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September 5, 2017

Doctor's Data (5/9/2017)
The court case between Doctors Data and Dr Stephen Barrett was settled in 2017. Dr Barrett has asked me to post the following message:

The suit,  filed by against Dr. Stephen Barrett, Quackwatch, Inc., and the National Council against Health Fraud, Inc., was amicably resolved in 2017. The suit, filed in 2010, charged that Dr. Barrett had improperly criticized DDI on and other sites that he controls.

DDI is a CLIA- and OSHA-certified laboratory that provides specialty testing to health care practitioners. One of its tests measures the levels of lead and other toxic metals in the urine. The lawsuit centered around an article by Dr. Barrett about how doctors were using test reports on urine specimens that had been obtained after administering a chelating drug to the patient. This test process – called "provoked" or "challenge" testing – has been criticized by the American College of Medical Toxicologists and other mainstream medical organizations.

In 2009, Dr. Barrett posted an article describing how doctors who submitted provoked specimens to DDI were improperly telling patients they had heavy metal poisoning for which chelation is needed. DDI's lawsuit charged that the article falsely implied that DDI was responsible for how doctors interpret the test reports. In settling the suit, DDI and Dr. Barrett acknowledged that:

  • It is not appropriate for a doctor to use a provoked test to tell people they have heavy metal poisoning.
  • Provoked testing should not be the sole basis for recommending chelation therapy.
  • Blood testing is the most appropriate test for lead poisoning.
  • DDI is federally and state certified to offer blood and urine metal testing in accordance with CLIA, OSHA, and state regulations.

The settlement agreement has other terms that will remain confidential.

I have my own thoughts about the outcome of this farce, but I'll keep them to myself.

September 15, 2017

In 1974 the Australian rock band Skyhooks released a record named "Horror Movie", about the dreadful things appearing on the nightly TV news. All these years later the song is still a staple of classic rock FM radio stations and rather bizarrely seems to have become a part of Halloween celebrations in the United States and Canada.

In 2016 a true horror movie was released into the wild. It was a collection of lies called "Vaxxed", and I had something to say in Australasian Science magazine about its Australian release.

"Vaxxed" spreads like a plague

In 2016 the film "Vaxxed: from cover-up to catastrophe" was submitted to Robert De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It was described as a film about the causes and treatment of autism, and was included in the festival program without being viewed by the organisers (De Niro has an autistic son, and like many parents in this situation he was eager for more information). After public protest triggered by the names of the people associated with the production of the film it was withdrawn from the festival, although De Niro said that he still thought it might contain information useful to parents in his situation.

The names of the people who made the film were such significant red flags that it was obvious to anybody familiar with the anti-vaccination agenda that it would simply be propaganda against vaccines and would contain little if any science or even truth. One person who saw the film commented that "Leni Riefenstahl would have baulked at making something this dishonest".

The first red flag was that the film was directed by Andrew Wakefield and appeared to be an attempt to rehabilitate his reputation. Wakefield was lead author on a paper published in The Lancet in 1998 which suggested a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. Further investigation discovered extremely poor methodology, very large conflicts of interest, medical malpractice and other evidence which was sufficient for The Lancet to subsequently retract the paper and for the authorities to remove Wakefield's rights to practice as a doctor.

Continue reading about the horror here.


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