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Encyclopedia > Quackwatch

Quackwatch Inc. is an American non-profit organization that aims to "combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct," with its primary focus on what it characterizes as quackery.[1] Since 1996, it has operated a website, Quackwatch.org, which contains articles and other types of information criticising many forms of alternative medicine.[2] A non-profit organization (often called non-profit org or simply non-profit or not-for-profit) can be seen as an organization that doesnt have a goal to make a profit. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that Complementary and Alternative Medicine be merged into this article or section. ...

Contents

History

Quackwatch was founded by Stephen Barrett, M.D., as the Lehigh Valley Committee Against Health Fraud in 1969, and incorporated it in the state of Pennsylvania in 1970.[3] In 1996, the organization began the Quackwatch website,[1] renaming the organization Quackwatch in 1997 as the website attracted attention. Stephen Barrett, M.D. Stephen J. Barrett, M.D. (born 1933), is a retired American psychiatrist and author best known for his consumer advocacy related work regarding health issues. ...


Mission and scope

Quackwatch is operated by Stephen Barrett with input from a board of advisors and help from volunteers, including a number of medical professionals.[4]


Quackwatch describes its mission as follow:

...investigating questionable claims, answering inquiries about products and services, advising quackery victims, distributing reliable publications, debunking pseudoscientific claims, reporting illegal marketing, improving the quality of health information on the internet, assisting or generating consumer-protection lawsuits, and attacking misleading advertising on the internet.[1]

Quackwatch engages the services of 150+ scientific and technical advisors. As of 2003, 67 medical advisors, 12 dental advisors, 13 mental health advisors, 16 nutrition and food science advisors, 3 podiatry advisors, 8 veterinary advisors, and 33 "other scientific and technical advisors" were listed.[5] 2003 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, and also: The International Year of Freshwater The European Disability Year Events January events January 1 Luíz Inácio Lula Da Silva becomes the 37th President of Brazil. ...


Quackwatch claims that the total cost of operating all of Quackwatch's sites is approximately $7,000 per year with no salaried employees at Quackwatch, Inc. It states that it is funded mainly by small individual donations, commissions from sales on other sites to which they refer, and profits from the sale of publications, and self funding by Stephen Barrett. Stated income also is derived from sponsored links for which they receive a commission on products ordered including Amazon books, ConsumerLab.com, Healthgrades, and Netflix.[1]


About the site

The Quackwatch website contains essays on what it deems to be misleading or fraudulent health-related therapies and enterprises, which it considers quackery. The essays are not peer-reviewed scientific papers, but are mainly critical descriptions of treatments, commercial products, and health providers written by Barrett and his board of advisors for the non-specialist consumer, explaining the reasons why Quackwatch considers them fraudulent, misleading, or ineffective. They include references and links to sources used, as well as to sources for further study. Quackwatch is especially critical of those therapies that it considers dangerous. Peer review (known as refereeing in some academic fields) is a process of subjecting an authors scholarly work or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the field. ...


The site contains information about specific people who perform, market, and advocate what Quackwatch considers to be dubious therapies, in many cases providing details of convictions for past marketing fraud. The website also presents lists of sources, individuals, and groups which Quackwatch considers questionable and non-recommended.[6][7]


The site is part of a network of related sites, such as Homeowatch (on homeopathy),[8] Credential Watch (devoted to exposing degree mills),[9] Chirobase (specifically devoted to chiropractic, cosponsored by the National Council Against Health Fraud and Victims of Chiropractic,[10][11]) and others, each devoted to specific topics.[12] Homeopathy (also spelled homœopathy or homoeopathy), from the Greek words homoios (similar) and pathos (suffering), is a controversial system of alternative medicine involving the use of remedies without chemically active ingredients. ... A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization which awards academic degrees and diplomas with little or no academic study, and without recognition by official bodies. ... Chiropractic is a complementary and alternative health care profession with the purpose of diagnosing and treating mechanical disorders of the spine and musculoskeletal system with the intention of affecting the nervous system and improving health. ... The National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) is a voluntary private nonprofit health agency that focuses on health misinformation, fraud, and quackery related to public health problems. ...


Notability

Quackwatch has been mentioned in the media, reviews and various journals, as well as receiving several awards and honors.[13][14] In 1998, Quackwatch was recognized by the Journal of the American Medical Association as one of nine "select sites that provide reliable health information and resources."[15] It was also listed as one of three medical sites of U.S. News & World Report's "Best of the Web" in 1999:[16] JAMA, published continuously since in 1883, is an international peer-reviewed general medical journal published 48 times per year. ... U.S. News & World Report is a weekly newsmagazine. ...

Dr. Stephen Barrett, a psychiatrist, seeks to expose unproven medical treatments and possible unsafe practices through his homegrown but well-organized site. Mostly attacking alternative medicines, homeopathy and chiropractors, the tone here can be rather harsh. However, the lists of sources of health advice to avoid, including books, specific doctors and organizations, are great for the uninformed. Barrett received an FDA Commissioner's Special Citation Award for fighting nutrition quackery in 1984. BEST: Frequently updated, but also archives of relevant articles that date back at least four years. WORST: Lists some specific doctors and organizations without explaining the reason for their selection.[17]

Quackwatch has also been cited or mentioned by journalists in reports on therapeutic touch,[18] Vitamin O,[19] Almon Glenn Braswell's baldness treatments,[20][21][22] dietary supplements,[23] Robert Barefoot's coral calcium claims,[24] noni juice,[25] shark cartilage,[26] and infomercials.[27] Therapeutic touch (TT) is a mostly secular variant of faith healing, started by Dolores Krieger in the early 1970s. ... Vitamin O was the name given to a dietary supplement introduced by Rose Creek Health Products Inc. ... Almon Glenn Braswell was an American business owner who founded Gero Vita International Inc. ... In the United States, a dietary supplement is defined under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 as a product taken by the mouth that contains a dietary ingredient that is intended as a supplement to the diet. ... Coral calcium is a salt of calcium derived from fossilized coral reefs. ... AAL is the ICAO code for American Airlines Aal, also known as al, ach or aich in Hindi, is a common name for the Morinda citrifolia and Morinda tinctoria a species of small evergreen shrubs extensively cultivated in India for making the dye morindone, also known under the trade... Shark cartilage is a popular dietary supplement used to combat and/or prevent a variety of illnesses, most notably cancer. ... Infomercials are television commercials that run as long as a typical television program (roughly thirty minutes or an hour). ...


Criticism

Critical reviews of Quackwatch include an evaluation that was published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration — a journal that represents unconventional views. Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Chemistry & Biochemistry,[28] author of Malignant Medical Myths,[29] a critic of mainstream medicine and an outspoken proponent of low-carbohydrate diets,[30][31] evaluated eight Quackwatch articles and concluded that the articles were "contaminated with incomplete data, obsolete data, technical errors, unsupported opinions, and/or innuendo..." and "...it is very probable that many of the 2,300,000 visitors to the website have been misled by the trappings of scientific objectivity."[32] The Journal of Scientific Exploration is a quarterly publication of the Society for Scientific Exploration (founded in 1982). ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... A professor is a senior teacher and researcher, usually in a college or university. ... Low-carbohydrate diets or low carb diets are nutritional programs that advocate restricted carbohydrate consumption, based on research that ties consumption of certain carbohydrates with increased blood insulin levels, and overexposure to insulin with metabolic syndrome (the most recognized symptom of which is obesity). ...


Elmer M. Cranton, MD, author of Textbook on EDTA Chelation Therapy, rebuked criticism by Quackwatch of the chelation therapy that he supports by accusing the organization of having a "mission of attacking alternative and emerging medical therapies in favor of the existing medical monopoly."[33] Ray Sahelian, MD, an advocate of nutritional medicine, accused Quackwatch of failing to point out "scams or inaccurate promotion and marketing practices by the pharmaceutical industry", even while praising Barrett for having done "good research on many of the people involved in the alternative health industry, and has pointed out several instances of inaccuracies and scams."[34][35][36] Peter Chowka, an investigative journalist and former adviser to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, remarked that Barrett "...seems to be putting down trying to be objective."[37] Chelation therapy is a process involving the use of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. ... The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine or NCCAM, a division of the National Institutes of Health within the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States federal government, was established in October, 1991, as the Office of Alternative Medicine, which was re-established as the NCCAM...


References

  1. ^ a b c d Barrett SJ. Quackwatch - Mission Statement. Quackwatch. Retrieved on 2007-02-12.
  2. ^ Barrett SJ. Quackwatch.org main page. Quackwatch. Retrieved on 2007-02-12.
  3. ^ Pennsylvania Department of State — Corporations
  4. ^ Rosen, Marjorie (October 1998). Interview with Stephen Barrett, M.D.. Biography Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-02-12.
  5. ^ Barrett SJ. Scientific and technical advisors. Quackwatch. Retrieved on 2007-02-12.
  6. ^ Barrett SJ. Nonrecommended Sources of Health Advice. Quackwatch. Retrieved on 2007-02-12.
  7. ^ Barrett SJ. Questionable Organizations: An Overview. Quackwatch. Retrieved on 2007-02-12.
  8. ^ Barrett SJ. Homeowatch. Homeowatch. Retrieved on 2007-02-12.
  9. ^ Credential Watch available online
  10. ^ Chirobase available online
  11. ^ Victims of Chiropractic available online
  12. ^ There are 22 web sites affiliated with Quackwatch.
  13. ^ Han LF. Selected Web Site Reviews, Quackwatch.com The Consultant Pharmacist. accessed online, 25 Jan 2007.
  14. ^ Quackwatch: Awards and honors
  15. ^ JAMA Patient Page - Click here: How to find reliable online health information and resources, Journal of the American Medical Association 280:1380, 1998.
  16. ^ U.S. News & World Report: The Best of The Web Gets Better
  17. ^ Forbes.com, Best of the Web website reviews: Quackwatch.
  18. ^ Kolata, Gina (April 1, 1998). A Child's Paper Poses a Medical Challenge. New York Times
  19. ^ Siwolop, Sana (January 7, 2001). Back Pain? Arthritis? Step Right Up to the Mouse. New York Times
  20. ^ Eichenwald, Kurt and Michael Moss (February 6, 2001), Pardon for Subject of Inquiry Worries Prosecutors. New York Times
  21. ^ Associated Press (September 13, 2004). Man Once Pardoned By Clinton Again Faces Prison.
  22. ^ Another Dubious Pardon - U.S. News & World Report
  23. ^ Fessenden, Ford with Christoper Drew (March 31, 2000). Bottom Line in Mind, Doctors Sell Ephedra. New York Times
  24. ^ Leon Jaroff, (March 14, 2003), Coral Calcium: A Barefoot Scam, Time magazine
  25. ^ Noni Juice Might Lower Smokers' Cholesterol. Forbes article
  26. ^ Leon Jaroff, (Sep. 29, 2004), Medical Sharks, Time magazine
  27. ^ Damon Darlin, (April 8, 2006), Words to Live By in Infomercial World: Caveat Emptor, New York Times
  28. ^ Joel M. Kauffman (Emeritus), Ph.D. - USP - Faculty available online
  29. ^ Joel Kauffman, Malignant Medical Myths: Why Medical Treatment Causes 200,000 Deaths in the USA each Year and How to Protect Yourself. Infinity Publishing (January 30, 2006) ISBN 0-7414-2909-8
  30. ^ Kauffman JM. Low-Carbohydrate Diets. Journal of Scientific Exploration. Vol. 18, No. 1, pp 83-134. 2004
  31. ^ Kauffman JM. Bias in Recent Papers on Diets and Drugs in Peer-Reviewed Medical Journals. J Am Physicians and Surgeons. Vol. 9, No. 1. Spring 2004.
  32. ^ Kauffmann JM (2002). Website Review: Alternative Medicine: Watching the Watchdogs at Quackwatch, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 16, 2
  33. ^ Cranton EM. Rebuttal to "Quackwatch" Website Opposing Chelation Therapy
  34. ^ Sahelian R. Mind Boosters: A Guide to Natural Supplements that Enhance Your Mind, Memory, and Mood. St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition. 7 July 2000. ISBN-10: 0312195842; ISBN-13: 978-0312195847
  35. ^ Index of Hundreds of Health Topics
  36. ^ Quackwatch review. Accessed Sept. 3, 2006
  37. ^ Donna Ladd, Diagnosing Medical Fraud May Require a Second Opinion, The Village Voice, June 23–29, 1999 available online

2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... U.S. News & World Report is a weekly newsmagazine. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... Look up time in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Look up time in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The Journal of Scientific Exploration is a quarterly publication of the Society for Scientific Exploration (founded in 1982). ...

See also

Consumer protection is a form of government regulation which protects the interests of consumers. ... Debunkers are skeptics who attempt to disprove and pursues what they consider to be false, unscientific, bizarre or abnormal claims. ... Evidence-based medicine (EBM) applies the scientific method to medical practice. ... Phrenology is regarded today as a classic example of pseudoscience. ... It has been suggested that Abuses of skepticism be merged into this article or section. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Quackwatch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1543 words)
Quackwatch is the primary website of Quackwatch, Inc., and is part of a network of websites dealing with related subjects.
Quackwatch is operated by Stephen Barrett, M.D., a retired psychiatrist, with input from his board of advisors and help from numerous volunteers.
Quackwatch is especially critical of those therapies that it considers potentially dangerous.
Quackwatch by Ray Sahelian, M.D. - Is Stephen Barrett a Quack? Quackwatch review (1962 words)
In addition to heading Quackwatch, he is vice-president of the National Council Against Health Fraud, a scientific advisor to the American Council on Science and Health, and a Fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP).
Another point I would like to make regarding quackwatch is that Dr. Barrett often, if not the majority of the time, seems to point out the negative outcome of studies with supplements (you can sense his glee and relish when he points out these negative outcomes), and rarely mentions the benefits they provide.
Quackwatch has been involved in a number of lawsuits and apparently Stephen Barrett had lost one or more lawsuits where the judge made him pay the opposing attorneys fees.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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