QUACKWATCH Joins the Center for Inquiry

For Immediate Release: February 26, 2020
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
press@centerforinquiry.org - (207) 358-9785

For many years, Quackwatch.org and its related websites have been an indispensable and trusted resource in the fight to expose the fraud of health-related pseudoscience and fake medicine. Their mission will continue as part of the Center for Inquiry. 

Quackwatch and its related sites house an exhaustive array of information, advice, and news for consumers, activists, media, regulatory agencies, and health professionals. Most of the sites are topic specific and focus on such subjects as diet fads, naturopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, phony cancer treatments, and questionable medical devices. 

To ensure that the information remains available, Quackwatch has become part of the Center for Inquiry (CFI), which will maintain its sites and receive Dr. Barrett’s research library later this year. CFI is an international nonprofit organization that works to foster a secular society based on reason, science, free inquiry, and humanist values. CFI is home to Skeptical Inquirer magazine and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, which seeks to promote science-based skepticism and an end to pseudoscience wherever it arises. 

“Dr. Barrett’s contribution to the fight against the fraud of fake medicine and snake oil cannot be overstated,” said Robyn E. Blumner, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “The Quackwatch network has been an invaluable source for evidence-based evaluations of pseudoscientific claims for a generation, and we are proud that it will now be part of the CFI family.”

Quackwatch is an outgrowth of Dr. Stephen Barrett’s anti-quackery activities that began with formation of a nonprofit that was incorporated in 1970 as the Lehigh Valley Committee Against Health Fraud (Allentown, Pennsylvania). In 1997, as the internet developed, Dr. Barrett changed the corporation’s name to Quackwatch, Inc., and began developing a worldwide network of volunteers and expert advisors. In 2008, after Barrett moved to North Carolina, Quackwatch, Inc., was dissolved and is no longer a legal entity. But he has continued the same activities, and people throughout the world who share his concerns have continued to supply information and offers of help.

Since its founding, Quackwatch postings have been cited and recommended by innumerable news publications, medical organizations, media outlets, books, and journals. Dr. Barrett has also assisted with consumer-protection lawsuits, offered advice to victims of health-related frauds, and still publishes a free weekly email newsletter, Consumer Health Digest.

CFI is currently waging consumer-protection lawsuits against Walmart and CVS for their deceptive practices in the sale and marketing of homeopathic products. CFI has also been at the forefront of the push to strengthen vaccination requirements and prevent alternative medicine practitioners from being given primary care authority by state legislatures. 

“CFI has always been committed to exposing the lies of unscientific treatments, from homeopathy to faith-healing, and with the rising influence of the anti-vaccine movement and celebrity ‘wellness’ hucksters, the mission we share with Dr. Barrett has never been more crucial,” said Blumner. “Quackwatch will have a very good home with us.”

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.