• Report: #165267

Complaint Review: Quackwatch AKA Quackwatch - Timothy Quill, M.D. & Stephen Barrett, M.D.

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  • Submitted: Sat, November 19, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, December 24, 2009

  • Reported By:Beverly Hills California
Quackwatch AKA Quackwatch - Timothy Quill, M.D. & Stephen Barrett, M.D.
P.O. Box 1747 Allentown, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

Quackwatch Prime Reason For Failure In Greatest Vitamin In The World ripoff Allentown Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment: Alternative Medicine Not Quackery

*Consumer Comment: Quack Watch performs a excellent service

*Consumer Comment: The FDA and Alternative Medicine

*Consumer Comment: Research Before Bashing

*Consumer Comment: A Little Background

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I found this website while searching for "The Greatest Vitamin In The World". Besides all of the assumptions made on the website I noticed where it said:

"An Internet search on February 8, 2004, "Greatest Vitamin in the World" yielded more than 22,000 "hits" that appear to reflect the efforts of hundreds if not thousands of independent advertisers."

So why are people not getting tons of sales? Well, if you do a search on Google for "The Greatest Vitamin In The World" the #1 website is Quackwatch with their title:

"Be Wary of Don Lapre, Doug Grant, and "The Greatest Vitamin in the World". The sole reason why everyone is not successful is directly related to Quackwatch.

The website then goes on to say:

"The vitamins in "The Greatest Vitamin" are similar to those available at any drug store for a few pennies a dose. "Not synthetic" is just an excuse to charge exorbitant prices. Vitamins are chemical compounds and are exactly the same regardless of how they are prepared."

This just blew me away. I see the article was written by Timothy Quill, M.D. and Stephen Barrett, M.D., I guess "M.D." stands for "Major Dumbnut". I bet they also believe all cars are the same, all fast food is the same, all sneakers are the same etc. They have OBVIOUSLY done no research whatsoever on vitamins.

**In fact, just about every natural remedy I could think of was "debunked" by this website. I would not be surprised if Timothy Quill, M.D. and Stephen Barrett, M.D. worked for some Pharmaceutical Company.**

Then at the bottom of their website they have a link to "Make A Donation" (AS IF THEY ARE DOING ANYONE A SERVICE. WELL MAYBE THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES). I believe hundreds of dollars are being ripped of from people across the country making this wasteful donation.

The information found In quackwatch is worth less than a grain of salt. If you have made a donation to this company I suggest you write them and ask for your donation back.

Chris
Beverly Hills, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/19/2005 10:41 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Quackwatch-AKA-Quackwatch-Timothy-Quill-MD-Stephen-Barrett-MD/Allentown-Pennsylvania-18105/Quackwatch-Prime-Reason-For-Failure-In-Greatest-Vitamin-In-The-World-ripoff-Allentown-Penn-165267. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Alternative Medicine Not Quackery

AUTHOR: Nicholas - (U.S.A.)

Clifford, I have to disagree with you about alternative medicine being an untested and it not having any requirements. For example, an N.D. (Doctor of Natural Medicine). An ND usually goes through very similar educational training as an M.D. They usually must have a bachelor's degree. Then, they attend an accredited school for about four years. Just as with an M.D., their last two years are spent dealing directly with patients.

Once they complete their training, then they must take a rigorous exam just as an M.D. does. Certain states require this licensure in order to practice. In such states that require licensure, N.D.s have the capabilities of being the primary physician of a patient in a hospital.

There is a governing body called the CNME (Council on Naturopathic Medical Education). This is a real organization and not one of those fly-by-night or made up organizations.

Unfortunately there are so many snake oil salesman that "alternative" medicine gets a bad rap.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Quack Watch performs a excellent service

AUTHOR: Clifford - (U.S.A.)

Some of the most toxic substances on earth occur 'naturally' (so does puss and phlegm incidentally but I don't think I'd take them orally). So using the term natural to indicate safety is ludicrous at best and dangerous.

The FDA is certainly far from perfect but they get criticized if they test too long before approving a medicine because they are perceived to be witholding possible cures from desparate people. They also get criticized for not testing long enough if some rare side effect becomes known.

"Alternative medicine" which really just means "untested medicine" has no requirements whatsoever to be safe and effective. The only 'proof' of it's effectiveness is anecdotal which is no proof at all. There are no correctly controlled studies for any of these dangerous uncontrolled substances. The best that can be said of most of them is that hopefully they do no harm. Many cause harm by ignorant people relying on them instead of seeing a medical doctor and being treated properly.

Hopefully at some poing they will be required to have some kind of certification and control. Then at least we could make 'informed' decisions.

I'll stick with FDA approved medicines thank you rather than take something advertised by some late night infomercial scam artist.

Thank goodness for sources like Quackwatch. If Quackwatch destroyed your favorite snake oil I say good, it apparently can't stand on it's own merits.
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#3 Consumer Comment

The FDA and Alternative Medicine

AUTHOR: Debbiekat - (U.S.A.)

I would like to respond to one of the reports on the quackwatch.org site that indicated the FDA did not support the statements of the "greatest vitamin in the world" statements for the product mentioned in the initial report. I can't speak on behalf of this product, but I would like to state that the FDA's support or opposition for any alternative medicine is not a true justification for whether that product or treatment works or not.

The FDA has VERY strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry and these ties have only become stronger in recent years. It has now gone to the point where the FDA doesn't require pharmaceuticals to test their products fully before putting them on the market as long as they make a "promise" to do such testing after the fact. This is not a service to the average citizen anymore. They are not protecting us. They are protecting the pharmaceutical's ability to make a quick profit and get their products to market sooner. There have been reports of a number of individuals in the FDA having personal investments in pharmaceutical companies and/or receiving jobs with pharmaceuticals before or after their service in the FDA. It is NOT in the best interests of the FDA to support alternative medicine because it doesn't support the pharmaceutical industry.

One of the primary purposes of the FDA is to, supposedly, monitor the activities of the pharmaceuticals to ensure that the products they sell are safe for consumers. What would happen if an alternative medicine came along that is able to heal people from the same diseases that the pharmaceuticals claim to be able t heal? Most alternative medicines can't be patented because they are based on natural remedies. Therefore, they are MUCH less expensive than the drugs being peddled by pharmaceuticals. If it was clearly proven to consumers that alternative medicine was the answer, they would no longer look to the pharmaceuticals and the FDA would be severely minimized in their powers.

It is also noteworthy to mention that most studies (on pharmaceuticals AND natural medicine) are backed by pharmaceuticals. It is easy to see that on an almost daily basis there are new reports of studies that show pharmaceuticals have major side effects that the industry fails to make public before making the product available to consumers. Often, when natural medicines are studied the wrong type or dosage is given to the test subjects so that the study can make a claim that the treatment doesn't work.

By going to the regulations.gov website, one can find a number of FDA rulings that really harm our food supply or prevent us from obtaining natural remedies under the guise of protecting us.

There is a recent FDA docket that was passed (AMS-FV-07-0090) to force Americans to consume irradiated fruits and vegetables.

Irradiation damages foods by breaking up molecules and releasing tiny pieces of them, known as free radicals. These substances damage vitamins and enzymes (which are essential and why we are in such bad shape now) and also combine with existing chemicals (eg: pesticides) to form new free radicals, some of which may be toxic. The long-term effects of these toxins have not as yet been studied. Also, irradiation destroys 5 to 80% of the health benefits of many vitamins and weakens or destroys the digestive enzymes in many foods.

Do a search on this same site on CODEX and read some of the documents that come up. CODEX is an international standard being used in the EU. If implemented fully here, it will force us to go to a doctor to get a prescription for vitamins. Think of the ramifications of all of this and ask yourself if the FDA really has the public's best interest in mind.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Research Before Bashing

AUTHOR: Nicholas - (U.S.A.)

You seem to be the type to bash this individual because they are "against" natural treatment. There's a few things I feel you missed in your investigation.

1.) He is retired. And? Just because he is retired, does that mean that he no longer can contribute to the field of medicine? Him being retired means that he no longer wishes to see patients and so forth.

In addition, according to his website, his license status is Active-Retired, which means, as his website states, that he can prescribe medications for himself and his immediate family. You want to verify this, the link below links directly to the page of the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs License Verification page with Dr. Barrett's information.

licensepa.state.pa.us

2.) You claim that Dr. Stephen Barrett has no other formal training other than psychiatry. Well, that MD states otherwise. There are two forms of psychological "doctors", psychologist and psychiatrists. If Dr. Barrett specialized in psychiatry and has an MD behind his name, then he is qualified to give advice about medicine and is considered a pschiatrist.

A psychologist is mainly a counselor/therapist. They have a doctorate degree (Ph.D) in psychiatric counseling. They are NOT licensed to issue ANY medications or drugs for use as part of a therapy. They counsel only.

A psychiatrist, such as Dr. Barrett, is a medical doctor whom has competed the necessary training to be come an M.D. and has gone through additional schooling and certification in the filed of psychology. A psychiatrist is licensed to counsel individuals using psychiatric counseling techniques (as a psychologist does) in addition to having the ability to prescribe drugs/medications to assist in the therapy. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor just as a cardiologist is a medical doctor (MD), except a cardiologist specialize in the heart.

3.) I didn't see anything on the website about him claiming to be a legal expert. Now, because of his years of experience he is what is known as an "expert witness." Is that maybe what you saw?

4) You continue to claim that Dr. Barrett is against alternative medicine. I don't believe he is. Personally, I am all for alternative medicine and a healthy and more cost-effective way to cure diseases. You have to admit, though, there are tons of snakeoil salesmen out there telling people that they have "The Cure."

As for your precious Don Lapre, I personally don't trust him. It has nothing at all do to with being for or against alternative medicine. It's simple, he's a con artist. I am a researcher and consumer advocate. Prior to the "Greatest Vitamin In The World" I watched Don for years on late night infomercials selling worthless make money at home packages teaching people how to "make millions" putting in classified ads. Once that operation went belly-up and he went bankrupt, he jumped on this vitamin kick, which is actually a multilevel marketing scheme. Don't believe me? Search this website for the name of Don Lapre. You will not only find people claiming his vitamin is a joke, but read about tons of others that got ripped off with his classified ad money making scheme. I believe what Dr. Barrett says about Don's vitamin being no more special than ones you buy off the shelf.

You also claim that it's because of Dr. Barrett's website that the vitamin might not be selling, because quackwatch.org is the first listing. Really? I just done a Google search on it. Guess what? The second listing (below is a Ripoffreport.com complaint (ripoffreport.com/reports/0/117/RipOff0117861.htm). Read a little farther down on the Google results. You'll find another link to another report on Ripoffreport.com. Reading a little more you will find a PDF document on the FDA's (Food and Drug Administration) website where they sent a certified letter to Don Lapre in regards to false claims he had on his website about what the vitamin could actually "cure." Are you now going to blame the FDA and Ripoffreport.com for the failure of this vitamin scheme? You can read that letter on the FDA's website here:

fda.gov/cder/warn/cyber/2005/CL169e.pdf

In addition, these "cures" are something you are putting in to your body and consuming. You don't want to go mixing natural medicines and not knowing what they are. Therefore, I see nothing wrong with Dr. Barrett debunking frauds. People get too relaxed because something is "natural." People seem to get too trusting of anything "natural." Natural cures, such as herbs can have just a deadly effect as any chemical drug.

You can just as easily have an anaphylactic reaction (sever allergic reaction) to an herbal supplement as you can a synthetic chemical drug. I am sure you have heard of the poison Hemlock. Well, that's natural. Just as there's certain chemicals and medicines you don't mix for the possibility of them interacting negatively, the same can be said for herbal remedies.

5.) Finally, you rant about Quackwatch.org not releasing the public information as it is a "non-profit" website. The website does not claim to be a registered non-profit organization. You can start your own non-profit organization or business. Heck, I am in the process or redoing my non-profit website, which deals with consumer advocacy. It is non-profit as I don't charge people any fees. People will have the option to "donate." BUT... I do not claim, nor does it seems that Quackwatch.org claims to be a "registered" non-profit organization.

The difference? Anyone can have a non-profit cause. The difference is in the advertising. Non-profit organizations that allow you to claim your donation on your taxes are registered with the federal government as a non-profit organization (that is, 501(c)(3) ). People that donate regularly and use those tax exemptions look for that 501(c)(3). Now, if Quackwatch.org was advertising on the website that they were such, then that might be an issue.

Furthermore, since it appears that Quackwatch.org is NOT a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization, they are not bound to release any financial details to you. It is only 501-registered organizations that are bound to release such information to the IRS and the public.

I hate to sound obtuse, but I would highly suggest you read and research a bit more before you jump on the debunk train. I commend your efforts on wanting to push more people to use natural cures, but I don't believe bashing people that have other's health at their heart to be a good way of doing so. It seems to me that Dr. Barrett is looking for these snakeoil salesmen and is finding them.
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#5 Consumer Comment

A Little Background

AUTHOR: Mia - (U.S.A.)

I happened upon Quackwatch this morning when I looked up Dr. Gary Null. Since then, I have found out this about "Dr." Stephen Barrett:

1. He no longer has a medical license. He is retired.

2. His MD was in Psychiatry. Yet he insists on being the "expert" on "all things medical". He has not had formal training in any other medical field other than psychiatry. That fact can be independently verified if you weed through his lengthy curriculum vitae.

3. "Dr." Barrett has claimed, in court, that he was not only a medical, but also a legal expert. Yet Barrett doesn't have formal legal training. You will notice that he took correspondence law cources from a LaSalle University Extension. Yet he disparges others who have gone for similar education approaches.

5. If you look through some of "Dr." Barrett's messages pertaining to different alternative treatment professionals, you'll notice he does research into their backgrounds. A better tactic would have been to show scientific data disproving the "quack's" claims. I have yet to find any scientific data there.

6. Quackwatch.org is but one of 19 sites that Barrett works on. He's also been involved with around 47 books, all defaming "alternative medicine"--again, topics on which he has no formal training.

7. Quackwatch.org doesn't have to be registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State, since according to Barrett, the organization runs on $7,000 a year. But what I find a glaring oversight is the fact that Barrett fails to release detailed financial reports on the site. According to my research, all non-profits are required to make detailed financial reports available to the general public.

To be honest, I'm amazed anyone bothers donating money to Quackwatch.org or any of Barrett's other sites. I feel that way simply because the man can't even put up a "thank you to our contributors" page. Donators like being appreciated, and some want to see their names on a list.
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