Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Medical Post article about Terry Polevoy is an egregious example of Libel Chill

I am a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and have recently been the victim of what I feel is one of the worst examples of "libel chill" that has ever been encountered in Canada.

An article about my fight against health quackery in Canada was removed from the web site of the Medical Post by the Editor Rick Campbell.

Here is the link to a copy of the article that is being maintained in a blog in Denmark.

The original MP article included two photos of Dr. Polevoy at work in his office. It contains absolutely no defamatory or libelous statements at all. The author Barbara Kermode-Scott had previously written a much more in depth article about one of the companies mentioned briefly in the article. The company is located in Alberta, and is know as The Synergy Group of Canada It also runs the web site.

Their companies do business under a number of other names in the U.S. and Canada. They are currently being sued by the Federal government in Lethbridge, Alberta for a long list of violations.

The complete story about them is detailed on our web site. The links on that site include many to original research, fastidious documentation, and government actions against them that are available on many other site around the world. Not one of these other sites have ever been sued for defamation or had their articles censored by anyone else:

The Synergy Group and is the subject of our book Pig Pills, Inc. which is available at:

The book's co-authors are myself, Terry Polevoy, MD, Marvin Ross, medical journalist, and Ron Reinhold, former inspector for Health Canada. We can send you a copy if you wish.

A complaint was made to Rick Campbell, reportedly by Anthony Stephan, who is one of the owners and founder of The Synergy Group of Canada.

As a result, Campbell decided to pull the article in its entirety from the Rogers Communications owned web site. That is unprecedented in the anals of Canadian journalism. There have been no lawsuits ever filed against any of the three authors of the book, nor have there ever been lawsuits filed previously against the Medical Post, or the other publications where stories about Anthony Stephan and his companies have appeared over the last few years.

A previous article about Stephan and his companies, entitled "Raid!" is still on the Medical Post's web site and as far as I know there were never any complaints or even a letter to the editor about it.

In addition, a rather long piece in MD Canada is still preserved on their web site and there were never any complaints about that one either.

Terry Polevoy, is perhaps Canada's best-known and qualified expert in health quackery and dietary fraud. He has been on numerous radio and television programs over the last decade to discuss various problems in the media.

Polevoy is the plaintiff in a case that is presently before the Supreme Court in California that involves a horrible smear and defamation campaign against him by cancer quack Hulda Clark and her associates and agents.

Dr. Polevoy maintains a number of web sites that cover a wide range of health related problems, not just quackery. The complete list is below.

I would like to ask the Editors' Association of Canada, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Ontario Press Association and other journalists to render an opinion, or launch a discussion of "libel chill", and its effect on the public's right to know the facts.

In this particular case, Rick Campbell not only removed an article that many consider to be extremely vital to the health of Canadians, he removed a human interest story about one medical doctor's personal struggle against people, some of whom may have helped to organize a hate campaign against him. They have included right-wing politicians, entrepreneurial business people, and private citizens who feel that the public's right to know the truth about charlatans and hucksters should not be guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

To them, THEY are the only ones who have the right to promote their brands of quackery and health fraud. They are not to be held responsible for any damages in their quack-filled libertarian world.

A complete list of questionable organizations and their characters can be found on my web site if you have the time to go there.

I appeal to the EAC, the CAJ, the OAC or anyone else who sees this post to discuss the issue of "libel chill".

I would be glad to communicate with you at any time and thank you for your thoughts.

# Terry Polevoy, MD
!# 938 King St. West
!# Kitchener, Ontario, N2G 1G4 Canada
!# 519-725-2263 -- 725-4953 fax
!# - Consumer Health Watchdog
!# - About Dr. Terry Polevoy's Canadian Quackerywatch
!# - Cancer Quackery Group
!# - Pig Pills, Inc. - The True Story of & Synergy Group
!# - Diet and Weight Loss Alerts
!# - Herbal Warnings and Scams
!# - Yahoo Groups
!# - Chiropractic risks & fraud
!# - Acupuncture dangers
!# - Acne Care Clinics


Google search: "Libel chill"

More on-site information:

Rogers Communications' Medical Post article by Barbara Kermode-Scott about Terry Polevoy was removed from the internet

Challenging quacks and frauds: Terry Polevoy, MD