocates and supporters of truth. -
S.L& R.A)
Introduction
Dr. Stephen Barrett is a ubiquitous figure in the world of health and medicine with a unique talent.A talent, described by Health and Human Services official, Dr. Thomas R. Eng, as a gift for widely"[influencing] behavior change" via interactive media. Elaborating, Eng states that "[Barrett] tailorsinformation and interactions to the individual," adding, "In print media, there is some kind of vetting. In interactive, anyone or their brother can slap a Web page together."One assumes that Barrett, in his efforts and opinions, is authoritative and correct, speaking as aretired physician / psychiatrist who's been interviewed on innumerable occasions by CNN, The New York Times, has testified as an expert before congress, and, in a larger sense, has beenadopted by mainstream media as the "consumer watchdog" du jour within the field of medicine.Well, alternative medicine, more specifically.He has authored reports on many of the most accomplished practitioners and experts in thealternative health movement and in doing so, has generated a fair amount of controversy and mixedmedia attention. So much, in fact, that the reports on his site have come to dominate web searchengine results, and in effect, preemptively tainting the reputations of hundreds of legitimate, wellcredentialed alternative health practitioners. Upon discovering this, my curiosity was piqued and Ifelt compelled to conduct some independent research on the matter, and hopefully, reach aconclusion as to whether Barrett was, indeed, an expert, or guilty of what Dr. Eng describes as"medical McCarthyism".My focus would be the history and relationship between Barrett and Dr. Gary Null. Null isarguably the most respected, prolific advocate and high-profile voice in the alternative heathmovement, influencing a massively wide spectrum of people throughout a varied host of 
 
 philanthropic efforts and causes. The purpose of this paper is to not to bring direct challenge toBarrett's work or ideology, but rather to present facts and convey reasoned, journalisticinterrogation into the heart of this debate. To that end, we can look to Null's extensive work andresearch on the negative effects of fluoride, mercury, vaccines, sugar and caffeine, all of which,Barrett has called in to question. Research will demonstrate that science firmly supports all of  Null's conclusions and solutions on these topics. Fact checking and research is the cornerstone of the journalistic process, yet, Barrett and those media outlets who would employ his subjectiveopinion as scientific fact, quite simply, have not done their homework here.
Methodology
In order to determine who is accurate Barrett or Null, I used only independent scientific, peer reviewed literature. Literally thousands of studies were examined.
Conclusions
My review finds that Dr. Barrett's claims against Null are unfounded, biased, personal attacks based on his own personal opinion. Every article of Null's that I have examined has had a preponderance of credible scientific research to support the conclusions.Therefore, it is this journalist’s opinion that Dr. Gary Null is not only accurate in the substance of his articles and documentaries on topics such as the negative health effects of fluoride, sugar, andmercury in dental fillings, but also that Barrett has engaged in unprofessional and
ad hominem
 attacks on Dr. Null without scientific support. At the end of this discussion you will find samplesfrom the peer reviewed literature from each of the topics that serve as the basis for Barrett's attacks,demonstrating that Barrett simply does not have scientific proof for his arguments; Gary Null does.
Who Is Stephen Barrett?
Stephen Barrett is a retired Psychiatrist who administers and operates Quackwatch.com, a websitedescribed by Donna Ladd of the Village Voice as "a skeptical psychiatrist's attempt to torpedoalternative and natural-health movements."Barrett believes most alternative therapies simply should be disregarded without further research."A lot of things don't need to be tested [because] they simply don't make any sense," he says, pointing specifically to homeopathy, chiropractic, and acupuncture. He believes that consumers
 
should rely solely on established medical groups and studies, and that anyone who wants toconsider info on both sides is "waiting to be quacked in a major way."
Is Barrett Credible?
The California State Superior Court would answer this question with an emphatic "no". StephenBarrett has presented his opinion and has staked personal credibility before the courts, on severaloccasions. In each instance, he has been made to suffer an embarrassingly unfavorable ruling.In 2003, The Quackwatch flagship, known as the National Council Against Health Fraud(NCAHF) brought suit against 43 "Alternative Medicine proponents" in California, claiming thatthey were engaging in health fraud "because what they were doing wasn't scientifically proven."The ruling, which arrived on April 22, 2003, bludgeoned the NCAHF, and ripped apart their argument concerning what constitutes legitimate and effective health care.The Court also declared that Stephen Barrett "was found to be biased and unworthy of credibility."In, 2005, Stephen Barrett’s defamation lawsuit against Pennsylvania-based chiropractor, lecturer,researcher and publisher Ted Koren was tossed out by a judge just minutes before it was going to be considered by a local jury. The lawsuit, filed in August 2002, sought unspecified damagesagainst Koren and his company, Koren Publications, Inc. for statements that he wrote in hisnewsletter in 2001 about Barrett.In a landmark 2006 case, originally known as Barrett v. Clark, then for the appeals processrenamed Barrett v. Rosenthal, the California Supreme Court voted unanimously to reject a libelclaim filed by Barrett. His personal bias against alternative medicine was made unquestionablyclear, as stated in the judge's ruling: "Plaintiffs Stephen Barrett and Terry Polevoy are physicians primarily engaged in combating the promotion and use of 'alternative' or 'nonstandard' healthcare practices and products."
Barrett's attacks on Gary Null, Ph.D
CNN, The New York Times, and other traditional, highly esteemed news outlets frequently citeStephen Barrett as an expert in the discussion of the effectiveness and validity of AlternativeHealth, be it acupuncture, homeopathy, nutritional support, or chiropractic. Barrett's primarystrategy in his campaign is to attack, and in certain cases, bring suit against, key members and

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