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    Post: Gots, Barrett, ESRI, and clinical ecology

    Posted by Pat on 2/09/03

    Dr. Ronald E. Gots testifies in court against MCS. He is
    depended on more than any other person is to discredit MCS.
    Yet, he is one of the most under qualified doctors in the field.

    Gots said that MCS "defies classification as a disease. It
    has no consistent characteristics, no uniform cause, no
    objective or measurable features. It exists because a
    patient believes it does and a doctor validates that
    belief." - A comment known to be inaccurate as it ignores
    the data on emission tomography brain scans, etc.

    In his 1998 book, ?Chemical Sensitivity: The Truth About
    Environmental Illness?, co-written with Stephen Barret, Gots
    wrote (admitted that), "people do exist who are very
    sensitive to various micro-organisms, noxious chemicals, and
    common foods." He then goes on to say "there is no
    scientific evidence that an immunologic basis exists for
    such a symptom pattern". [Emphasis added]

    MCS is not an immunologic disease, yet Gots and Barret
    require the criteria of such for proof of MCS - but MCS does
    not meet the criteria of an immunologic disease, hence, they
    conclude that MCS is non-existent. That is poor judgement on
    the their part, as it is a flawed epidemiological approach.
    This is the exact same method used by other ?skeptical
    doctors? to discount MCS. So much for ?objective?.

    Dr. Gots has never treated a patient with MCS. He is trained
    in pharmacology, and neither he, nor Barret have any
    training or certification in toxicology. And Barrett, he?s a
    retired psychiatrist. I bring this up because Gots is often
    introduced as being ?a toxicologist?.

    In addition, Gots and Barrett not actually done any
    peer-reviewed studies on MCS. They only offer their
    interpretations on anti-or-non-MCS studies, and completely
    ignore peer-reviewed publications that contradict them. This
    is hardly in line with the scientific method.

    Despite this, Barrett finds it necessary to write anti-MCS
    essays on his ?Quack Watch? web site. And Gots, well he?s
    the head of the ?Environmental Sensitivities Research
    Institute? (ESRI)- an Institute founded by pesticide

    Not known to many, is the fact that fellow ESRI board member
    Frank Mitchell had an important role in the writing of the
    1998 Interagency Draft Report on MCS. Careful review of the
    report shows some shocking discoveries. For starters, the
    report omitted a 1996 EPA staff report showing that 58% of
    people poisoned by chlorpyrifos developed MCS.

    The American Academy of Allergy and Immunology cautioned
    that "the diagnostic and therapeutic principles...of
    clinical ecology [are]..unproven and experimental.
    Individuals who are being treated in this manner should be
    fully informed of its experimental nature."

    However, clinical ecologists are doctors of the Total Body
    Load hypothesis. I have not made any attempt to support that
    view because there isn't strong evidence to support it. The
    American Academy of Allergy and Immunology seems to be
    unaware of the scientific literature in support of MCS.

    It should also be noted that they refer to clinical ecology
    treatment as "experimental", and not as "quackery". Rae
    published a book in which he states that the treatment
    methods of clinical ecology have helped (but not cured) over
    30,000 MCS sufferers.

    I disagree with the notion of clinical ecologists that MCS
    is immune system mediated. I believe that the etiology of
    MCS is that of poisoning. My belief is subject to change
    however. I am very interested in the theory of Martin Pall
    -- Professor of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences,
    Washington State University -- which can be read at

    It must be stressed (pardon the pun) that the available
    scientific data proves that there are two groups of
    chemically sensitive sufferers:

    In group (1), there is a genuine sensitivity to chemicals on
    a physical basis, which may lead to psychiatric problems if
    the limbic area of the brain is affected (in most cases it is).

    In group (2), the sufferers, for various reasons (usually
    because a clinical ecologist has told them they are
    sensitive to chemicals, without supportive testing!),
    sincerely believe they are sensitive to chemicals on a
    physical basis, but in fact are not. This is not to, in any
    way, dismiss their suffering.

    MCS skeptics commonly ignore the data on group (1), and
    focus entirely on group (2). This is made clear in the
    articles written by the MCS skeptic, Michael Fumento. Make
    no mistake, I am not attacking his character. He is a great
    writer. However, he appears to be unaware of a great deal of
    data that contradicts his generalized conclusions.

    Posts on this thread, including this one

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