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Mercury Must Be Bad – If Not in Vaccines, In Teeth

Those of us who are baby boomers or older can remember playing with mercury when we were young. The thermometer broke, and you pushed the little globules around. Or you fooled around with the stuff in science class. My husband says he used to get mercury to flow over the surface of a dime and make it look really shiny. Who knew our old playmate would turn out to be such a bugaboo?

The real dangers of mercury have been recognized. Guidelines have been published to limit exposure. Instructions for safe cleanup of mercury spills are available online. This is good. Other developments are not so good. Scaremongers have demonized mercury and blamed it for everything from autism to Alzheimer’s.

Just when you thought the mercury/autism scare was finally subsiding, another mercury scare has resurfaced. The alarm has been raised (again!) about the mercury in amalgam fillings.

The Consumers for Dental Choice have published an exultant statement claiming “We have won our ten-year battle to get the Food and Drug Administration to comply with the law and set a date to classify mercury amalgam….A 180-degree reversal from FDA’s 30-year policy of protecting mercury fillings… recognizing the serious health concerns posed by amalgam in particular for children and unborn children, for pregnant women, for those with mercury immuno-sensitivity or high mercury body burdens.”

You can read the FDA’s statement for yourself. It gives a rather different impression. They haven’t said they recognize a danger; they are simply calling for public comment during a 90 day period prior to considering a regulatory change to “reclassify” mercury amalgams.

In response to inquiries, the American Dental Association issued this statement on June 5, 2008:

The American Dental Association (ADA) believes the recent settlement between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the group Moms Against Mercury simply sets a definite deadline (July 28, 2009) for the FDA to complete what it began in 2002—a reclassification process for dental amalgam, a commonly-used cavity filling material. As far as the ADA is aware, the FDA has in no way changed its approach to, or position on, dental amalgam.

Contrary to some assertions, the FDA’s current reclassification proposal does not call for restrictions on the use of amalgam in any particular population group. It merely restates FDA’s ongoing call for public comments on that issue, as well as the findings of the most current scientific studies on amalgam….Presently, FDA has different classifications for encapsulated amalgam and its component parts, dental mercury and amalgam alloy. The FDA’s proposed reclassification, which the ADA has supported since 2002, would place encapsulated amalgam and its components under one classification.

It’s amazing how activists distort the information to make it look like it supports their ideology.

In reviewing the information on the web, I found some interesting tidbits I either hadn’t heard or had forgotten.

Some of you may remember the “smoking tooth” video. If you don’t, you can watch it smoke at this link. They show smoke rising from an old extracted tooth and claim it is mercury in large amounts. When skeptics pointed out that we were probably looking at water vapor, they produced another video to “prove” it was mercury vapor. It made me laugh out loud. Instead of testing the smoke in the video, they did an entirely unrelated test where they used a very sensitive machine to measure traces of mercury coming off a tooth in a patient’s mouth. Why on earth didn’t they just stick the sensor in the smoke? I can only guess it was because the sensor wouldn’t register water vapor.

We know that tiny amounts of mercury are emitted after vigorous chewing, but this exposure is very brief and most of the mercury is exhaled. Sure, you can measure it, but it’s highly unlikely that it has any health effects. We’ve gotten so good at measuring tiny quantities that we’re worrying about all sorts of things that are really insignificant.

In 1990, CBS aired a “60 Minutes” segment that Dr. Stephen Barrett, founder of Quackwatch, has called “the most irresponsible report on a health topic ever broadcast on network television.” Among other things, they claimed a study on sheep had proven the dangers of amalgam fillings, and they featured a woman who said that her symptoms of multiple sclerosis had disappeared overnight after her fillings were removed. Dr. Robert Baratz of the National Council Against Health Fraud is a dentist as well as a doctor; he holds an MD, DDS and PhD. He tried to ward off the disaster:

Two weeks before the 60 Minutes program aired, Dr. Baratz mailed a warning to its producer:
• The Canadian researchers prepared their amalgam with a method that has been obsolete for more than 40 years. The resultant amalgam contained excess mercury and was softer and therefore more easily worn by chewing, especially in a cud-chewing animal such as a sheep.
• The amalgams were placed in opposing teeth, so they would grind against each other. This enhanced the already enhanced rate of release of materials.
• Because rubber dams were not used when the fillings were placed, scrap amalgam was free to enter the sheeps’ mouth and be swallowed.
• The methods used to detect and calculate the amount of mercury absorbed were not valid.
• Although the researchers claimed that body mercury levels rose during the experiment, they had not measured the levels that were present in the beginning. The data actually showed that the animals swallowed a lot of free mercury during the placement of the fillings.
• Their claim of kidney toxicity was based on urinary findings that show just the opposite of what is known to occur in mercury poisoning in humans.
Baratz and at least one other knowledgeable critic also spoke by telephone to “60 Minutes” producer Patti Hassler before the program was aired. But they encountered a stone wall.

To make matters worse, that wonderful sheep study involved only 6 sheep, 2 of which were controls. It was a BA-A-A-A-AD study any way you look at it. (Sorry about the pun).

Dr. Stephen Barrett tried to explain to CBS that the woman’s supposed overnight cure was impossible because removal of mercury amalgam fillings temporarily RAISES mercury levels.

In 1995, Hal Huggins lost his license to practice dentistry. The judge’s conclusions can be read here.

The judge’s report is hair-raising. Huggins had developed indiscriminate tooth extraction into a big industry and was training other dentists. He diagnosed “mercury toxicity” in every patient even if they didn’t have any fillings! He told patients that mercury amalgam fillings caused: tremors, seizures, MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, emotional disturbances, depression, anxiety, unprovoked suicidal thoughts, lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, unexplained heart pains, high and low blood pressure, tachycardia, irregular heartbeat, osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue, “brainfog,” digestive problems, and Crohn’s disease.

Huggins’ ideas are still going strong. There is a Huggins Applied Healing website. On the main page, they list MS, chronic fatigue, ALS, depression, and auto immune diseases as examples of mercury toxicity. Further into the website you can find many more illnesses including “Gulf War Disease” that can be cured by having your fillings removed “properly” by dentists trained in the Huggins method.

Apparently “Dr. Huggins and his team train the individual doctors to practice the Huggins Protocol safely” but he is not involved in the actual treatments. (Remember, he lost his license). The program offers nutritional advice based on Your Ancestral Diet as determined by blood tests. It also offers supplements, acupressure, etc.

I hope the FDA will keep its head, but there is a disturbing precedent. The “precautionary principle” was invoked to remove thimerosal from vaccines. They had not found any evidence that it caused harm, but they wanted to bend over backwards just in case some child might be overburdened by mercury from other sources and the mercury in thimerosal might add to that burden. Their reasoning was not made clear to the public, and the anti-mercury militia claimed it as a victory and an admission that the mercury in vaccines harmed children. They could invoke the same precautionary principle to demand that children (or everyone, for that matter) should never be exposed to one unnecessary molecule of mercury and that mercury amalgam fillings should be abolished. That would be a big mistake. We have every reason to think they are safe, and they offer some real advantages over other types of fillings.

The mercury militia doesn’t seem to understand that toxicity is in the dose, tiny amounts of toxins are harmless, and we can’t make the world a 100% safe place. The precautionary principle is a good one in moderation, but taking it to extremes is likely to do more harm than good.

As of June 5, 2008, the American Dental Association announced, “Based on extensive studies and scientific reviews of dental amalgam by government and independent organizations worldwide, the ADA believes that dental amalgam remains a safe, affordable and durable cavity filling choice for dental patients.”

We ask “cui bono” – who benefits from policies? Dentists could make a lot more money by pulling teeth and replacing fillings. The ADA dentists are acting against their own financial interests and in the interests of their patients, just as they have done in the fluoridation controversy.

Kudos to those who follow the science and not the dollar.
Ten lashes with a wet noodle (that’s a euphemism – I don’t want to use profanity here) to dentists who recommend removing amalgam fillings.

Posted in: Dentistry, Health Fraud, Politics and Regulation, Science and the Media

Leave a Comment (63) ↓

63 thoughts on “Mercury Must Be Bad – If Not in Vaccines, In Teeth

  1. David Gorski says:

    You realize, of course, that you’re going to be deluged with comments from the dental amalgam cranks, which was the first exposure I got to the mercury scaremongers, way back in the day on misc.health.alternative. ;-)

  2. daedalus2u says:

    It is ironic, but the largest health risk from mercury in dental amagam is to the dentists who make it and implant it and who then have a work envioronment which is easily contaminated with spilled mercury.

  3. Stu says:

    “high and low blood pressure”

    This never fails to crack me up. It’s just so extra-crispy crazy.

    Let’s see if the militia makes it over here.

  4. Joe says:

    If I may add- yes we played with mercury when we were kids. Move ahead a few decades, about ten years ago a kid in Indianapolis was found playing with mercury (I lived there, then, and remember the news). His house was purged of everything absorbent- from clothing to curtains.

    Within a week, a garbage truck was seen leaving a trail of mercury. Someone put a pint (13 pounds) of mercury in the garbage rather than risk having his/her house stripped similarly.

  5. durvit says:

    Daedalus, that’s interesting.

    I wonder if there are studies that follow women dentists, hygienists and dental assistants to observe whether they have a increased rate of children with ASD. One expects that they would inhale more mercury than the general population, so that would be something that I would expect the mercury malicia to pursue, given the usual blame attached to the mercury in flu shots, or a mother’s dental fillings and the adverse in-utero effects that they claim.

    I did take a quick look on PubMed, and although I haven’t found anything about women dentists etc. and their children, there are a few studies about neurological symptoms and dental assistants and a study of miscarriage. I was intrigued to see that dietary ethanol has an impact on the absorption of inhaled mercury vapour (pdf). Although I doubt that few would advocate it as a useful lifestyle choice, particularly for women who are hoping to conceive or are pregnant.

  6. durvit says:

    I was channelling mercury activists in ignoring the differences between inorganic and organic mercury. Rodier’s discussion of the notorious Bernard et al. paper (pdf) is interesting on this tactic.

    Dr. Rodier posed the question: since the authors are trying to show a connection between thimerosal containing vaccines and autism, why don’t they compare autism and ethyl mercury poisoning? Keep in mind, there are various forms of mercury (ethyl and methyl being two types of organic mercury). In their comparison, Bernard et al. have picked from ethyl, methyl and inorganic mercury symptoms. Dr. Rodier suggest the reason they didn’t stick to purely ethyl mercury symptoms because “It doesn’t make a good story”.

    Declaration of interest. I am a british person who fulfils the stereotype of bad teeth: I have 10 teeth that do not have fillings and 2 of those are crowns; each of my other teeth has several fillings apiece. If dental amalgams are poisoning us, my siblings and I are all in trouble.

  7. humgums says:

    I did take a quick look on PubMed, and although I haven’t found anything about women dentists etc. and their children, there are a few studies about neurological symptoms and dental assistants and a study of miscarriage.

    Neither of those studies are particularly good ones. In one case, you have self-reported symptoms and in the other you have the suggestion of an inverse dose-response; not to mention that the confidence intervals for the odds ratios are huge.

  8. durvit says:

    I selected those studies because I was intererested in how few there are, given the huge amount of importance attached to dental amalgams by Moms Against Mercury and other parties such as anti-vaccinationists. Anti-vaxers seem to be shifting towards an position that vaccination is the final insult to an already over-loaded system – some of the notional overload is said to derive from in-utero exposure to the mother’s flu shots and dental amalgams.

    I was entertained by the idea of the public health message that would warn people exposed to some forms of mercury that drinking a modest amount of alcohol might be beneficial to them or their offspring (there was a suggestion that alcohol consumption might have influenced the methyl mercury levels of a small group in the Faroe study but to a smaller extent that with inorganic mercury).

    However, I’m sure that there are some people who think that dental amalgam is a splendid explanation for the (perceived) eccentricities of people in the UK.

  9. daedalus2u says:

    During the first half of the 20th century there was the custom of using mercury containing OTC drugs for lots of different things. One of them was teething powders. The popular brands often contained a grain of calomel per dose. That is 65 mg of HgCl per dose. That is 55 mg of mercury per dose

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=10645305

    Many millions of doses were sold per year (30 million doses in one year by one manufacturer). The amount of mercury in a single vaccination is only about 15 micrograms. Thus many millions of children each received many thousands of times more mercury from teething powder than any child ever received from any vaccine.

    Over a thousand children died from what was called pink disease. We now know that pink disease was mercury poisoning. If autism were caused by mercury poisoning, the first half of the 20th century would have had an enormous incidence of autism.

    Mercury was the “wonder drug” of 100 years ago. It was used to treat just about everything.

    http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/potter-comp/hydrargyrum.html

    The smallest dose mentioned is 1/100 of a grain of mercuric cyanide. That is 650 micrograms. That is the smallest dose. The dose range is 1/100 to 1/10 of a grain. That is 650 microgram to 6,500 micrograms of mercuric cyanide. The highest dose was for blue mass, metallic mercury 1/3 grain, about 20,000 micrograms.

    Often the therapeutic endpoints are symptoms that we would recognize as acute mercury poisoning.

  10. daedalus2u says:

    Grandjean measured the cord blood mercury level in 996 consecutive births in the Faroe Islands over 2 years. In that 2 year cohort there were 1404 births and 5 cases of ASDs; 2 of autism and 3 of Asperger’s.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17029020

    749 of those children had cord blood mercury levels above 60 nM/L and 249 had cord blood mercury levels above 200 nM/L.

  11. overshoot says:

    If autism were caused by mercury poisoning, the first half of the 20th century would have had an enormous incidence of autism.

    That very point arose on MHA a few weeks ago, in the context of a proposal that “mercury activists” would be able to find evidence for their claims in the records from that time frame. A golden opportunity to prove that they are right!

    Needless to say, the suggestion was Not Well Received.

    PS: Note how cleverly I bring the topic back to Science Based Medicine, by introducing a proposed experiment (albeit post hoc) to test an hypothesis.

  12. durvit says:

    “mercury activists” would be able to find evidence for their claims in the records from that time frame. A golden opportunity to prove that they are right!…

    PS: Note how cleverly I bring the topic back to Science Based Medicine, by introducing a proposed experiment (albeit post hoc) to test an hypothesis.

    Similarly, it should be possible to run a retrospective analysis of sorts in the UK. There are several generations of women who received NHS dentistry and lots of dental amalgams: some of these women will have lots of fillings because when they were young, dental hygiene was largely unknown and they will have had many cavities.

    Several generations of these women will have had children. If substantial life-time exposure to dental amalgam affected a child in utero, then I would expect these numbers to show up. Similarly (assuming a dose-response), I would expect that both men and women of those earlier generations are now in their middle-ages and a high percentage of whatever suspect illnesses there are should be showing up. Dr Hall lists:

    tremors, seizures, MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, emotional disturbances, depression, anxiety, unprovoked suicidal thoughts, lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, unexplained heart pains, high and low blood pressure, tachycardia, irregular heartbeat, osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue, “brainfog,” digestive problems, and Crohn’s disease.

    Now, some of those are hard to disentangle but the others should be more straightforward.

    Time for some retrospective epidemiologists to step forward. Moms Against Mercury must know some. And, this might be less controversial than some of the litigation-driven vaccine research that is polluting the scientific body of knowledge on vaccines and autism.

  13. DLC says:

    I have heard am unconfirmed story that in the old days of the soviet union they used to fill teeth with stainless steel, but I am having trouble seeing how you could fill a relatively soft tooth with a hard metal.

    I suppose if we switched to using gold people would then complain of “Gold Toxicity”.
    Oh, and as a preventive measure (one might say a vaccine. . .) against the mercury militia: Could anyone show me how mercury amalgam fillings produce symptoms not listed on the known symptoms of mercury poisoning ?

  14. Jayhox says:

    I’m a dentist, and I applaud Dr. Hall’s rational and accurate article. I also applaud the responses and hypothetical situations posed by the readers.

    Another “what if” to consider is that until around the mid 1960′s, dentists mixed their amalgams with a mortar and pestle. After mixing the amalgam (releasing who knows how much Hg into the environment) he then mulled the lump of amalgam in his palm until it reached the optimal plasticity, whereby it would be packed into the patient’s (usually non-rubber dammed) mouth. This would repeat several times per day over the career of the dentist. If mercury was the threat proposed by the alarmists, wouldn’t the population of dentists practicing from 1900 to 1960 have shown a greater incidence of all the aforementioned maladies?

    My father (also a dentist) had a huge jug of mercury in his office in the 60′s and 70′s, and as a child, I’d play with the metal just as Dr. Hall did, rolling it around in our hands, dropping it upon the counter to watch it spatter, etc. My wife would submit that I have brain damage, but those of us who were exposed to Hg in excess amounts seem to have no more medical problems than those who didn’t.

  15. Fifi says:

    The ultimate irony of removing amalgam fillings is that the removal process is more likely to release mercury as particles that can potentially be absorbed or inhaled. Leaving in amalgam fillings is ultimately safer than removing them in terms of exposure to mercury.

  16. Stu says:

    DLC: yes, they used steel (as I have been told by several Russians). No details on HOW they got that done though.

  17. Jayhox says:

    Stainless steel (or other non-precious metals) can be used for fillings and crowns. They are either cast and fit to a model or prefabricated and adapted to the tooth; they aren’t directly placed into a tooth.

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  19. nicmart says:

    Stephen Barrett is a psychiatrist. Why doesn’t skepticism stretch as far as to challenge what makes him an expert on dental amalgam and everything else under the medical sun? One should surely be most skeptical of an “expert” whose medical speciality is the only one which has not a single biological test to confirm any diagnosed disease.

  20. Harriet Hall says:

    nicmart said,

    “Stephen Barrett is a psychiatrist.”

    Correction: Stephen Barrett was trained as a psychiatrist. He has now “specialized” in health consumer issues for longer than he practiced psychiatry. His website has won a number of awards and is highly regarded. He has become an “expert” at analyzing questionable health claims. Everything he says about dental amalgam is consistent with what the American Dental Association says. Besides which, it really doesn’t matter “who” says something: what matters is whether what he says is true or not. If you disagree with anything Dr. Barrett says, you should attack the message rather than the messenger.

    I certainly don’t believe anything just because Dr. Barrett says so or because any authority says so. I will say that I have many years’ experience with Quackwatch and I have never found any significant errors of fact on that website, and I have never found anything that disagreed with conclusions I had formed independently by researching primary sources.

  21. quackdoctor says:

    Well I know there is no evidence for it. But given the choice if I had it I would choose to not have mercury in my teeth or my shots.

  22. nicmart says:

    The fact remains that Dr. Barrett has no professional training in the many areas where he offers himself as an expert. Many of the attacks he has made on alleged quacks are not about their health claims, but about tangential matters such as tax and other legal problems. His speciality has always been to politicize the health matters about which he presents himself as an expert.

    I have experienced Dr. Barrett’s approach directly. As director of the Consumer Health Education Council, Dr. Barrett contacted me about my organization’s investigation of AIDS quackery in Houston. He asked me if I would like to write an article about our work for a professional newsletter he was then editing. When I balked he offered to write the article himself and put my name on it. That is what happened. With no proof whatever, aside from my word (and he had never met me), Barrett presented what I claimed as uncontested fact and ghostwrote an article which was published under my name.

    When I was administrative director of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) I edited a paper written for the council by Dr. Barrett about health quackery. Much of it was, as I have noted, about the personal problems of his subjects having nothing to do with their health claims. In that paper he argued that consumers should be able to sue publications that made health recommendations which the consumer later believed to have found false or harmful. I argued to ACSH’s president, Elizabeth Whelan, that Barrett’s proposal for litigation against publications was a violation of the First Amendment and should be removed from the paper. She agreed and I deleted it.

    Barrett is listed as editor of at least one edition of Whelan and Stare’s book, Panic in the Pantry. In that book Barrett says that one way to identify a “health quack” is that he “display[s] credentials not recognized by responsible scientists or educators.” I contend that being a psychiatrist is no credential which is “recognized by responsible scientists or educators” as pertaining to dental fillings, or to many of the other subjects about which Barrett presents himself as an expert. Elsewhere in Panic in the Pantry, the authors write (again with Barrett editing) that “an accumulation of lycopene following daily consumption of a half a gallon of tomato juice for several years can pose a hazard.” This is an example of the very sort of scare tactic which Whelan and Barrett claim to want to extinguish. Not only has lycopene subsequently not been shown to present a hazard (indeed prospective benefits), but it was absurd to link its alleged hazard to the “daily consumption of a half a gallon of tomato juice for several years.” How many people drink that much tomato juice?

    Barrett is a legal-political activist masquerading as a know-it-all health expert. The book he edited referred to him by the unscientific term “consumer activist,” and he has spent decades politicizing health controversies. When we want to learn about the effects (or lack thereof) of mercury amalgam, we do better by consulting dentists and biochemists than we do a member of a profession, psychiatry, which cannot confirm a single of its diagnoses through biological tests.

  23. Harriet Hall says:

    Your ad hominem attack on Dr. Barrett is irrelevant to whether or not what he says about dental amalgams is true. Do you think he is wrong about amalgams? If so, why?

  24. nicmart says:

    I criticize Barrett’s credentials (as he does others), his methods (as he does others), and his beliefs (as he does others). You commend him for doing just what you say is ad hominem when directed back at him. I do not attack his personal life (as he does others). I don’t think his views on amalgams matter at all since he hasn’t done any original science-based research on their effects. I look to the evidence, not the second-hand interpretation of a self-described “consumer activist.”

  25. quackdoctor says:

    Well I think Barrett provides a service. But I think he goes to far and makes too many assumptions. You know like when he talks about Osteopathic physicians and how he basically says they are no good unless they do a residency in an MD hospital. Like he says that can “emerge competent” if they do an MD redidency and knocks the DO residency. Which is total nonsense. There are plenty of fine DOs that did osteopathic residencies. He also says a lot of things that I know are not accurate. But he does provide much accurate informations as well. He does not balance his zeal for attacking alt med with a zeal for revealing medical quackery within traditional medicine. I also find that he often uses material that is like 30 or more years old. That should be eliminated. But in his defense he is not as close minded as some people.

  26. Harriet Hall says:

    nicmart,

    Your criticisms of Dr. Barrett are uncalled for and are irrelevant to whether or not what I said about dental amalgams is true. Dr. Barrett does happen to agree with me. Do you think he and I and the American Dental Association are all wrong about amalgams? If so, why?

  27. Harriet Hall says:

    quackdoctor said, “He does not balance his zeal for attacking alt med with a zeal for revealing medical quackery within traditional medicine.”

    Dr. Barrett attacks quackery wherever he finds it. More than half of the individuals listed on Quackwatch as nonrecommended sources of health advice are MDs.

    Quackwatch was founded for the express purpose of combatting health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct. Its primary focus is on quackery-related information that is difficult or impossible to get elsewhere. Dr. Barrett doesn’t focus on questionable practices in mainstream medicine because criticism of those practices can be found in the medical journals. (And on this blog.)

  28. quackdoctor says:

    “Dr. Barrett doesn’t focus on questionable practices in mainstream medicine because criticism of those practices can be found in the medical journals.”

    Well Harriet the general public does not read the medical journals. And I would respectfully submit that many things are not in them.

    But that is neither her nor there. The point is that Steve Barrett does not post the problems of mainstream medicine. And if these problems are in medical journals this does not inform the public.

    I mean the name of the website is Quackwatch. Not Alterno-watch. And as I said I think he provides a fine service. But I have to call it the way I see it.

  29. Harriet Hall says:

    Quackdoctor,

    You can call it whatever you like. You could criticize a crocheter for not knitting. He started a website to fill one need. We started this blog to fill a different need.

    This article was about mercury amalgams, not about Dr. Barrett or about problems of mainstream medicine. Who Dr. Barrett is or what he does is irrelevant to the subject under discussion.

  30. fx says:

    “When skeptics pointed out that we were probably looking at water vapor, they produced another video to “prove” it was mercury vapor. It made me laugh out loud. Instead of testing the smoke in the video, they did an entirely unrelated test where they used a very sensitive machine to measure traces of mercury coming off a tooth in a patient’s mouth. Why on earth didn’t they just stick the sensor in the smoke? I can only guess it was because the sensor wouldn’t register water vapor.”

    I got a laugh when I read that. You must not have watched all the videos related to “the smoking tooth”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQsi777_B1g

    They clearly show a sensor which they stuck “in the smoke”. The video also shows the mercury vapor falling as well as rising. They also show how water vapor is not picked up by the ultraviolet light.

    None of the arguments against the evidence, which clearly shown in the videos, have any validity. It isn’t water vapor, it was measured with a mercury sensor, and the vapor not only rises when warm, but falls when not warmed.

    A science based medicine person, might try repeating the experiment, rather than try to dismiss it with invalid reasoning, and arguments that are not based on science.

  31. Harriet Hall says:

    I had not seen that particular video. I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on the validity of the tests done in that video. I hope someone who is will comment.

    But even if mercury vapor can be detected in this way, what does that mean? As I said in my post,

    “We know that tiny amounts of mercury are emitted after vigorous chewing, but this exposure is very brief and most of the mercury is exhaled. Sure, you can measure it, but it’s highly unlikely that it has any health effects. We’ve gotten so good at measuring tiny quantities that we’re worrying about all sorts of things that are really insignificant.”

    The idea that mercury fillings in one person’s tooth can poison someone else who is simply riding in the same elevator is patently ridiculous.

  32. fx says:

    Thank you for engaging in a discussion of the matter.

    I’m a hard science sort. Experiments, especially ones that evoke consternation or signal alarms for a health risk should be repeated, and peer reviewed. Mercury is extremely toxic, so much that in some people even a small amount can be a serious threat. Any amount of mercury is considered a bad thing, health wise. My personal view, if there is even a chance of harm, it is wise to go with practices that avoid risk.

    The evidence that mercury is bad for people is not even in question. No amount of exposure to mercury is considered a good thing. But all controversy aside, (concerning the exposure to mercury in dental workers and patients with mercury based fillings), mercury fillings are bad.

    Never mind the issue of putting a toxic metal into your mouth, the very basis of metal fillings is old fashioned and bad for your teeth. This is based on hard scientific fact.

    Because of the mechanism of metal fillings, a lot of tooth must be drilled out to be able to use metal fillings. A small cavity results in a large amount of removed tooth, to be able to pack the filling in. Modern Dentist don’t use mercury, but use modern methods, bonding composite materials to the tooth, which means only the decay needs to be drilled out, keeping the teeth stronger and healthier. These modern fillings look better, won’t come lose, and don’t transmit heat or cold.

    Even if mercury was harmless, it is still a bad material for use. It is old fashioned, out of date, and it is beyond me why anyone is still debating the issue. Much less why any dentist would still use metal fillings.

    My dentist, (as well as a huge number of other Doctors worldwide), consider old fashioned metal ‘drill and fill’ methods obsolete, harmful, and possibly dangerous. It exposes the health worker as well as the patient to a toxic metal, and is bad for the integrity and health of the teeth.

    Anyone who defends or promotes using mercury fillings is sort of ignorant. Like how insurance companies or medicare won’t pay for modern fillings, only old fashioned mercury fillings.

    The argument that metal fillings cost less is absurd. In the short term, the bill is less. In the long term, the issues of fillings becoming loose, metal being absorbed by the patient, or released into the environment, the loss of tooth material needed to use the filling, and the sensitivity to heat or cold, all cost the patient.

    This is of course, a matter of some contention among Dentist. Over time, Dentist are moving towards modern methods, never towards old fashioned ones.

    But speaking to the mercury issue, it is hard to fathom why it is even an issue still. Modern science knows how to analyze and test for all the concerns about mercury. How much is released, how much is absorbed, how much is excreted, even what mercury does to an organism.

    The concerns raised by the videos and websites are not mysterious, nor is repeating such experiments. If anything, more expensive equipment, and repeated experiments would give exact and precise knowledge about what is occurring in millions of peoples mouths and bodies everyday.

    That is science based medicine. Isn’t it?

  33. Fred Dagg says:

    For an indication of the integrity of Dr. Stephen Barret and his organisation, I suggest you look at the following link.

    http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/New_Zealand_Report.shtml

    His writings were considered to be no more than propaganda by a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

    To have to rely upon Dr. Barrett as a source of information and citation immediately takes what was a very interesting blog, to one of derision. Shame on you Harriett.

  34. Harriet Hall says:

    The Wikipedia article about Stephen Barrett’s Quackwatch lists the many awards and kudos it has received. It is a highly respected source of reliable information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quackwatch

    I have been working with the Quackwatch website for many years and I have never found any false information on it nor have I found any conclusions that were not backed up by good evidence.

    The only people who criticize Barrett are the quacks and CAM supporters who don’t like the truths he tells. Their criticisms are ad hominem sour grapes, not reasoned critiques. You attack Barrett on the basis of the opinion of a non-scientific commission in NZ without showing that any of his statements or arguments are wrong. Shame on you!

  35. Fred Dagg says:

    In the British Commonwealth, the weight and opinion of a Royal Commission is strong. It heard all the scientific evidence from the medical, physiotherapy and chiropractic professions. These submissions were made under oath. To call it un-scientific is to criticize all the submissions made by these three professions.

    The three commissioners were not quacks, nor CAM supporters. They were some of the most ethical and honest people in the community. If they were not, then the New Zealand government would not have selected them, nor would the Medical Profession, Physiotherapists, nor Chiropractors accepted their presence on the commission.They also had no axe to grind, there was no evidence of sour grapes. Shame on you to defame innocent people, who listened to all the information available in the world, and came to a conclusion that criticized severely Dr. Barrett and more so Dr. Murray Katz.

    In a court case Dr Barrett was severely criticised by the judge. He was not a Quack or CAMs supporter, but someone who upholds the law in the U.S.A.

    http://www.curezone.org/forums/fm.asp?i=929500

    I presume you know of this case and many of the other he has been involved in, and if you did , do you feel that you are above the law in the U.S.A.

    Irrespective of what the case was about, Dr. Barrett is not above the law.

    Wikipaedia is not peer review. Most high schools will not let it be used as a reference, nor will universities. In fact, for all we know, Dr. Barrett could have written all the information himself.

    Thirty years ago, Quackwatch was found to be propaganda.

    Your statement about who criticizes Quackwatch, I find amazing and I hope is no reflection upon your otherwise interesting website.

    You have opened up a can of worms on the reliability and trustworthiness of Quackwatch. I will be interested with the blogs that may result from this.

  36. Harriet Hall says:

    I only cited Wikipedia because it listed a large number of positive opinions to counter your one citation of a negative opinion. Each Wikipedia statement is supported by original references in the footnotes.

    It is ironic that you criticize my citing Wikipedia and then you cite Curezone, one of the least reliable sites on the Web and a notorious source of pseudoscientific propaganda.

    If you want anyone on this blog to take your criticism of Barrett seriously, you will have to come up with some evidence, not just opinions. I have spent a great deal of time on Quackwatch and have never found any false information nor any opinion not backed up by evidence. You have not offered a single example of either.

    As I pointed out before, Dr. Barrett’s character is not pertinent to the subject of this post. I cited information from his website: it is the information that is pertinent. If you believe that information is incorrect, feel free to offer your counterevidence.

  37. Fred Dagg says:

    Harriett, let us take your quote and look at it carefully,

    “The only people who criticize Barrett are the quacks and CAM supporters who don’t like the truths he tells”.

    You seem to ignore my reply.
    I pointed out to you that the members of the Commission…….

    “were not quacks, nor CAM supporters. They were some of the most ethical and honest people in the community. If they were not, then the New Zealand government would not have selected them, nor would the Medical Profession, Physiotherapists, nor Chiropractors accepted their presence on the commission.They also had no axe to grind, there was no evidence of sour grapes. Shame on you to defame innocent people, who listened to all the information available in the world, and came to a conclusion that criticized severely Dr. Barrett and more so Dr. Murray Katz.”

    The legal counsel that represented the NZ Medical Association was Thomas Eichelbalm. He later was knighted for his services to law. He became the Chief Justice. All evidence was given under oath and subject to extreme scrutiny. No stone was left unturned, all scientific evidence was heard. There were eminent neurophysiologists and radiologists who gave evidence. Everybody had their day in court.

    If the commissions report is not evidence as to the character, integrity, ability to assess information and disperse correct information, then please tell me what is? How can Dr. Barrett claim to be impartial? How can he claim scientific neutrality? How can he claim to be honest? Please read the report in its entirety to see what type of person you have hitched your wagon to.

    To be called a “propagandist” by a Royal Commission of Inquiry is surely evidence of his integrity and impartiality. It is very important when looking at the information provided by Quackwatch, knowing that the person who runs it has been called a “Propagandist”, by the commissioners.

    I quoted curezone, only as an example of information to negate your statement, I am sure you know more………

    “I have been working with the Quackwatch website for many years and I have never found any false information on it nor have I found any conclusions that were not backed up by good evidence.”

    If a court in the U.S.A. finds Dr. Barrett untenable, then what kind of proof do you need?

    This is the ultimate in pseudoscience.

    Take your blinkers off Harriett, there is selective information dispersal in Quackwatch, by a person called a “Propagandist” by a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

    Those people in the British Commonwealth who read this will realize the severity of this comment by the commission, even if you do not.

  38. Harriet Hall says:

    Yes, Barrett is a propagandist – for rigorous science and reason. So are the authors of this blog. I would be remiss if I formed an opinion of Dr. Barrett based on the decades-old report of a commission and on a misrepresentation of what a court said (I’ve read the actual decision). Instead, I formed my opinion based on first hand knowledge, on the evidence of what he writes and on the content of Quackwatch, as well as on my experience of co-writing articles with him and seeing how meticulous he is about documenting every shred of fact and stating things in precise language. I have the highest respect for him. You are using ad hominem attacks instead of addressing the facts in question.

    Neither the New Zealand commissioners nor the US courts are qualified to determine scientific truth. Only the scientific community can determine the best provisional conclusion, by following the scientific process with peer review, discussion, and directed experimentation. Some of the most ethical and honest people have reached false conclusions because they did not truly understand the scientific method or apply it rigorously.

    You’re only talking opinions and character assassination. Tell us what Barrett says on Quackwatch that you think is untrue. Tell us what you think is wrong with the information I cited in my post.

  39. Harriet Hall says:

    For a critique of the New Zealand Commission see:
    http://www.chirobase.org/05RB/NZ/nzjarvis.html
    The three-person panel included a barrister, a chemistry professor, and a retired headmistress of a girls secondary school. Some of their recommendations were actually devastating for chiropractic.

    “What stands out in the report is it capriciousness. Part of the reason appears to lie in the Commission’s small size and domination by the chairman. This limited the Commission’s abilities, perspective, and judgment and did not allow for sufficient checks and balances upon individual biases.

    The Commission seemed guided more by its subjective judgment about personalities than the evidence individuals presented. They make repeated references to how different witnesses “impressed” them, were “regarded,” “won their respect,” or affected their personal opinion in some way. Sometimes they appear so arbitrary in this practice as to suggest that such judgment might be based upon whether or not the witness’s testimony lent support to their point of view.”

  40. Fred Dagg says:

    Hello Harriett,

    I am not participating in a character assassination of Dr. Barrett. He did that himself in the Commission of Inquiry. Integrity suicide.

    All I am doing is pointing out to you and the other readers of this blog how his writings and opinions were treated thirty years ago.
    I have yet to read a Report of such quality as the New Zealand one, that retracts or contradicts those comments made by the NZ commissioners about Dr. Barrett or Dr. Murray Katz. So as long as the commissioners comments remain and are not contradicted by a similar authority, they still stand.

    http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/New_Zealand_Report.shtml

    Here is another quote from the commissioners about Dr. Barrett.

    “Nothing he has written on chiropractic that we have considered can be relied on as balanced.”

    So how can we trust his comments now?????

    I have been under the impression that anecdotal evidence and comments rate poorly as a citation. Thus your anecdotal comment,

    “Instead, I formed my opinion based on first hand knowledge, on the evidence of what he writes and on the content of Quackwatch, as well as on my experience of co-writing articles with him and seeing how meticulous he is about documenting every shred of fact and stating things in precise language. I have the highest respect for him.”

    is of little relevance. Anecdotal and not peer review.

    Scientific method is very commendable. We all support it. But how often does Quackwatch or Science Based Medicine do an in depth analysis of pharmaceuticals that have caused serious problems, e.g. Vioxx. Even aspirin has been found to be of little benefit in a recent cost/benefit analysis. I notice how quiet you are on medical failures.

  41. Harriet Hall says:

    I frequently criticize the practices of mainstream medicine, which you would know if you had read all I have written for this blog.
    Conventional medicine has a strong tradition of criticizing itself, as evidenced by the very examples you mention. But no one had been speaking out against questionable practices outside the mainstream. Quackwatch was created to fill that void. Quackwatch does not criticize conventional medicine because that is not its purpose.

    You are continuing to talk about people rather than about facts. It’s not important WHO said something; what’s important is whether what he said is TRUE. I’ll ask again: “Tell us what Barrett says on Quackwatch that you think is untrue. Tell us what you think is wrong with the information I cited in my post.”

  42. Fred Dagg says:

    Hello Harriett,

    You ask….

    “Tell us what Barrett says on Quackwatch that you think is untrue. Tell us what you think is wrong with the information I cited in my post.”

    If Josef Goebels was alive thirty years after the Nuremberg, and still wrote as if nothing he had done in the past was relevant to his writings today, I would certainly be suspicious, would not you?

    Simply put, how can I trust the information in Quackwatch and by inference your site, based upon the comments from the commissioners thirty years ago? A leopard does not change his spots. Why should I ever bother to read it when I know that his information in the past has found to be untrue? I have nothing but your anecdotal evidence to change my mind. That is not enough.

    I like to think that I am a scientist (I have two science degrees), so need more than anecdotal evidence. Peer review is OK. You have not given me any citations that contradict the Commission of Inquiry.

    I have browsed through Quackwatch, however, precedents from the Commission says that his writing are no more than propaganda and unreliable (I am being polite).

    Despite all the best evidence, i.e. The Commission of Inquiry, you still maintain your stance and ask me for more. I do not need to provide you with more. As I said before, if you are not certain about how serious the criticism from a Royal Commission of Inquiry, ask your colleagues from the United Kingdom.

    You entitle this Blog as Science Based Medicine. It is your role to be critical of all health care from a scientific perspective. You do not (in my opinion). I would really appreciate it if you would change the name of your site to “Pseudo-Science Based Medicine”. In my opinion you look at health care from a “rigid pseudo-scientific model”.

    Where is your criticism of the Vioxx? Where are your comments about the pharmaceutical companies paying for research to be published in medical journals? Where are your comments on inappropriate plastic surgery by cosmetic surgeons. Where are your comments on iatrogenic causes of illness in the U.S.A today. They are in the top five of preventable diseases in the U.S.A. today. There are so many things that you could do that would be constructive and helpful to the public and health care providers, but instead you pick on soft easy targets. Shame.

  43. Eric Jackson says:

    Discussion on overuse of IV Sedation (by Harriet Hall)
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=461
    Discussion of home glucose monitoring in T2 diabetics, (by Harriet Hall). With quite a bit of debate over the influence of testing supply sellers
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=487
    Rather scathing discussion of the Merck/Elsevier scandal:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=477
    Even more scathing discussion of bad clinical trials (by Gorski), including a great deal of condemnation of Vioxx.
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=192
    Medical Ethics, clinical trials, possibly one of the hairiest targets out there, (by Gorski)
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=467
    Off-label usage, marketing, etc (by Novella)
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=283

    These topics are discussed. There are posts made on them, research is cited and so on. The posts are pretty wide ranging, and just because you haven’t read them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

  44. Joe says:

    @Fred Dagg on 06 Jun 2009 at 2:41 am “I like to think that I am a scientist (I have two science degrees), so need more than anecdotal evidence. Peer review is OK. You have not given me any citations that contradict the Commission of Inquiry.”

    Your science degrees do not serve you well on the subject of chiropractic. We have both cited an article that criticizes the New Zealand Commission. It is enough to know that a barrister, a chemist and a school headmistress were the commissioners. None of them is qualified to judge the evidence, nor are you.

    If you understood the topic, you would see that articles at quackwatch are essentially accurate. I have challenged many chiros to pick an article at quackwatch and show how it is wrong, and they suddenly become too busy to do so.

  45. weing says:

    i guess the Royal Commission has the imprimatur for our friend here and are therefore infallible. Are they the same ones that were so pure that they were able to see the material for the emperor’s new clothes?

  46. Fred Dagg says:

    Hi Joe

    “essentially” is a really good word, it implies “‘almost”, but not quite 100%.
    It implies that “near enough is good enough”. That is not science.

    Perhaps in future a rider should be put on the Quackwatch website….”This is essentially accurate, but we are not going to tell you which is essentially not”.

    The article cited was by Dr. Jarvis, who gave evidence under oath at the commission.
    Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    Please cite me a reference that surpasses the commission as to its comments on Dr. Barrett

  47. weing says:

    That reminds me of when the professor in medical school said that half of what they were teaching us was wrong. They just didn’t know which half. So, you accept the judgment of the commission as science? You must be a political scientist.

    Anyone with knowledge of the subject discussed can surpass the commission’s comments. Now the real question is, how will you know who is correct?

  48. Harriet Hall says:

    I’ll try once more. “Tell us what Barrett says on Quackwatch that you think is untrue. Tell us what you think is wrong with the information I cited in my post.”

  49. Joe says:

    @Fred Dagg on 06 Jun 2009 at 5:10 am “Hi Joe “essentially” is a really good word, it implies “‘almost”, but not quite 100%. It implies that “near enough is good enough”. That is not science.”

    You are more than 40 years late if you want to teach me about science. If you think that the New Zealand commission’s barrister, chemist and school headmistress are qualified to decide on science, your science degrees have failed you. What part of “you are out of your depth” don’t you understand?

    BTW, I used the word “essentially” because I know that lawyers seize upon trivial errors (e.g., a mistaken date) to claim the whole thing is wrong. Of course, I know you are not a lawyer because they offer better arguments, except when they dispute science.

    Come to think of it, you do sound like a lawyer, and chiros pay lawyers to cloud issues rather than advance healthcare.

  50. tmac57 says:

    Fred Dagg-” “essentially” is a really good word, it implies “‘almost”, but not quite 100%.
    It implies that “near enough is good enough”. ”

    From the Merriam Webster Dictionary:essentially
    One entry found.

    Main Entry:
    1es·sen·tial
    Pronunciation:
    \i-ˈsen(t)-shəl\
    Function:
    adjective
    Date:
    14th century

    1: of, relating to, or constituting essence : inherent
    2 a: of the utmost importance : basic, indispensable, necessary b: being a substance that is not synthesized by the body in a quantity sufficient for normal health and growth and that must be obtained from the diet — compare nonessential 2
    3: idiopathic

    Not clear enough for you Fred? Then how about this:
    SYNONYMS: essential, fundamental, vital, cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character . fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse . vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing’s continued existence or operation . cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends .
    Kinda puts a different connotation on it ,essentially.

  51. pmoran says:

    Fred, for your infomration, here are the conclusions of the most recent Cochrane (2009) review of spinal manipulation’ for low back pain.

    “Implications for practice
    For patients, clinicians, and policymakers, our findings that spinal manipulative therapy is substantially less effective than previously suggested should temper enthusiasm for this treatment as “the” recommended therapy for patients with low-back pain. We found no evidence that spinal manipulative therapy was superior to other advocated therapies, including analgesics, exercises, physical therapy, and back schools. Neither did we find evidence that these therapies were superior to spinal manipulative therapy. Therefore, we conclude that spinal manipulative therapy is one of several options of only modest effectiveness for patients with low-back pain. Truly effective therapy for such patients remains elusive.

    Implications for research
    Our results also have implications for future clinical research on spinal manipulative therapy. While not all of the 95% CIs in our analysis excluded improvements of moderate clinical importance, most did. We interpret this to mean that spinal manipulative therapy is very unlikely to be a particularly effective therapy for any group of patients with back pain. While it is conceivable that spinal manipulative therapy is very effective for a subgroup of patients with back pain, this subgroup is probably small. Therefore, future clinical trials of spinal manipulative therapy, if undertaken at all, should concentrate not on effectiveness but rather on cost-effectiveness, which is primarily a function of the number of treatments needed to achieve the most benefit.”

    I find nothing to argue with there.

  52. Fred Dagg says:

    Hello pmoran

    anyone can cherry pick on the net to find something to validate their argument. We do it all the time. However in saying that, I found the conclusions really interesting and I will keep an eye out for research that tells us the best method of treating neuro-musculo-skeletal disorder. I believe it will be multi-disciplinary research and in the mean-time the public is left with what it has got. No one knows all the answers.

    Harriett and Joe,

    you asked me to look at Quackwatch and find something that was incorrect. It did not take much. I looked at Dr. Barretts bio, and while it was essentially correct, it was also essentially incorrect.

    “a retired psychiatrist”. He forgot to mention the fact that he was not Board certified and had actually failed the board exams.
    This is what is called “selective dispersal of information”, I call it “pseudo-science”, where all the facts are not put on the table for all to assimilate and form their opinions.

    In his biography he talks of having written many books including Healthrobbers. This is essentially correct. However what he did not mention about the book was the comments from the New Zealand Commission of Inquiry about the book.

    “We have considered material published over Barrett’s name. The chapter on chiropractic in The Health Robbers (entitled “The Spine Salesmen”) was written by him. It is plainly propaganda. What we have seen of the rest of his writings on chiropractic has the same tone. Nothing he has written on chiropractic that we have considered can be relied on as balanced.”

    That makes his comments on his credentials and biography essentially incorrect.

    I could go on, but you only asked for one example. I have given you two. I am sure there are many other examples of essentially incorrect information in the site.

    How can we trust him and by inference you, Harriett, to provide us with the correct, Evidence Based Medicine that you claim in your site? It is still pseudo-science because you selectively retrieve information, with an agenda of criticism without looking at the whole issue.

  53. pmoran says:

    Fred — “anyone can cherry pick on the net to find something to validate their argument. ”

    You’ve discovered that yourself, I note. But this “something” happens to be the result of the most exhaustive and up-to-date review of all studies ever published on spinal manipulation for low back pain. It is not uninformed or biased opinion.

    And what argument? It actually allows for spinal manipulation as an option in the treatment of low back pain.

  54. pmoran says:

    And Fred, I think you now should explain which aspects of Barret’s chapter on chiropractic are wrong. Otherwise all we have is gossip.

    It is a while since I have read the Health Robbers book but I know Dr Barret’s style. Iam sure he would have been mainly criticising common quack activities and unethical practice-building practices by chiropractors, chiropractic’s its failure to abandon failed theories concerning subluxations as a general cause of illness, and that he would have supplied well-documented material in support of any opinions expressed.

    If he expressed any opinion on the effectiveness of spinal manipulation for low back pain I am sure it would have been consistent with the evidence at that time. He has even since expressed the view that it may be helpful.

  55. Fred Dagg says:

    pmoran

    thank you for your comments on Cochrane and the treatment of low back pain. As I said, no one really knows all the answers and it will only be by extensive research that we will know what is and is not effective. Here is an example of some of the research that is being done in Canada by Chiropractors, within a multi-disciplinary framework. Quite exciting, really.

    http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/642057

    Harriett asked me one example of incorrect information in Quackwatch. I have given her two. It not based upon gossip or anecdotal evidence. I do not need to explain what is wrong with the chapter, all I needed to do was point out essential inaccuracies in the site. Amazing to find them in the biography of its founder, Dr. Barrett. This is called the pseudo-truth where information is massaged to suit the message. We saw it in Harriett’s article on Adverse Effects of Chiropractic care, and we see it in Quackwatch.

    Once again, how can we trust the information in the site, when Dr. Barrett cannot even get the basic information about himself correct?
    I am not sure where this is going? I have proved all I have been asked to.

  56. weing says:

    Fred,
    You gave a beautiful example of circular reasoning. Did he claim to be a board certified psychiatrist? Physicians in the US do not have to be board certified, just board eligible, to practice a specialty.

  57. tmac57 says:

    Fred Dagg- The veracity of medical information is not dependent on any aspect of the purveyor of said information, no matter what real or imagined failings that person might have. So in light of that, please point out a SPECIFIC example of incorrect MEDICAL INFORMATION on the Quackwatch site. And please do not resort AGAIN to the ‘Dr Barret’s information is wrong because the New Zealand Commission of Inquiry said so’ argument. If you can’t give a specific example of MEDICAL INFORMATION that is wrong so that the Drs here can decide if your assertion is correct or incorrect, then you are just engaging in character assassination.

  58. Joe says:

    @ tmac, Mr. Dagg is either a lawyer or a high-school sophomore. Either way, he is not competent to comment on medical/scientific matters. He may be a troll, or he may be billing clients for time spent arguing here.

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