A Double Secret FDA List?

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As you know, I often use the term, “You just can’t make this stuff up”. Today’s blog entry is right up there with the nuttiest stuff I have seen. This comes from a chiropractor named “Ross Carter”. Let’s dive in.

Who is Ross Carter?

Ross is a chiropractor in Gwinett County, Georgia. He used to work here:

ross carter stem cells aging

However, Google has this place as “Permanently Closed”. I featured him previously on a blog and while he claimed to be a regenerative medicine expert, I could find little if any evidence that he was such an expert. What he actually seemed to be doing was promoting other doctors on a podcast, one of which was using fake stem cell products made from Wharton’s Jelly. He did speak in a pay-for-play spot at the A4M conference, but as you’ll see from this blog post, that’s not impressive. 

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Double Secret Probation

I love the 1978 movie Animal House where the term “Double Secret Probation” was coined. To me, it means something that is so secret that nobody really knows about it. Why that’s important is that a colleague just sent me a quote from Ross Carter’s new book, “Biohack Aging: Healing The Weakest Links That Lead To Pain, Disability, & Disease” that’s so “out there” that I just had to share. This is an excerpt from that book:

“In addition, most of these procedures do not follow the current FDA guidelines and are either not approved or prohibited. There are a few health care providers in the USA, including myself, that can do procedures that the FDA does not approve through a special membership. This means that the patients we work with must apply to be a member of this special membership. Fortunately, when it comes to myself and other providers that I work with worldwide, we are put in a different jurisdiction that is separate from all city, state, and federal regulations. So, if you need help finding one, please contact me by email or through my website drrosscarter.com Healthcare providers sign up. For healthcare providers who would like to offer these types of procedures and become members of this special network, please go to my website drrosscarter.com to learn more.”

So is there such a thing as a “special membership” where you can perform procedures not allowed by the FDA? Nope. I called Ross Carter at the phone number listed on his website. He picked up the phone and we had a nice chat. What he told me initially was that he meant tribal members on Indian reservations who were “doctors of indigenous medicine”. Once I had identified myself he elaborated that this paragraph, as written, was probably deceiving as from reading it I thought he was claiming a special deal with the USA FDA.

Can You Use FDA Prohibited Stem Cell or Other Products on Tribal Land?

We have looked into many possibilities where things like culture-expanded cells could be used. This included opening a clinic on an American Indian reservation or even “Sea Steading”. That last one is performing procedures on a cruise ship in International Waters. The bottom line was that after professional legal analysis by qualified FDA regulatory council, none of them held water.

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What is An Expert?

Ross and I also had a good talk about his claims of being a regenerative medicine expert and claims of live stem cells in birth tissue products. An expert in medicine has a very specific definition. In order to be on that list you would need to:

  1. Have published articles on the topic in peer-reviewed publications (or sometimes book chapters) and this usually includes original research
  2. Have been asked to speak at major medical conferences on that topic because of that expertise (usually to present original research)
  3. Be able to hang in a conversation with an expert about knowledge that can only be gained by being an expert

Ross hasn’t published any original research, I would never ask him to speak at a major medical conference on this topic, and within a few minutes of discussing the issue of whether birth tissue products had live and functional mesenchymal stem cells he wasn’t “hanging”. Hence, IMHO Ross is not a regenerative medicine expert.

The upshot? So now you know that there are no special deals with the FDA to use non-approved products. To Ross’ credit, he did agree to edit that paragraph. Finally, there are thousands of claims of being a regenerative medicine expert out there, but few who make that claim can pass a simple test of expertise.

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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