On Monday, April 20, 2009 Eric J. Rentz, DO, COMM, CNMO diagnosed Patti Halprin with a fungal infection.
He came to this conclusion after she revealed to him that she had eaten an Apple left in her car.
“Dr.” Rentz’s diagnosis was the apple had been rotten and therefore had invaded her body with a fungus.
According to Dr. Rentz, this was the reason Ms. Halprin’s lymph nodes were inflamed.
The following Thursday we learned that Ms. Halprin suffered from diffuse, large, B cell Lymphoma, a serious blood cancer.
On Sunday, December 13, 2009 Ms. Halprin died from complications incurred after being treated with an autologous autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
Zoe explains how to spot a quack…
Could this be the moment when alternative medicine finally gets the reputation it deserves and is seen for what it is – a massive social and intellectual fraud?
Everything that is wrong with complementary and alternative medicine is contained in the story related below.
The following is the story of ERIC J. RENTZ “DO COMM CNMO” and JOHN APSLEY DC, CSDE, ICR and one of Rentz’s patients, beloved wife, mother of two and grandmother of six, who dies, was it unnecessarily?
Let us first examine the so called “Dr.” Rentz:
Who knew, that this so called “Dr,” ERIC J RENTZ, had reinvented himself as a RED BEARDED GURU, offering homeopathy, osteopathic manipulations, colloidal silver or silver hydrosol along with other quackmeister treatments for cancer?
Well, the story of Patti Halprin, a woman who is now dead after she went on one of Rentz’s treatment protocols may very well be the wake up call the world needs!
This is a true story involving the so called “Dr.” Rentz and the story of alternative medical bunk that he is “practicing!” namely, Quackery, which is not only founded on lies and falsehoods, but can be very bad for your health!
This largely unregulated and unaccountable industry is worth an estimated three billion dollars annually here in the USA.
It is used by one in four of us and there are more alternative practitioners than there are GPs in this country.
Such New Age nonsense as reiki “healers” are employed by complementary and integrative medical centers and every chemist has shelves stacked high with alternative remedies.
Alternative Medicine users – who are mostly middle-aged, middle-class women like Ms. Halprin – are apparently prepared to suspend all normal critical faculties when they encounter an alternative practitioner, even one like Rentz, who makes preposterous claims like silver hydrosol or oligodynamic silver can cure everything from primary and secondary Immunodeficiency disorders to burns, cuts, bleeding gums, lymphatic disorders, and even cancer!
Additionally, Rentz proffers silver hydrosol is effective as an anti-aging agent, antimicrobial agent and yada, yada, yada.
There’s the long list of ailments he claimed to be able to treat, everything from diabetes to sports injuries and asthma.
There are the concoctions, like the one he prescribed for Ms. Halprin containing one part of her own saliva, one part of her urine and one part of a blood sample Rentz took.
He told to Ms. Halprin to drink approximately 100 cc’s daily and her swollen lymph nodes along with her “fungus” would magically become healed!
This was Rentz’s supposed idea of both a diagnosis and a cure.
Unfortunately, he was curing the wrong disease.
If you don’t believe me read his statements on the subject, written in the following numerous free web portals that these alt med quacks tend to frequent;
You don’t need to be a genius to recognize both Rentz and Apsley’s websites as a classic of the altmed internet genre.
As well as listing the usual contradictory ragbag of therapies familiar from the windows of the high-street altmed clinic such as Homeopathy and the like – they are peppered with the universal language of what we American scientists call “” wellbeing, harmony, bioenergy and, most revealingly, “natural immunogenics, sovereign silver, silver hydrosol, and “colloidal silver.”
Throughout these various web sites Rentz descends into blethering about the “magical” qualities of colloidal silver.
There is nothing of substance in these multiple free web sites.
Indeed the mere fact they continually repeat the same things over and over again on every free forum offered on the Internet would render any intelligent being to recognize the obvious, i.e. they’re attempting what is known in main stream scientific circles as Proof By Assertion
Sometimes this may be repeated until challenges dry up, at which point it is asserted as fact due to its not being contradicted (Argumentum ad nauseam)
This dishonest, pretentious, unprincipled fraud attempts to integrate his pseudo-scientific sham by co-opting the term “oligodynamic silver.”
In actuality, oiligodynamic silver or the oligodynamic effect is taken from the Greek oligos, meaning “few” and dynamis meaning “force.”
A Swiss gentleman named Karl Wilhelm von Nageli discovered the Oligodynamic effect in 1893.
The discovery led to the now common knowledge of the microbial effect shown by mercury, silver, copper and other metals.
The application of which, because they are far more poisonous to bacteria than say aluminum or stainless steel have most commonly been utilized as mineral sanitizers for swimming pools and spas.
That’s swimming pools, not “cancer” pools.
The other widespread and customary use of oligodynamic silver is in the lining of water tanks on ships and airplanes due to its microbial effect.
Yes, in the 1800′s it was used as a topical treatment for burn wounds, however, so was goat milk, tea leaves, oak bark, cork and fat from very old wild hogs.
That does not make these therapies a cutting edge treatment for anything.
If silver hydrosol or colloidal silver was actually a frontline breakthrough cure for anything, don’t you think that innovative, progressive and pioneering institutions in the forefront of modern medicine like Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, UCLA Medical Center or the Mayo Clinic would be utilizing them?
Well, lets check with the Mayo people: Colloidal Silver:The Mayo Clinic says Quack, Quack!
Are we to actually to believe that hucksters like Rentz and Apsley are spearheading some frontline innovative treatment protocol not discovered and utilized by the aforementioned institutions?
And for those of you asking whats the harm?, click here:
Under the name ERIC J. RENTZ DO MS COMM CNMO MSc (yep, that’s a lot of initials, however the long list of respected medical doctors I consulted could not place an actual therapeutic title on most of them). anyway under these “titles,” Rentz gives lectures on homeopathy and the wonders of colloidal silver and silver hydrosol and is keen to promote himself in alternative health magazines and at conferences as an alternative practitioner, he fits right in.
Although he readily displays his credentials, credentials in alternative medicine are pretty much worthless.
Indeed he was seeing Ms. Halprin in Florida, where he is no license to practice medicine.
He became licensed as both a Naturopathic and Chiropractic physician in the state of North Carolina in the mid-1980′s.
In 1994 he became a licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) in the state of Alabama.
Like I’ve stated many times on this blog, credentials in alternative medicine are pretty much worthless.
It’s worthless because it is not necessary to stump up the fees, since in this country anyone can set themselves up as an Acupuncture and Meridian Therapy Specialist, without any qualifications.
If you want reliable medical advice, see a physician who is properly trained to provide it, not an Acupuncture and Meridian Therapy Specialist!
As for colloidal silver, I’ll “borrow” some information from my colleague, Dr. Stephen Barrett , the editor and founder of QuackWatch; The laymen’s guide to quackery, health fraud, and intelligent decisions;
Colloidal silver is a suspension of submicroscopic metallic silver particles in a colloidal base.
Long-term use of silver preparations can lead to argyria, a condition in which silver salts deposit in the skin, eyes, and internal organs, and the skin turns ashen-gray.
Many cases of argyria occurred during the pre-antibiotic era when silver was a common ingredient in nosedrops.
When the cause became apparent, doctors stopped recommending their use, and reputable manufacturers stopped producing them.
The official drug guidebooks (United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary) have not listed colloidal silver products since 1975.
In recent years, silver-containing products have been marketed with unsubstantiated claims that they are effective against AIDS, cancer, infectious diseases, parasites, chronic fatigue, acne, warts, hemorrhoids, enlarged prostate, and many other diseases and conditions. Some marketers claim that colloidal silver is effective against hundreds of diseases.
During 1997 and 1998, Changes International, a Florida-based multilevel company, stated:
Our colloidal silver contains 99.99% pure silver particles suspended indefinitely in demineralized water that kills bacteria and viruses. It can be applied topically and/or absorbed into the blood stream sub-lingually (under the tongue), thereby avoiding the negative effects of traditional antibiotics that kill good bacteria in the lower digestive tract.
An all natural antibiotic alternative in the purest form available. The presence of colloidal silver near a virus, fungi, bacterium or any other single celled pathogen disables its oxygen-metabolism enzyme, its chemical lung, so to say. The pathogens suffocates and dies, and is cleared out of the body by the immune, lymphatic and elimination systems.
Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics which destroy beneficial enzymes, colloidal silver leaves these beneficial enzymes intact. Thus colloidal silver is absolutely safe for humans, reptiles, plants and all multi-celled living matter.
It is impossible for single-celled germs to mutate into silver-resistant forms, as happens with conventional antibiotics. Also, colloidal silver cannot interact or interfere with other medicines being taken. Colloidal silver is truly a safe, natural remedy for many of mankind’s ills. Colloidal silver can be taken indefinitely because the body does not develop a tolerance to it .
Seasilver International, a California-based multilevel company, had claimed that American are suffering from “silver deficiency.” Although silver is not an essential nutrient, product information posted on the company’s Web site several years ago stated:
The depletion of minerals in our soil has left us deficient of silver, one of our most essential trace minerals, causing a drastic increase in immune system disorders in our society in the last decade. Research has taught us that all disease is allowed to manifest itself because of a weakened immune system. In over 20 years of worldwide research on Colloidal Silver, numerous interviews with government agencies, health care practitioners and their patients, no other nutrient, herb or drug (prescription or over-the-counter) is as safe and effective against all known forms of unfriendly virus, bacteria, and fungus. Additionally, while it is generally known that most antibiotics kill only perhaps 6 or 7 different disease organisms, reports have shown that Colloidal Silver has been used successfully in the treatment of over 650 diseases! Furthermore, strains of disease organisms fail to develop in the presence of Colloidal Silver. Colloidal Silver’s greatest attribute is its unique ability to function as a superior second immune system in the body! 
The ad below is from the July 1996 issue of Alternative Medicine Digest.
Critical Studies and Case Reports
In 1995, an herbal distributor named Leslie Taylor tested nine commonly marketed colloidal silver products available at health-food stores and concluded:
- Two of the products were contaminated with microorganisms.
- The amount of silver suspended in solution varied from product to product and would gradually decrease over time.
- Only five products actually showed antibacterial activity in a laboratory test. To perform the test, she prepared a culture plate with Staphylococcus aureas bacteria, which can cause infections in humans. She then placed a drop from each product on the plate and used disks of two common antibiotics as controls. After eight hours of incubation, she found that bacterial growth had been inhibited around the antibiotics and four of the products.
Of course, the fact that a product inhibits bacteria in a laboratory culture doesn’t mean it is effective (or safe) in the human body. In fact, products that kill bacteria in the laboratory would be more likely to cause argyria because they contain more silver ions that are free to deposit in the user’s skin.
FDA laboratory studies have found that the amount of silver in some product samples has varied from 15.2% to 124% of the amount listed on the product labels. The amount of silver required to produce argyria is unknown. However, the FDA has concluded that the risk of using silver products exceeds any unsubstantiated benefit . So far, eleven cases of argyria related to silver products have been reported:
- A 56-year-old man who had sold and used colloidal silver for three years, developed blue/gray discoloration of his fingernails accompanied by a very high blood level of silver .
- A married couple who had three years of daily consumption of a drink prepared by administering an electrolytic charge to a bowl of water that contained a silver bar .
- Another couple had been taking a silver-containing “dietary supplement” prescribed by a naturopath .
- A mentally ill man who had been drinking silver-containing herbal tea for about 10 months .
- Stan Jones, Montana’s Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, who reportedly started taking colloidal silver in 1999 for fear that Y2K disruptions might lead to a shortage of antibiotics. He made his own concoction by electrically two silver wires in a glass of water .
- Two men, ages 63 and 76, developed argyria after a year of product use inspired by Internet claims .
- A 16-year-old boy developed blue-gray pigmentation of his entire body after ingesting a silver-containing dietary supplement for a year. The product, packaged so that it was identical to bottled water. was touted as a preventive for everyday infections .
Between October 1993 and September 1994, the FDA issued warning letters to five colloidal silver marketers::
- Higher Education Library Publications (H.E.L.P.), of Springfield, Utah, was ordered to stop claiming that its colloidal silver product was effective as a natural antibiotic and might be effective against cancer, genito-urinary diseases, tuberculosis, and AIDS.
- Nutrition, Inc., of Arvada, Colorado, was ordered to stop stating or implying that its Silvicidal, when administered orally or intravenously, was nontoxic, FDA-approved, and was a broad-spectrum antibiotic that killed bacteria and all virus and fungal infections. In addition, it was falsely claimed to be effective against a long list of specific diseases.
- Reseau International of Cincinnati, Ohio was ordered to stop claiming that its colloidal silver product was a “natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory immune system stimulant” and that it was effective against cancer, staph, strep, influenza, general body infections, inflammation, impaired immune system, fungus toxicity, tonsillitis, Meniere’s symptoms, whooping cough, shingles, syphilis, cholera, and malaria. The labeling also stated that colloidal silver could cause major growth stimulation of human tissues and can regenerate
- Silverado Inc., of Bountiful, Utah, was warned to stop making false claims that its colloidal silver product was effective as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agent and that it could stimulate the immune system.
- Unic, of Carmichael, California, was ordered to stop claiming that its colloidal silver product was effective against many diseases and could heal burn-damaged tissue without scarring.
In October 1996, the FDA proposed to ban the use of colloidal silver or silver salts in over-the-counter products . A Final Rule banning such use was issued on August 17, 1999 and became effective September 16th. The rule applies to any nonprescription colloidal silver or silver salt product claimed to be effective in preventing or treating any disease . Silver products can still be sold as “dietary supplements” provided that no health claims are made for them. During 2000, the FDA issued warnings to more than 20 companies whose Web sites were making illegal therapeutic claims for colloidal silver products.
In 2000, the Federal Court of Australia banned Vital Earth Company Pty Limited and its director Darryl John Jones from falsely representing that the colloidal silver produced by their “Vital Silver 3000 Zapper,” “Vital Silver 2000 Automatic” and “Vital Silver 2000″:
- Can kill all disease-causing bacteria, fungi and virus within six minutes of contact
- Has no harmful side effects; that colloidal silver could be used as an antibiotic for all the acquired diseases of active AIDS
- Is effective with more than 650 different pathogenic bacteria and virus types
- Has been used successfully against diseases including AIDS, cholera, diabetes, leprosy, leukemia, lupus, skin cancer, syphilis and whooping cough.
The company was also ordered to pay AUS$9000 in costs and to provide refunds .
In 2001, the FTC obtained consent agreements with two companies:
- Robert C. Spencer and Lisa M. Spencer, doing business as Aaron Company (Palm Bay, Florida). Colloidal silver has been medically proven to kill over 650 disease-causing organisms in the body and is effective in curing diseases ranging from cancer and multiple sclerosis to HIV/AIDS .
- ForMor, Inc., doing business as ForMor International, and its president, Stan Gross (Birmingham, Alabama) agreed not to make unsubstantiated claims that colloidal silver is effective in treating over 650 infectious diseases, has no adverse side effects, and is effective against arthritis, blood poisoning, cancer, cholera, diphtheria, diabetes, dysentery, gonorrhea, herpes, influenza, leprosy, lupus, malaria, meningitis, rheumatism, shingles, staph infections, strep infections, syphilis, tuberculosis, whooping cough, and yeast infections .
In 2002, the FTC obtained a consent agreement with Kris Pletschke, doing business as Raw Health, agreed to stop making unsubstantiated claims that its colloidal silver product could treat or cure 650 different diseases; eliminate all pathogens in the human body in six minutes or less; and is medically proven to kill every destructive bacterial, viral, and fungal organism in the body, including anthrax, Ebola, Hanta, and flesh-eating bacteria .
In 2002, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration amended its rules so that water-treatment products containing substances like colloidal silver for which therapeutic claims are made must meet the requirements of medicines included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. This means that such products can no longer be legally marketed without proof that they are safe and effective for their intended purpose. The amendment was based on clnclusions that:
- There is little evidence to support therapeutic claims made for colloidal silver products;
- The risk to consumers of silver toxicity outweighs the value of trying an unsubstantiated treatment, and bacterial resistance to silver can occur
- Efforts should be made to curb the illegal availability of colloidal silver products, which is a significant public health issue .
I’m sure Rentz would deny any fault, if I could get him to answer my calls.
If he continues to ignore me, my plans are to file suit in the amount of $2,700,000.00 as Patti was my partner in 2008 when we earned $1,350,000.00.
I will settle for less, as long as I receive an admission of liability.
But whatever Rentz did or did not advise, nowadays such advice to drink large amounts of ionized water is found in every woman’s magazine – and yet it has no scientific basis and is known to be dangerous, even fatal, if done to excess.
Patti began to feel ill and vomit soon after starting the blood, urine and saliva preparation, it only got worse after she added the colloidal silver, but she claimed that Rentz never reassured her, he said that this was a good sign and showed that the “contrivance” was working.
She suffered from nausea long before her treatments with chemotherapy, when the only “medication” she was taking was Rentz’s compound.
After seeing Rentz and drinking his concoctions, she had severe speech, memory and concentration problems.
Ms. Halprin was also told to begin a regimen of high colonics, as well as a “detox diet.” Many COMM CNMO’s and “nutritional therapists” offer so-called detox diets, despite the fact that they never seem to identify the so-called toxins they claim to be banishing from the body, or any proof that these substances have actually gone.
Next, We’ll Examine “Dr.” Apsley
Dr. John Apsley, the alternative practitioner who is one of Rentz’s main partners in crime displays his CV prominently.
To begin with, it reads like any other medical doctor, actually fairly impressive; “Dr.” Apsley holds a degree in medicine – M.D.(E)* (woops, what’s the “E?,” be patient, we get to it).
Apsley also claims to have a BS (Bachelors In Science), however we have been unable to substantiate that as well.
Although these degrees and specialties are not miraculous or spectacular they certainly “sound” honorable, however, you can run but you can’t hide in the day of the Internet, look:
Alas, that distinguished science based medical resume begins to drift, and drift, thereafter it states such highly regarded bunk as “chiropractic” – “DC,” and such Board certifications as: “Acupuncture, Meridian Therapy, Spinal Disability Evaluator (CSDE),” and “Insurance Claims Reviewer (IRC).
So, where do we comment on how it strays?
We thought you’d never ask:
“Dr. Apsley graduated Magna Cum Laud from Life Chiropractic College, located in Marietta, GA.”
Apparently, “Dr.” Apsley has a difficult time earning a living actually “treating” real live human patients with his “medical knowledge.”
So, like any other red blooded American entrepreneur he strays, pretty far!
As if the other shams weren’t enough his resume really starts to quack like a duck here; “He then went on to earn his medical degree in eclectic & integrative medicine from the “highly respected’”and established medical school;
The “British West Indies Medical College (BWIMC)” located, yep wait for it, here it comes; the “Dominican Republic.”
What, no Harvard, Johns Hopkins or UCLA Medical Center?
This college sees “human beings as part of nature’s system within the enormity of the world and the universe!”
Like most other homeopathic institutions they utilize terms that “sound” impressive, however it’s no more than an unaccredited correspondence school: British West Indies Medical College/Non-Existent Diploma Mill
Here’s what else we found about the inspiring and remarkable “British West Indies Medical School;”
It was founded by Gregory E. Caplinger, who died in 2009 while serving a 12-year prison sentence for fraud and money laundering in connection with a cancer scam .
It turned out, however, that he founded and directed the “school” that the good Dr. Apsley attended!
Even more astounding, Caplinger actually issued his diploma to himself.
I guess issuing diplomas to the likes of the good Dr. Apsley was logical for this capitalist charlatan.
Gregory Earl Caplinger, alias Gregory Frazier, died in July 2009 while serving a 12-year prison sentence for fraud. For many years he claimed to be a distinguished and widely published medical doctor and researcher.
However, he did not have a bona fide medical degree and has made more claims and accumulated more questionable “credentials” than any other impostor Dr. Stephen Barrett ever investigated or heard of.
He has also been in trouble at least six times for defrauding people.
During the mid-1990s, he began operating a clinic in the Dominican Republic that offered treatment to desperate patients.
In 2000, after a six-day trial, a North Carolina jury convicted him of wire fraud and money laundering related to “investments” in his phony remedy “ImmuStim.”
However, he did not show for the verdict and remained at large for nearly a year before being captured.
In 2001, he was sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million restitution to his victims.
In the early 1990s, Caplinger began offering to provide chiropractors with a pathway to a medical degree that was expensive but required minimal effort.
Some students may have attended BWIMC for a few weeks of lectures, but it is clear that the school had no qualified faculty and provided no real medical education.
According to a report in Dynamic Chiropractic:
- Caplinger pretended to operate two entities: the “British West Indies Medical College” and the “Universidad Federico Henriquez Y Carvajal,” to which students would supposedly transfer after nine weeks of preparatory coursework.
- At various times, Caplinger claimed to be president; dean; chairman of the Dept. of Internal Medicine; chairman of the Dept. of Immunology; and Administrator, Chief Dept. of Oncology/Immunology.
- In 1996, he was arrested in Broward County, Florida, on ten counts of racketeering (RICO) and grand theft.
- More than 120 individuals had paid him several thousands dollars each.
- In 1997, the charges were dismissed after Caplinger agreed to make partial restitution .
You might think that the above circumstances would discourage other people from claiming to be BWIMC graduates. However, aside from the good Dr. Apsley I have found three:
- Joel Robbins is a licensed chiropractor who operates the Health & Wellness Clinic of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Robbins, also has a bogus naturopathic “degree” from a diploma mill called the Anglo-American Institute of Drugless Therapy 
- James Edward Kellogg directs the physical therapy department at the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Florida. He has valid degrees in physical therapy and chiropractic and is licensed to practice both. However, during the summer of 2006, the Laser Spine Institute Web site briefly represented him as “James Kellogg, M.D.” based on his alleged BWIMC medical degree .
- Laurence Perry is an unlicensed naturopath who operated a clinic in West Virginia for many years. In 2002, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license following the death of an eight-year-old diabetic child whose mother followed Parry’s advice to stop administering insulin .
The documents gathered by Perry’s prosecutor included one from BWIMC which stated that “On the 20th day of March 1987, his degree of “Doctor of Medicine in Homeopathic and Eclectic Medicine (M.D.E.), (ahhh that elusive MD E* referred to above). was granted with honors.”
Perry’s “transcript” states that he matriculated on 3/20/86 and graduated one year later after completing 5 “terms” of classes totaling 540 hours of course work, 6 clinical rotations totaling 2000 hours, 3 dissertations (760 hours), 2 research papers, and an oral examination.
None of this was possible, of course because he lived and worked in South Carolina during that year.
The address for the school was given as “c/o American Nutritional Medical Association, 1326 Dearborn Street, Gary Indiana.”
The AMNA, founded in 1983, was an elaborate “paper conglomerate” that issued scores of different phony credentials .
Caplinger claimed to be a senior AMNA vice president in charge of legal affairs and credential services.
The Indiana address suggests that BWIMC was hatched in 1987 or earlier as part of AMNA’s credential scheme.
Also take a look at this article entitled “Dubious Goings On Down Santo Domingo Way;
As for that impressive sounding electrodermal scanning and dark field microscopy, here is what we found about that.
Thousands of practitioners use “electrodiagnostic” devices to help select their recommended treatment.
Many claim to determine the cause of any disease by detecting the “energy imbalance” causing the problem.
Some also claim that the devices can detect whether someone is allergic or sensitive to foods, deficient in vitamins, or has defective teeth.
Some claim they can tell whether a disease, such as cancer or AIDS, is not present.
One Mexican clinic even claimed that such a device could be used to cure cancer .
The diagnostic procedure is most commonly referred to as Electroacupuncture according to Voll (EAV) or electrodermal screening (EDS), but some practitioners call it bioelectric functions diagnosis (BFD), bio resonance therapy (BRT), bio-energy regulatory technique (BER), biocybernetic medicine (BM), computerized electrodermal screening (CEDS), computerized electrodermal stress analysis (CDCSA), electrodermal testng (EDT), limbic stress assessment (LSA), meridian energy analysis (MEA), or point testing.
Several companies, most of which also sponsor seminars, market EAV devices.
The first EAV devices were developed by Reinhold Voll, a West German physician who had been engaged in acupuncture practice in the 1950s .
In 1958, he combined Chinese acupuncture theory with galvanic skin differentials to produce his EAV system. His first transistorized model was the Dermatron.
A few years later, one of his students (another German physician named Helmut Schimmel) simplified the diagnostic system from approximately 850 points to 60 points, made small modifications to the equipment, and went on to help create the first model of the Vegatest.
Subsequent variants include the Accupath 1000, Asyra, Avatar, BICOM, Bio-Tron, Biomeridian, Computron, CSA 2001, Dermatron, DiagnoMètre, Eclosion, e-Lybra 8, ELAST, Interro, Interactive Query System (IQS), I-Tronic, Kindling, LISTEN System, MORA, Matrix Physique System, Meridian Energy Analysis Device (MEAD, MSAS,Oberon, Omega Acubase, Omega Vision, Orion System, Phazx, Prognos, Prophyle, Punctos III, Syncrometer, Vantage, Vegatest, Victor-Vitalpunkt Diagnose, Vistron, Vitel 618, and ZYTO.
Proponents claims that these devices measure disturbances in the body’s flow of “electro-magnetic energy” along “acupuncture meridians.” 
Actually, such devices are little more than fancy galvanometers that measure electrical resistance of the patient’s skin when touched by a probe.
The device emits a tiny direct electric current that flows through a wire from the device to a brass cylinder covered by moist gauze, which the patient holds in one hand.
A second wire is connected from the device to a probe, which the operator touches to “acupuncture points” on the patient’s other hand or a foot.
This completes a low-voltage circuit and the device registers the flow of current. The information is then relayed to a gauge or computer screen that provides a numerical readout on a scale of 0 to 100 .
According to Voll’s theory: readings from 45 to 55 are normal (“balanced”); readings above 55 indicate inflammation of the organ “associated” with the “meridian” being tested; and readings below 45 suggest “organ stagnation and degeneration.”
However, if the moisture of the skin remains constant—as it usually does—the only thing that influences the size of the number is how hard the probe is pressed against the patient’s skin.
A few of the devices are claimed to measure “vibrations” or “resonance” of body tissues and/or organ
In the earlier devices, the number was indicated by a needle that moved over a dial gauge.
Later versions, such as the Interro pictured below, make sounds and provide the readout on a computer screen.
The treatment selected depends on the scope of the practitioner’s practice and may include acupuncture, dietary change, and/or vitamin supplements as well as homeopathic remedies.
Interro device. One probe is held in the patient’s hand. As the other probe is touched to the patient’s other hand or foot, a bar rises on the right side of the computer screen, accompanied by a noise.
The reading supposedly determines the status of various organs of the body.
In 1986, while investigating the homeopathic marketplace for Consumer Reports magazine, Dr. Stephen Barrett, the afore referenced founder and editor of Quackwatch underwent testing with this device at The Nevada Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When the doctor left the examining room, Dr. Barrett played with the device and found that the movement of the bar and the loudness of the noise were determined only by how hard the probe was pressed against his skin .
After the alleged problems are “diagnosed,” glass ampoules containing homeopathic solutions may be placed in the metal honeycomb in the foreground and the tests are repeated to determine whether they are suitable for correcting the alleged “imbalances.”
Some EAV sellers make direct medical claims, some couch their claims in terms of correcting “imbalances,” and some pretend that the device is used for “stress testing.” In addition:
- Some devices are claimed to help the practitioner make as well as select the recommended remedies. The e-Lybra 8, for example, is said to provide “over 285,000 remedies at your fingertips” and to “make single or multiple remedies easily and quickly in any potency.” 
- Some devices are claimed to restore health by rendering signals that correct “imbalances.” A 1997 patent application for the LISTEN device, for example, states: “By determining the electrical resistance at different points on a patient, it is possible to determine which organs are affected by a disease. In addition, a patient can be treated by providing a radiofrequency electrical signal which restores electrical conductance at specific points to normal levels.” 
- Some practitioners claim to use their device as aid to diagnosis rather than the sole basis for diagnosis. However, I believe they say this to make it harder for licensing boards to discipline them for nonstandard practice.
Capital University of Integrated Medicine, a non-accredited postgraduate school that closed in 2005, offered a three-day course in “Electro Dermal Resistance Analysis.”
The course was said to provide “assessment of health and the treatment of imbalances of the immune system through the resistance characteristics of specific acupuncture meridians on the body” and how to “locate the systemic roots of immune system weakness and to provide stimulation to strengthen the weakness.”
Phazx Systems, which ceased operations after receiving an FDA warning letter, told prospective device purchasers: “You will be able to create a new profit center, because patients will be willingly paying for the services, as well as purchasing vitamins and supplements directly from you.
Often the biofeedback testing can be billed and reimbursed through insurance companies or health plans, using biofeedback CPT codes.”
In a double-blind study, British researchers compared its results with a Vegatest device to those of conventional skin-prick testing in 30 volunteers, half of whom had previously reacted positively for allergy to cat dander or house dust mite.
Each participant was tested with 6 items by each of 3 operators in 3 separate sessions, a total of 54 tests per participant. The researchers concluded that Vegatesting does not correlate with skin prick testing and so should not be used to diagnose these allergies.
The authors estimated that more than 500 EDS devices were being used in the United Kingdom to assess sensitivity to potential allergens .
The Australian College of Allergy has concluded that “Vega testing is a technique of diagnosis without scientific basis.” 
In 1997, a biomedical engineer found that placing ampoules in the honeycomb of a Vegatest I device did not affect the device’s readings .
This is not surprising, because glass is not an electrical conductor.
The FDA classifies “devices that use resistance measurements to diagnose and treat various diseases” as Class III devices, which require FDA approval prior to marketing. In 1986, an FDA official informed me that the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health had determined that the Dermatron and Accupath 1000 were diagnostic devices that posed a “significant risk.” 
No such device can be legally marketed in the United States for diagnostic or treatment purposes.
A few companies have obtained 510(k) clearance (not approval) by telling the FDA that their devices will be used for biofeedback or to measure skin resistance, but this does not entitle them to market the devices for other purposes.
EAV devices are not biofeedback devices.
Biofeedback is a relaxation technique that uses an electronic device that continuously signals pulse rate, muscle tension, or other body function by tone or visual signal.
In biofeedback, the signal originates and is influenced by the patient.
In EAV, the signal is influenced by how hard the operator presses the probe against the patient’s skin. (Pressure makes the electric current flow more easily between the device to the patient’s skin.)
The now-defunct International Academy of Bioenergetic Practitioners encouraged device purchasers to bill insurance companies using biofeedback codes .
Dr. Barrett believes, however, that doing this could result in prosecution for insurance fraud.
The FDA has banned importation of EAV devices into the United States and warned or prosecuted a few marketers 
Foreign and state regulatory agencies have also taken a few actions .
However, no systematic effort has been made to drive them from the marketplace.
As a result, these bogus devices are being used by many chiropractors, acupuncturists, dentists, “holistic” physicians, veterinarians, self-styled “nutritionists,” and various unlicensed individuals .
The most common use is for prescribing homeopathic products.
They are also used to determine “allergies,” detect “nutrient deficiencies,” and locate alleged problems in teeth that contain amalgam (“silver”) fillings.
EAV devices pose several serious risks.
The transmittal of false or misleading health information can cause emotional harm, a false sense of security, or a false set of beliefs that can lead to unwise decisions.
During the past ten years, more than 200 people have Dr. Barrett about their experiences with EAV practitioners.
In most cases, they or someone they knew wasted hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars for the test and recommended treatment.
In some cases, the person tested became very frightened and wound up undergoing expensive medical tests that showed that the diagnosed conditions were not present.
Unnecessary follow-up procedures can also be a serious problem.
Dr. Barrett knows of several patients who had healthy teeth extracted after being misdiagnosed with an EAV device.
In another case, a man who consulted a physician about rectal bleeding and abdominal cramps was examined only with a Dermatron and told that his colon was fine. Unfortunately, the man had colon cancer—which was not diagnosed until at least seven months later when he consulted another doctor.
Two others Dr. Barrett knows about had advanced cancers were erroneously told they were cancer-free. One of them was sold 33 products to get rid of “parasites” and other nonexistent problems.
One victim who tried to get a refund was told that the products had been electrically specifically modified for her and could not be used for anyone else.
The strangest report Dr. Barrett has ever received came from a parent who, after reading an earlier version of Dr.Barrett‘s article, telephoned to described how his five-year-old daughter had been tested by an unlicensed practitioner.
When the child became restless, the test was continued by probing the parent’s hand while the parent held the child.
The parent also noted that the practitioner appeared to manipulate the results (seeking a “50″ reading on the device) by moistening or drying the child’s finger while testing to select the appropriate remedy.
Other Device Variations
Many other “bioenergetic” devices have been claimed useful for diagnosing and/or treating health problems.
Dr. Barrett says he is uncertain whether or not they should be considered EAV devices or classified in some other way.
The common denominator is that they rely on detection and/or manipulation of either “vibrations” and/or a body “energy” system that have no scientific recognition. The devices include the Quantum Medical Consciousness Interface (QMCI) System (also called the EPFX or SCIO), the Orion Bioscan, the Electro Interestitial Scanner (EIS), and various Rife frequency generators.
The Bottom Line
The devices described in this article are used to diagnose nonexistent health problems, select inappropriate treatment, and defraud insurance companies.
Dr.Stephen Barrett believes that EAV devices should be confiscated and that practitioners who use them are either delusional, dishonest, or both.
If you encounter any such device, please report it to the practitioner’s state licensing board, the state attorney general, the FDA, the Federal Trade Commission, the FBI, the National Fraud Information Center, and any insurance company to which the practitioner submits claims that involve use of the device.
For the addresses of these agencies, click here.
Please send copies of your complaints to me at 11312 US Highway 15-501 North, Chapel Hill, NC 27517.
What I find most interesting about all of this, Rentz, Apsley and these devices is they all have ONE THING IN COMMON: YOU CAN FIND THEM ALL PRACTICING IN NORTH OR SOUTH CAROLINA!
COINCIDENCE, I THINK NOT!
For Additional Details
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- Seasilver International Product Information, accessed October 12, 1998.
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- Gulbranson SH and others. Argyria following the use of dietary supplements containing silver colloidial protein. Cutis 66:373-374, 2000.
- Hori K and others. Believe it or not—Silver still poisons! Veterinary and Human Toxicology 44(5):291-292, 2002.
- Blue Is the color of my candidate’s skin. Associated Press, Oct 2, 2002
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- FDA. Final rule: Over-the-counter drug products containing colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts. Federal Register 64:44653-44658, 1999. Download PDF version
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- Regulation of colloidal silver and related products. Therapeutic Goods Administration Web site, Aug 19, 2003.
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- The EAV history and roots (original method). Institute for ElectroAcupuncture & ElectroDiagnostics Web site, March 8, 1999
- American Association of Acupuncture and Bio-Energetic Medicine. Basic explanation of the electrodermal screening test and the concepts of bio-energetic medicine. AAABEM Web site, 1998.
- Voll scale. BioMeridian Web site, accessed Sept 4, 200
- Barrett S. My visit to the Nevada Clinic. Nutrition Forum 4:6-8, 1987.
- Brewitt B. Methods for treating disorders by administering radio frequency signals corresponding to growth factors. U.S. Patent Number 5,626,617, May 13, 1997. Patent Number 5,629,286 contains additional information. To access the full text of these documents, a special plug-in must be used to download them as images (click “Images” at the top or bottom of the page), a process that can take up to an hour.
- Information for e-Lybra 8. World Development Systems Web site, accessed September 4, 2007
- Lewis GT and others. Is electrodermal testing as effective as skin prick tests for diagnosing allergies? A double blind, randomised block design study. British Journal of Medicine 322:131-134, 2001.
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- Mosenkis R. Examination of a Vegatest device. Quackwatch, Sept 4, 2001.
- Rollings JN. Letter to Stephen Barrett, M.D., November 28, 1986.
- Bioenergetics – Space age technology available today. IABP Web site, archived Nov 8, 1999.
- Barrett S. Regulatory Actions Related to EAV Devices. Quackwatch, Sept 5, 2007.