Robert R. Barefoot (born 1944) is a controversial proponent of alternative medicine and a self claimed expert of Calcium. He has been cited by both the United Kingdom's Independent Television Commission and the FTC in the United States for making misleading ads and making unsubstantiated claims, including medical claims.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Robert Barefoot graduated with Honors from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a certificate in chemical research technology. Even though he is sometimes referred to as "Dr. Robert Barefoot", he does not possess any doctoral degree. He now lives in Wickenburg, Arizona.
According to unverifiable information on his website, Barefoot has researched enhanced hydrocarbon and metal extraction in the mining industry for which he obtained several international patents. He has also published six research papers on mineral diagenesis and analytical chemistry. Barefoot's research with Dr. Carl Reich on terminal cancer patients led Barefoot to write one of his best-selling books, "The Calcium Factor." The book has been ranked in Amazon's top 500 sales listings.
When the Attorney General of Maryland brought a case against the marketers of T-Up, an unproven cancer and AIDS treatment, Barefoot was called upon to be an expert witness on the use of caesium chloride on humans in conjunction with high pH therapy but was dismissed based on his lack of professional training and research in this particular area.
According to a critical Time magazine article by Leon Jaroff, "The monthly cost of the recommended dose of Barefoot's calcium tablets is some 15 times greater than that of the ordinary drug store variety." Jaroff called Barefoot's marketing of coral calcium "one of the more successful scams of our age" and "sheer nonsense," and labeled him a "huckster". He ended his article with a call for intervention by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
When are the chickens ever going to come home to roost? Barefoot has been getting away with this scam for years, conning his naive audience, and presumably enriching himself along the way. Isn't it well past time for the Federal Trade Commission to step in?
Upon further analysis, it is apparent that Coral Calcium is nothing more than calcium carbonate and magnesium (there are other elements and minerals present in trace amounts) which can be bought at the local home improvement store as limestone and costs about $1.00 per bag.
- Barrett, Stephen. "A Critical Look at Robert Barefoot". Quackwatch. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Robert Barefoot Interview Page 2". Retrieved 2010-06-07.
- Robert Barefoot. "Curriculum Vitae". Retrieved 2010-06-07.
- Jaroff, Leon (Mar. 14, 2003). Coral Calcium: A Barefoot Scam. Time
- Maryland Attorney General (May 10, 2000). Curran Orders Aloe Company to Stop "Miracle Cure" Claims and to Pay Restitution and $3.7 Million in Civil Penalties.
- Rodowsky J. Opinion in T-Up, Inc, et al. v. Consumer Protection Division, Office of the Attorney General. In the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, No. 0064, September Term, 2001.