TV doctor 'sick' over allegations
Magazine cover story 'makes me look like a charlatan,' nutritionist says
The Montreal Gazette
Feb 22, 2000Original link: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/pages/000222/3635093.html
But even he was surprised yesterday to see himself on a magazine cover. He hadn't posed for the picture.
"I was absolutely sick," said the registered nutritional counselor better known to TV viewers as Dr. Martin.
An altered image, his head on another body, is on the front of the March issue of Protegez-Vous, published by the Quebec Consumer Protection office.
The article, scheduled to hit newsstands on Friday, says Martin isn't a medical doctor even though he signs his name as one.
It says a consumer-protection investigator was personally handed a prescription by Martin - whose signature appeared next to the space for prescribing doctor - and witnessed Martin doing an on-the-spot diagnoses at an east-end Montreal drugstore.
The story goes on to say that Martin uses the initials that designate a chiropractic doctor in his informercials and personal appearances at pharmacies.
"They can criticize my products but when they attack me and make me look like a charlatanŠ " Martin said. "I'm going to take some very serious action and sue them for defamation."
He stressed that he has never presented himself as a medical doctor and never will.
And although he doesn't have a license to work as a chiropractor in Quebec, he pointed out that he graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1974.
In addition to that diploma, he later earned a PhD in nutrition from an institute in Louisiana.
Martin said he was a practicing chiropractor in Timmins, Ont., for 25 years before moving his business - Martin Health Care Group Inc. - to Montreal last October.
He applied to join the Quebec Order of Chiropractors after arriving here, but was told that his commercial venture promoting and selling the health-food supplements isn't compatible with chiropractic care.
Order president Normand Danis said his organization told Martin that, even if he passed the exams and became a member, he would immediately be cited and have to appear before the disciplinary committee for conflict of interest.
"He sells his products and profits from it," Danis said. "Chiropractors sell vitamins in their clinics, but as a service and not (to make money)."
Sanctions for breaking order rules include fines varying from $600 to $6,000 an offence.
The Protegez-Vous article also takes exception with pharmacists who allow "so-called doctor" Martin to set up next to their drugstore counters and give consultations and diagnoses as well as prescriptions for natural products.
"I get invited by pharmacists to go to their drugstores," Martin said.
"I've written two books on fibromyalgia syndrome (a common condition of widespread muscular pain and fatigue).
"I'm a known expert on the subject and do conferences all around the world."
- Mike King can be reached by phone at (514) 987-2479 or by E-mail at email@example.com.
hard hitting - quackbusting