Lab sues Stephen Barrett (QuackWatch)

At his highly interesting QuackWatch site, where he is scathingly critical of many alternative therapies, Stephen Barrett has expressed the view that some tests frequently prescribed by “chelation” practitioners (who address a variety of ills through techniques designed to remove heavy metals from the body) are inaccurate and misleading. Now a laboratory of which Barrett has been critical has sued him and several related entities, demanding $10 million [QuackWatch, Respectful Insolence]


  • This is not to defend quackery, but Barrett is a psychiatrist who has no particular qualification to evaluate nutritional health claims. He has argued that consumers should be able to sue publications that recommend “alternative” health products the buyer has found to be worthless or damaging. This would clearly be a grave assault on the First Amendment. He is a great fan of using the courts, and tax laws, to force companies out of business. It never occurs to Barrett that as people have the right to freedom of conscience, so do they have the right to free choice in health care — including the right to choose quack remedies.

  • Nicholas,

    Dr. Barrett’s qualifications are not at issue. You can look at his article here , note that it seems well-referenced. You also seem to be ignoring the fact that “Doctor’s Data” lawyers seem to be unable to point out any instance of false information. Legal action is certainly appropriate when an entity willfully publishes false information, but it is at least unethical when it is used to hide information that you just don’t want people to see.