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.
Following is an excerpt from a press release sent by Betty Martini dated 23rd June 2007:
On June 11th, 2007, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a
lower court dismissal of Barretts defamation suite against Dr. Koren.
Barretts 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 cant 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 sought.
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 Barretts 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 AMAs anti-quackery
committees 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 claims.
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 Barretts 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 rubbish.
What Did Dr. Koren Do to Provoke Barretts 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.
Dr. Korens Legal Team
Well known consumer advocate, James S. (Jim) Turner, general counsel
to Koren Publications, who several years earlier had persuaded the
FTC to drop an investigation against Dr. Koren (brought at a time
when Barrett was a consultant to the FTC), organized and coordinated
the legal team that represented Dr. Koren. Attorney Christopher Reid
of Allentown, Pennsylvania acted as associate trial counsel and
appellate counsel and California health freedom attorney Carlos
Negrete acted as trial counsel.,
Mr. Negrete said, Fortunately for all of his colleagues, Dr. Koren
decided not to back down and took the case to trial. Barrett is part
of a group of intolerant individuals. I am not certain who the
supporters of the so-called Quackbusters are, but they seem to me to
be just skinheads with stethoscopes.
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's 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 Barretts 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
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. Were going to give the
Quackbusters a taste of their own medicine. Theyll learn how
dangerous medicine can be.
Our mission is not just about revealing the Quackbusters to be the
unscientific bigots that they are. We are fighting for health care
freedom. One of our goals is to permit parents to make sound
decisions about vaccination for their children. There are too many
sound health reasons for certain children to avoid vaccination and
the government has recognized too many vaccine caused deaths and
maimings (over $1.5 billion of compensation has been paid to bereaved
families by the federal vaccine injury compensation system since
1988) to allow a non-vaccinated child to be refused day care,
school, college, or employment, says Dr. Koren.
Mr. Turner is also lead counsel in a case brought against Barrett by
Dr. Don Harrison, the chiropractor who founded and leads Chiropractic