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On June 18th, 2010, Doctor's Data, an organisation which conducts fraudulent medical tests on behalf of charlatans and crooks, filed suit against Dr Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch, the National Council Against Health Fraud, Inc., Quackwatch, Inc., and Consumer Health Digest, accusing them of restraint of trade, trademark dilution, business libel, tortious interference with existing and potential business relationships, fraud or intentional misrepresentation, and violating federal and state laws against deceptive trade practices. (On June 29th, Consumer Health Digest was dropped as a defendant.) The complaint asks for more than $10 million in compensatory and punitive damages. The suit objects to seven articles on Dr Barrett's web sites. Dr Barrett asked them on at least two occasions to specify the inaccuracies on his site, but of course they didn't (because they couldn't) and instead reached for lawyers. As a service to the public, and in case Dr Barrett is forced to remove the pages from his sites, here are the seven articles:

And a bonus, just for good measure:

Consumer Health Digest #09-14

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
April 2, 2009

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., and cosponsored by NCAHF and Quackwatch. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.

Slate article blasts the urine toxic metals test. Slate magazine has published new information about the urine toxic metals test done by Doctors Data Laboratory. In February, Quackwatch posted a close look at how the "Urine Toxic Metals" test is used to trick people into thinking that they have lead or mercury poisoning and need "detoxification" with chelation therapy. [Barrett S. How the "Urine Toxic Metals" test is used to defraud patients. Quackwatch, Feb 18, 2009] The heart of the process is "provoked" testing in which a chelating agent is given before the specimen is obtained. This artificially raises the levels of heavy metals in the urine. The test report, a copy of which is given to the patient, states that its "reference values" are for non-provoked specimens. However, if a test level exceeds the reference values, it is reported as "elevated" even though it should be considered insignificant. In March 2009, Arthur Allen, a prominent science writer, tried to interview an official at Doctor's Data but received no response to his request. However, he did manage to talk with someone at the company who said that the lab was doing about 100,000 of the tests per year. When he asked about the reference range problem, he was told there was no way to establish a reference range for provoked specimens, because provocation might be done with various chelating agents, at varying doses. "The tests are ordered by physicians, so they can interpret the results," the employee said. "They do what they want with this information." [Allen A. Treating autism as if vaccines caused it: The theory may be dead, but the treatments live on. Slate, April 1, 2009]

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