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Dr. Mercola: Visionary or Quack? (Excellent profile piece from Chicago Magazine)

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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-12 07:50 PM
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Dr. Mercola: Visionary or Quack? (Excellent profile piece from Chicago Magazine)
Greetings from the future, DU2ers! I posted this already over on DU3, but I thought I'd travel back into DU's past and post it here too.

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This is a very long, ~4,700 words, profile of Joseph Mercola so I'm just going to excerpt the first four paragraphs and let everyone here either read the rest, or jump to their preferred conclusions.

The doctor is in. To reach him, you must cross the limestone-pillared entrance of his headquarters in Hoffman Estates and go past the chocolate-brown paneled walls and soothing tiled lounge, down a labyrinth of hushed halls and empty conference rooms, to the door of a spacious corner office. Two soft knocks and a person instantly recognizable to most any true believer in alternative medicine appears. The doctor is Joseph Mercola, the face, the voice, the prime mover behind one of the nations most heavily traffickedand controversialnatural health websites, Mercola.com.

He may not have the mainstream name recognition or rock-star appeal of, say, Mehmet Oz (though he has twice been a guest on The Dr. Oz Show). But Mercolas influence is nonetheless considerable. Each month, nearly two million people click to see the osteopathic physicians latest musings on the wonders of dietary supplements and minerals (The 13 Amazing Health Benefits of Himalayan Crystal Salt), the marvels of alternative therapies (Learn How Homeopathy Cured a Boy of Autism), and his take on medical research, from vaccines (Your Flu Shot Contains a Dangerous Neurotoxin) to vitamin D (The Silver Bullet for Cancer?).

Visitors to his site are also treated to heavy doses of the contempt Mercola holds for most things traditional medicine and Big Pharmathe medical-industrial complex, he calls it. Many followers are almost evangelical in their support of his message. If only the world had more Dr. Mercolas! wrote one in the comments section for The Thugs of the Medical World, a Mercola.com article about drug companies. You are a warrior sir, and your tireless, truthful, and fearless efforts to expose these criminals is much appreciated.

Not surprisingly, the medical establishment sees things differently. Some researchers and doctors say that Mercola steers patients away from proven treatments and peddles pseudoscientific misinformation on topics such as flu shots and fluoridation. In their view, he is resurrecting old myths, such as the threat posed by mercury in dental fillings, and promoting new ones, such as the notion that microwave ovens emit harmful radiation. The information hes putting out to the public is extremely misleading and potentially very dangerous, opines Dr. Stephen Barrett, who runs the medical watchdog site Quackwatch.org. He exaggerates the risks and potential dangers of legitimate science-based medical care, and he promotes a lot of unsubstantiated ideas and sells products with claims that are misleading.

Full article: http://www.chicagomag.com/core/pagetools.php?url=%2FChi...
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