3 of 4 Authors in Medical Journals Have Conflicts of Interest

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Ilena, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. Ilena

    Ilena Guest

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3513791.stm

    EXCERPTS:

    "The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective activity.

    Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Inside the world of medical journals By Ray Dunne BBC News Online health staff

    One of the world's most respected medical journals says it should never have published a
    controversial paper on MMR. What steps do journals take to ensure studies are robust and
    trustworthy?

    Richard Horton sees thousands of research papers pass his desk every year. As editor of The Lancet,
    he decides what is published in one of the world's most prestigious journals.

    In 1997, he received a paper from Andrew Wakefield, a doctor at the Royal Free Hospital in
    Hampstead, north London.

    Dr Wakefield and colleagues had carried out tests on 12 children. They claimed to have found a
    possible link between the three-in-one MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease.

    Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest Dr
    Richard Smith, British Medical Journal editor The study was published in 1998 and its findings
    sparked a media furore. Many parents subsequently decided to shun the three-in-one jab. Last week,
    Dr Horton was told Dr Wakefield may have had a potential conflict of interest.

    Within two days, The Lancet editor had issued a statement acknowledging the potential conflict of
    interest. He told journalists the study had "fatal flaws" and should never have been published.

    The Lancet maintains it should have been told that Dr Wakefield was being paid to carry out another
    similar study.

    It says Dr Wakefield should have been aware of the potential conflict of interest after reading the
    journal's guidelines on the issue.

    In 1998, these stated: "The conflict of interest test is a simple one. Is there anything...that
    would embarrass you if it were to emerge after publication that you had not declared it?"

    Full declarations

    Today, those guidelines are slightly more detailed. The Lancet now demands that contributors declare
    all potential financial conflicts of interest.

    It no longer accepts articles from anyone who has been employed by or held shares in a relevant
    company or its competitors during the previous years.

    Possible sanctions against doctors A letter of explanation pointing out genuine misunderstandings A
    letter of reprimand and warning as to future contact A formal letter to the relevant head of
    institution or funding body Publication of a notice of redundant publication or plagiarism An
    editorial giving full details of the misconduct Refusal to accept future submissions from those
    involve for a stated period Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper Reporting the case to the
    General Medical Council It will accept articles from people who have received money towards
    research, travel or accommodation from relevant companies but only if these are declared in the
    published paper. The new rules reflect a growing trend by medical journals to be seen to more
    transparent.

    "People have really only started looking at this seriously in the past few years," says Dr Richard
    Nicholson, editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics.

    "The pressure has come from the American journals. Some journals have had big problems with
    undeclared conflicts of interest."

    Last year, the Nature Publishing Group announced that it would require all authors to declare if
    they had financial ties to products.

    It followed the news that the author of one paper on experimental treatments for depression held a
    patent, stock options and was being paid consultancy fees by a company named in the article.

    In 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine introduced new rules banning articles by people with
    "significant" financial interests in relevant companies - namely those who have received $10,000 or
    more from these companies.

    "Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest," says
    Dr Richard Smith, editor of the British Medical Journal.

    "For some, this is being paid to go to a meeting or receiving a research grant.

    "A few years ago, very few of these conflicts of interests or competing interests were declared.
    Things have changed but we still have a way to go."

    In 1997, some of the editors of the leading medical journals got together to form the Committee on
    Publication Ethics (COPE).

    It aimed to provide editors with a sounding board and help them "to deal with possible breaches in
    research and publication ethics".

    National guidelines

    In 1999, they issued guidelines aimed at stamping out research fraud and potential conflict of
    interests.

    They state that editors and contributors must always declare potential conflicts of interests. "If
    in doubt, disclose," they advise.

    The committee has also drawn up sanctions to be taken against doctors who fail to stick to
    the rules.

    They range from a simple letter pointing out errors or misunderstandings to a decision to report the
    doctor to the General Medical Council, which has the power to ban them from practising medicine.

    This latest controversy has led to calls for these guidelines to be tightened up.

    "Guidelines need to be sufficiently clear so that people have absolutely no excuse," says Dr Evan
    Harris, a Liberal Democrat MP and a member of the British Medical Association's medical ethics
    committee.

    "It is vital for the credibility of science that all possible steps are taken to ensure that
    everything is above board and everything is seen to above board."

    Dr Smith, who is also vice-chair of COPE, acknowledges that more needs to be done.

    "The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective activity.

    "It's not. It's a human activity and it's prone to all of the joys and downsides of being a human
    activity. We've fooled ourselves."

    Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/3513791.stm

    Published: 2004/02/23 17:52:19 GMT

    © BBC MMIV

    ~~~~~~~

    There have been many, many conflicts of interest in the breast implant "science" ... for info on the
    real risks, please visit:

    www.BreastImplantAwareness.org
     
    Tags:


  2. [email protected] (Ilena) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3513791.stm

    I don't often respond to Ilena's oposts (for obvious reasons) but this one seems to be consistent
    with a seriesd of threadsin this NG. For those of you subject to the cross-posts, my apologies. I
    did not trim the list and I did not add any more NGs.

    > EXCERPTS:
    >
    > "The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective
    > activity.
    >
    >
    > Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Many authors have financial and research associations with various funding agencies and commercial
    sources. Even the Lancet (the topic of discussion) recognizes that these potential conflicts are not
    necessarily conflicts of interest.

    "A conflict of interest exists when an author or the author's institution has financial or personal
    relationships with other people or organisations that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her
    actions. Financial relationships are easily identifiable, but conflicts can also occur because of
    personal relationships, academic competition, or intellectual passion."

    "A conflict can be actual or potential, and full disclosure to The Editor is the safest course. All
    submissions to The Lancet must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as
    presenting a potential conflict of interest (see Lancet 2001; 358: 854-56). The Editor may use such
    information as a basis for editorial decisions, and will publish such disclosures if they are
    believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript."

    So, how well did the BBC do in their report?

    Not so good - read on:

    I made some selective cuts for brevity.

    > Inside the world of medical journals By Ray Dunne BBC News Online health staff
    >
    > One of the world's most respected medical journals says it should never have published a
    > controversial paper on MMR. What steps do journals take to ensure studies are robust and
    > trustworthy?

    > Last week, Dr Horton was told Dr Wakefield may have had a potential conflict of interest.

    [note - the use of the word POTENTIAL]

    > Within two days, The Lancet editor had issued a statement acknowledging the potential conflict of
    > interest. He told journalists the study had "fatal flaws" and should never have been published.
    >
    > The Lancet maintains it should have been told that Dr Wakefield was being paid to carry out
    > another similar study.
    >
    > It says Dr Wakefield should have been aware of the potential conflict of interest after reading
    > the journal's guidelines on the issue.
    >
    > In 1998, these stated: "The conflict of interest test is a simple one. Is there anything...that
    > would embarrass you if it were to emerge after publication that you had not declared it?"

    And that is a pretty good litmus test - but in actuality, the Lancet subscribed to the Uniform
    Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. This was in place in 1979 and the
    last major revision adopted in 1997. It is a bit more stringent and clear.

    > Full declarations
    >
    > Today, those guidelines are slightly more detailed. The Lancet now demands that contributors
    > declare all potential financial conflicts of interest.

    Yes - this is correct. The editors promote complete disclosure of anything that could potentially
    could be interpreted a conflict regardless if it is or isn't.

    > It no longer accepts articles from anyone who has been employed by or held shares in a relevant
    > company or its competitors during the previous years.

    No, this is incorrect. First, the period of potential conflict is defined as three years prior to
    the start of the work.

    Second, the journal does accept articles with commercial sponsors as authors - in fact, it is
    required under the authorship guidelines.

    In the case of articles OTHER THAN original reearch, the following caveats are applied:

    " For Commentaries, Seminars, Reviews, and Series, The Lancet may decide not to publish on the basis
    of a declared financial interest of an author in a company (or its competitors) that makes a product
    discussed in the paper. However, we would much prefer such matters to be resolved earlier, at the
    commissioning stage."

    snipped some stuff

    > In 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine introduced new rules banning articles by people with
    > "significant" financial interests in relevant companies - namely those who have received $10,000
    > or more from these companies.

    Not exactly correct, either:

    "Authors of research articles should disclose at the time of revision any financial arrangement they
    may have with a company whose product is pertinent to the submitted manuscript or with a company
    making a competing product. Such information will be held in confidence while the paper is under
    review and will not influence the editorial decision, but if the article is accepted for
    publication, a disclosure statement will appear with the article."

    "Because the essence of reviews and editorials is selection and interpretation of the literature,
    the Journal expects that authors of such articles will not have any significant financial interest
    in a company (or its competitor) that makes a product discussed in the article."

    Again, it is the REVIEW articles, not the original research articles, where financial associations
    are discouraged.

    If you don't believe me, here is an example from the January 1 2004 issue of the NEJM - the very
    first article:

    Once-Daily Valacyclovir to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of Genital Herpes

    Lawrence Corey, M.D., Anna Wald, M.D., M.P.H., Raj Patel, M.B., Ch.B., Stephen L. Sacks, M.D.,
    Stephen K. Tyring, M.D., Ph.D., Terri Warren,
    M.S., John M. Douglas, Jr., M.D., Jorma Paavonen, M.D., R. Ashley Morrow, Ph.D., Karl R. Beutner,
    M.D., Ph.D., Leonid S. Stratchounsky,
    M.T., Ph.D., Gregory Mertz, M.D., Oliver N. Keene, M.Sc., M.A., Helen
    N. Watson, M.Sc., Dereck Tait, M.B., Ch.B., Mauricio Vargas-Cortes, Ph.D., for the Valacyclovir HSV
    Transmission Study Group

    Where are these authors from?

    Well, one is from from Dow and others from GSK: Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences and Department of
    Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco (K.R.B. - Karl R. Beutner, M.D.,
    Ph.D.,);....(H.A.W., D.T., M.V.-C. - Helen A. Watson, M.Sc, Dereck Tait, M.B., Ch.B., Mauricio Vargas-
    Cortes, Ph.D.), GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development, Greenford, United Kingdom.

    You see, publication honesty requires that all authors make a scientific contribution and all
    scientists who make a contribution are listed as authors. Would you like it better IF the last three
    authors were NOT included even though they made a scientific contribution to the manuscript?

    > "Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest,"
    > says Dr Richard Smith, editor of the British Medical Journal.

    BMJ?

    "We believe that to make the best decision on how to deal with a paper we should know about any
    competing interest that authors and reviewers of that paper may have. We will not reject a paper
    simply because of an author's competing interest but we do publish statements on such interests. See
    How to record competing interests: Guidance for authors and Guidance for reviewers."

    The term used is COMPETING interests, not Conflict of Interest. Even though the BBC put it in
    quotes, what Smith said and what his journal's policy is are not the same.

    > "For some, this is being paid to go to a meeting or receiving a research grant.
    >

    > "Guidelines need to be sufficiently clear so that people have absolutely no excuse," says Dr Evan
    > Harris, a Liberal Democrat MP and a member of the British Medical Association's medical ethics
    > committee.
    >
    > "It is vital for the credibility of science that all possible steps are taken to ensure that
    > everything is above board and everything is seen to above board."
    >
    > Dr Smith, who is also vice-chair of COPE, acknowledges that more needs to be done.
    >
    > "The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective
    > activity.
    >
    > "It's not. It's a human activity and it's prone to all of the joys and downsides of being a human
    > activity. We've fooled ourselves."

    Yes, we certainly have - believing what the BBC writes and what journals do.

    And in case you are wondering, of the 103 cases of research miscounduct examined by Smith et all as
    part of COPE, only 3 involved a failure to disclose a potential conflict of interest.

    js
     
  3. "Jonathan Smith" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    > ... Again, it is the REVIEW articles, not the original research articles, where financial
    > associations are discouraged.

    In a separate thread, you defend an author of a review article who was paid by lawyers to be an
    expert witness on the subject.
     
  4. Good post. I made a few comments.

    "Jonathan Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > > EXCERPTS:
    > >
    > > "The problem has been that people have believed the myth that science is a pure objective
    > > activity.
    > >
    > >
    > > Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    > > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    >
    > Many authors have financial and research associations with various funding agencies and commercial
    > sources. Even the Lancet (the topic of discussion) recognizes that these potential conflicts are
    > not necessarily conflicts of interest.
    >
    > "A conflict of interest exists when an author or the author's institution has financial or
    > personal relationships with other people or organisations that inappropriately influence (bias)
    > his or her actions. Financial relationships are easily identifiable, but conflicts can also occur
    > because of personal relationships, academic competition, or intellectual passion."
    >
    > "A conflict can be actual or potential, and full disclosure to The Editor is the safest course.
    > All submissions to The Lancet must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as
    > presenting a potential conflict of interest (see Lancet 2001; 358: 854-56). The Editor may use
    > such information as a basis for editorial decisions, and will publish such disclosures if they are
    > believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript."

    Oh well...the anti-med whacko conspiracists will claim that the Lancet is now part of the cover up
    sinc eth rul ei snot to disclose everything. .

    > So, how well did the BBC do in their report?
    >
    > Not so good - read on:
    >
    > I made some selective cuts for brevity.
    >
    > > Inside the world of medical journals By Ray Dunne BBC News Online health staff
    > >
    > > One of the world's most respected medical journals says it should never have published a
    > > controversial paper on MMR. What steps do journals take to ensure studies are robust and
    > > trustworthy?
    >
    > > Last week, Dr Horton was told Dr Wakefield may have had a potential conflict of interest.
    >
    > [note - the use of the word POTENTIAL]

    When a scientist is being paid by attorneys from funds designated to be used in specific litigation,
    and the scientist uses clients of the attorney as test subjects, one wonder what a real conflcit of
    interest would be.

    Snip of balance
     
  5. "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Jonathan Smith" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > > Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    > > ... Again, it is the REVIEW articles, not the original research
    articles,
    > > where financial associations are discouraged.
    >
    > In a separate thread, you defend an author of a review article who was paid by lawyers to be an
    > expert witness on the subject.

    I did. Lets suppose an author of a review article is then hired as an expert witness. Do you have a
    problem with that?
     
  6. "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Jonathan Smith" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > > Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    > > ... Again, it is the REVIEW articles, not the original research articles, where financial
    > > associations are discouraged.
    >
    > In a separate thread, you defend an author of a review article who was paid by lawyers to be an
    > expert witness on the subject.

    I point out that the BBC got it wrong, Roger. Journals DO accept parpers from authors with financial
    ties with commercial companies.

    What has that got to do with a 1990 editorial? EDITORIAL you dumb ass. Not a review article. What
    Cherry wrote in 1990 in JAMA - the thing that Money cites as evidence of his turnaround is an
    EDITORIAL, Roger. Not a review article, not an original research manuscript - an EDITORIAL.

    Have you no shame at all, Roger?

    js
     
  7. Ilena

    Ilena Guest

    "Mark Probert-March 5, 2004" <Mark [email protected]>

    I've never seen any of the Quacks who write for and get funded by ACSH (like Barrett etc) ever admit
    that the money they receive is from the Chemical / Pharmaceutical coffers ...

    The widely distributed MCS tripe Barrett wrote never mentioned the vast conflicts of interest
    he had ....

    More on just one of Barrett's Paymasters ACSH

    http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1998Q4/dogs.html

    The Junkyard Dogs of Science by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton

    For the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), the "phthalate issue" (pronounced "THAL ate")
    is just another "scare as usual"--another media fire needing to be extinguished.

    The issue has been simmering for several years, but it reached a flash point in the United States in
    November 1998 when the environmental group Greenpeace issued a report showing that soft vinyl
    children's toys contain significant levels of toxic chemicals--up to 41 percent by weight.
    Greenpeace warned that children may ingest the chemicals, known as phthalates, if they put the toys
    in their mouths. "When children suck and chew on soft vinyl toys, it is similar to squeezing a
    sponge. Water comes out of a sponge, just as these toxic softeners can leach out of a toy,"
    explained Joe Di Gangi, the author of the Greenpeace report.

    Greenpeace was not alone on the issue. Health authorities in several other countries, including
    Austria, Denmark and Sweden, had already issued regulations banning phthalates. Similar measures
    were under consideration, along with warning advisories to parents and requests for retailers to
    voluntarily recall vinyl toys, in half a dozen other European countries and Canada.

    ACSH responded to the "scare" the way it has responded on many similar past occasions, by announcing
    that it was forming a committee to study the question, headed by former U.S. Surgeon-General Dr. C.
    Everett Koop.

    "Dr. Koop will oversee the blue ribbon committee's work and ensure that the most qualified
    scientists are recruited to look at the science on phthalates," said ACSH president Elizabeth
    Whelan. "We know that people want to hear from independent scientists and physicians on important
    safety issues. The committee's report will provide an authoritative point of view on the safety of
    phthalates in vinyl products."

    Most people who read the news probably concluded that ACSH--described in numerous stories as a
    "health advocacy group"--was some sort of impartial consumer organization that could be expected to
    look seriously at the issue. Some reports noted vaguely that ACSH "gets some funding from industry."
    Overall, however, the media did such a thorough job of obscuring ACSH's identity as an industry
    front group that Plastics News, an industry trade publication, mistakenly credited ACSH for
    beginning the "barrage" against the plastics industry over the phthalate issue.

    In fact, ACSH is anything but a critic of industry. Since its founding in 1978, it has actively
    courted industry support, offering itself as an off-the-shelf, available-on-demand source of "sound
    scientific expertise" in defense of virtually every form and type of industrial pollution known to
    the 20th century.

    Following the Money For public consumption, ACSH calls itself "a science-based, public health group
    that is directed by a board of 300 leading physicians and scientists . . . providing mainstream,
    peer reviewed scientific information to American consumers."

    When appealing to industry, ACSH uses a different pitch. A revealing reference crops up, for
    example, in the minutes of a March 16, 1978 meeting of the board of directors of the Manufacturing
    Chemists' Association (today known as the Chemical Manufacturers Association).

    Written in the same month that ACSH began operating, the minutes record an appeal by MCA director
    William J. Driver, who noted that Whelan had founded "a tax-exempt organization composed of
    scientists whose viewpoints are more similar to those of business than dissimilar. . . . ACSH is
    being pinched for funds, but in the interest of independence and credibility will not accept
    support from any chemical company or any company which could even remotely be concerned with the
    aims of the council."

    Notwithstanding this desire to make ACSH appear independent, Driver added that "Dr. Whelan would be
    happy to hear from" MCA members who "are interested in the work of the council and know of possible
    sources of funds."

    Shortly after its founding, ACSH abandoned even the appearance of independent funding. In a 1997
    interview, Whelan explained that she was already being called a "paid liar for industry," so she
    figured she might as well go ahead and take industry money without restrictions.

    Today, some 40 percent of ACSH's $1.5 million annual budget is supplied directly by industry,
    including a long list of food, drug and chemical companies that have a vested interest in supporting
    Whelan's message.

    Stacking the Deck ACSH claims to be an "independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization" that adds
    "reason and balance to debates about public health issues." Whatever "balance" means, however, it
    definitely doesn't mean ideological neutrality. ACSH is unabashedly right-wing and pro-industry.
    Whelan makes no bones about her political leanings, describing herself as a lifelong conservative
    who is "more libertarian than Republican." ACSH's board of directors is also heavily stacked with
    right-wing ideologues.

    Take, for example, ACSH board chairman A. Alan Moghissi. A former official with the U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency, Moghissi characterizes environmentalism as a belief that "members
    of endangered species deserve protection and that, because there are billions of humans, humanity
    does not qualify for protection."

    As an "expert on risk assessment," Moghissi appears regularly on rosters of industry-supported
    "expert panels" that work to undermine environmental regulations. He serves on the advisory board of
    numerous anti-environmental organizations and right-wing "think tanks," including the American
    Policy Center's "EPA Watch," the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, the Advancement of Sound
    Science Coalition, and the National Wilderness Institute, a "wise use" anti-environmental
    organization that calls for abolition of the Endangered Species Act.

    In 1990, Moghissi served on a panel created by the far-right Competitive Enterprise Institute, in
    league with Consumer Alert and the National Consumer Coalition to challenge the EPA's policy
    requiring asbestos removal from schools and other public buildings.

    Moghissi also chairs the Science Advisory Committee of the Environmental Issues Council (EIC), which
    was established in 1993 by industry trade associations including the Association of American Farm
    Bureaus, the Association of General Contractors, the National Cattleman's Association, the American
    Pulpwood Association, the Natural Gas Supply Association, the United States Business and Industrial
    Council, the Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), as well as the Independent Petroleum
    Association of America (IPAA).

    The purpose of the EIC was to serve as a "new ally against ill-conceived environmental regulation"
    according to Petroleum Independent, an IPAA trade publication. "The industries represented face
    common problems," it explained. "The spotted owl might seem to be an active threat only to the
    timber industry but is in actuality a direct threat to agriculture, mining and virtually any land
    user. In addition to the Endangered Species Act, all industries are seriously threatened by federal
    policies regarding wetlands, hazardous waste, and a multitude of other environmental issues."

    Other members of the ACSH board of directors include:

    Attorney Jerald Hill, a former long-time president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, which appears
    in the Heritage Foundation's list of conservative "resource organizations." A recipient of funding
    from right-wing gazillionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, Landmark has a $1 million annual budget and a
    reputation as a "conservative's American Civil Liberties Union." It has filed lawsuits against labor
    unions and school desegregation and has fought for legislation that would allow parents to direct
    public education funding toward their children's private schools. (Whitewater special investigator
    Kenneth Starr also has ties to Landmark, which has focused heavily in recent years on hyping the
    Clintongate scandals.) Fredric Steinberg of Mainstreet Health Care, a private HMO in Atlanta,
    Georgia, who regards Canada's single-payer healthcare system as "the socialized road to medical
    oblivion." Henry Miller, a former FDA official now at the Hoover Institution, who regularly grinds
    an ax against what he considers the FDA's "extraordinarily burdensome regulations" regarding
    genetically engineered foods and new drugs. In 1996, Miller also editorialized against the FDA's
    proposal to regulate tobacco. "The FDA's anti-tobacco initiative . . . has not been without its own
    costs to American consumers and taxpayers," he stated, describing FDA commissioner David Kessler as
    "personally consumed by this single issue." In addition to the board of directors, ACSH also has a
    300-member "board of scientific and policy members." As journalist Beatrice Trum Hunter observes,
    however, "Many of the advisory board members from academia serve in departments of food science and
    technology, mainly supported by the generosity of commercial food interests."

    Other advisors include familiar names from the list of "usual suspects" who appear regularly as
    scientific experts in a variety of anti-environmental, pro-industry forums: Dennis Avery, Michael
    Gough, Patrick J. Michaels, Stephen Safe, and S. Fred Singer, to name a few. Several, including Floy
    Lilley and J. Gordon Edwards, as well as Moghissi, have written articles for 21st Century and
    Technology, a publication affiliated with lunatic-fringe conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche.

    PR Connections The 17-member ACSH board of directors also includes representatives from two PR and
    advertising firms: Albert Nickel of Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift (their motto: "We change perceptions"),
    and Lorraine Thelian of Ketchum Communications.

    Some 40 percent of ACSH's $1.5 million annual budget is supplied directly by industry, including
    a long list of food, drug and chemical companies that have a vested interest in supporting
    Whelan's message.

    Thelian is a Ketchum senior partner and director of its Washington, DC office, which handles the
    bulk of the firm's "environmental PR work" on behalf of clients including Dow Chemical, the Aspirin
    Foundation of America, Bristol Myers Squibb, the American Automobile Manufacturers Association, the
    Consumer Aerosol Products Council, the National Pharmaceutical Council, the North American
    Insulation Manufacturers Association, and the American Industrial Health Council, another industry-
    funded group that lobbies against what it considers "excessive" regulation of carcinogens. Ketchum
    boasts that the D.C. office "has dealt with issues ranging from regulation of toxins, global climate
    change, electricity deregulation, nuclear energy, product and chemical contamination, and
    agricultural chemicals and Superfund sites, to name but a few."

    In 1994, for example, Ketchum's DC office worked on behalf of Dow and the Chlorine Chemistry Council
    to round up scientists who would challenge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 1994 report on
    the health effects of dioxin. Even before the report was released, Ketchum swung into action with a
    30-city PR blitz designed to undercut press coverage for the EPA report. "We identified a number of
    independent scientists and took them on the road" to meet with journalists, academics, political
    leaders and local health officials, Mark Schannon, an associate director of Ketchum's Washington
    office, said. "Basically what we're trying to do is assure that industry's voice is heard by people
    who make policy decisions both here and around the country," Schannon said.

    © Center for Media & Democracy, 520 University Ave., Suite 227, Madison, WI 53703; phone (608)
    260–9713; email [email protected]
     
  8. David Wright

    David Wright Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Jonathan Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >> "Jonathan Smith" <[email protected]> wrote
    >> > > Around three out of four authors in medical journals have some sort of conflict of interest.
    >> > ... Again, it is the REVIEW articles, not the original research articles, where financial associations are discouraged.
    >>
    >> In a separate thread, you defend an author of a review article who was paid by lawyers to be an expert witness on the subject.
    >
    >I point out that the BBC got it wrong, Roger. Journals DO accept parpers from authors with financial ties with commercial companies.
    >
    >What has that got to do with a 1990 editorial? EDITORIAL you dumb ass. Not a review article. What Cherry wrote in 1990 in JAMA - the thing that Money cites as evidence of his turnaround is an EDITORIAL, Roger. Not a review article, not an original research manuscript - an EDITORIAL.
    >
    >Have you no shame at all, Roger?

    Roger's lack of shame (and intellectual integrity) is a long-established feature of m.h.a. When cornered, he attempts to either play word games or change the subject. It's not edifying, either way.

    -- David Wright :: alphabeta at prodigy.net These are my opinions only, but they're almost always correct. "If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders." (Hal Abelson, MIT)
     
  9. "Mark Probert-March 5, 2004" <Mark Probert03-05-
    [email protected]> wrote
    > > In a separate thread, you defend an author of a review
    > > article who was paid by lawyers to be an expert witness
    > > on the subject.
    > I did. Lets suppose an author of a review article is then
    > hired as an
    expert
    > witness. Do you have a problem with that?

    The author might still have motivated to stick to opinions
    that would attract future clients.

    I am not saying that biases among researchers can be
    eliminated. But I do think that members of gubmnt policy
    committees should stick to people without blatant biases, or
    perhaps balance the biased members with some who are biased
    in the opposite direction. The USA vaccine committees only
    have members who are biased towards the vaccine industry.
    There are no Wakefields on the committees.

    Vaccine Policy FAQ
    http://www.mindspring.com/~schlafly/vac/vaccfaq.htm
     
  10. "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Mark Probert-March 5, 2004" <Mark Probert03-05-
    > [email protected]> wrote
    > > > In a separate thread, you defend an author of a review
    > > > article who was paid by lawyers to be an expert
    > > > witness on the subject.
    > > I did. Lets suppose an author of a review article is
    > > then hired as an
    > expert
    > > witness. Do you have a problem with that?
    >
    > The author might still have motivated to stick to opinions
    > that would attract future clients.
    >
    > I am not saying that biases among researchers can be
    > eliminated. But I do think that members of gubmnt policy
    > committees should stick to people without blatant biases,
    > or perhaps balance the biased members with some who are
    > biased in the opposite direction.

    Policy ADVISORY committees, Roger - ADVISORY. We (the
    taxpayers) through elected and appointed representives, make
    policy. We PAY to have experts advise us on the options. We
    KNOW what our advisors have done and for whom and for how
    much. We know this because they are required to tell us. We
    also KNOW that in cases were there is a significant
    POTENTIAL for a conflict of interest, the advisor is recused
    from voting on the panel's recommendation.

    > The USA vaccine committees

    ADVISORY COMMITTEES, Roger.

    > only have members who are biased towards the vaccine
    > industry.

    You suggest that there is a bias and you know this because
    the advisors have actually done funded research on the
    behalf of the manufacturers of vaccines.

    You know that the advisors are biased because they have also
    been paid for doing EXACTLY what you are asking them to do -
    to provide advice.

    You know they are biased towards the vaccine industry
    because they are very very good at what they do, they are
    honest about who they do it for and the advice they give is
    valued by commercial as well as government interest.

    That kind of bias I can live with because it is the bias of
    science, not politics, not Schlafly rhetoric or John boy
    fearmongering.

    sense.

    > There are no Wakefields on the committees.

    Absolutely not - because these are individuals with
    integrity and honesty. Not a single Wakefield and this gives
    me some comfort.

    js
     
  11. Cbi

    Cbi Guest

    [email protected] (Jonathan Smith) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message news:<[email protected]>...

    > > I am not saying that biases among researchers can be
    > > eliminated. But I do think that members of gubmnt policy
    > > committees should stick to people without blatant
    > > biases, or perhaps balance the biased members with some
    > > who are biased in the opposite direction.
    >
    > Policy ADVISORY committees, Roger - ADVISORY.

    Well this is the how Roger goes about telling his lies. On
    the face of them they are factually correct. They just fall
    apart when you closely examine the entire premise.

    1) The requirement for vaccinations is usually set by local
    school boards or boardsof health. They are largely
    composed of elected officials and generally have done no
    research and have no ties to pharmaceutical companies.
    There is no potential for a conspiracy theory there so
    the anti-vacs must look elswhere.

    2) Moving down the chain we could look at what the elected
    officials use to determine what will be required. They
    mostly look at the "official" schedule that is approved
    every year by the AAP and AAFP. Those bodies are composed
    of doctors but by and large not grant getting
    researchers. Die hard anti-vac can try to claim that all
    docs are in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies (and
    some do) but there is still not enough of a smoking gun
    to impress the casual observer so most don't bother.

    3) At the next step is where they hit pay dirt- the vaccine
    advosory committees. When one puts together an advisory
    commitee most reasonable people look for the most
    knowledgeable experts they can

    committee is not to represent all the cultural values of the
    population. That is what the elected officials and local
    governments are for (see #1). The purpose of the committee
    is to provide a recommendations based on the best currently
    available science. The best people to give this kind of info
    are the ones currently doing and writing about the science.
    Unfortunately, in this day and age to do the science nearly
    always requires getting some funding from the industry.

    This last part makes good fodder for conspiracy theories but
    what they don't tell you is that these "tainted"
    recommendations must then pass through two layers of
    filtering which would likely detect flaws in the science or
    culturally innappropriate actions. I wonder what they would
    say of the advisory committees made similar omissions.

    --
    CBI, MD
     
  12. Jg

    Jg Guest

    "CBI" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Jonathan Smith) wrote in
    > message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > > message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > > > I am not saying that biases among researchers can be
    > > > eliminated. But I do think that members of gubmnt
    > > > policy committees should stick to people without
    > > > blatant biases, or perhaps balance the biased members
    > > > with some who are biased in the opposite direction.

    > > Policy ADVISORY committees, Roger - ADVISORY.

    How many vaccination recommendations put forth by the ACIP
    *haven't* been approved by the CDC?

    > Well this is the how Roger goes about telling his lies. On
    > the face of them they are factually correct. They just
    > fall apart when you closely examine the entire premise.

    > 1) The requirement for vaccinations is usually set by
    > local school boards or boardsof health.

    Name a state where (school) vaccination requirements aren't
    set at the *state* level (i.e., either by the legislature or
    the state department of health).

    They are largely composed of elected
    > officials and generally have done no research and have no
    > ties to pharmaceutical companies. There is no potential
    > for a conspiracy theory there so the anti-vacs must look
    > elswhere.

    Setting vaccination policy varies from state to state. In
    states where the (state)department of health doesn't
    directly establish policy, I imagine public health officials
    more or less dictate their wishes to various legislators,
    who then draft legislation to see that the proposed measures
    (e.g., adding a new vaccine to the list of those required
    for school entry) become law. (In Colorado), "between 1992
    and 1994, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gave the
    Colorado Department of Health and the Governor's Office more
    than $850,000 in exchange for promoting its policies [note:
    the RWJ Foundation is a huge proponent of vaccination]."
    (http://i2i.org/article.aspx?ID=373)

    [...]
     
  13. "Jonathan Smith" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > I am not saying that biases among researchers can be
    > > eliminated. But I do think that members of gubmnt policy
    > > committees should stick to people without blatant
    > > biases, or perhaps balance the biased members with some
    > > who are biased in the opposite direction.
    > Policy ADVISORY committees, Roger - ADVISORY. We (the
    > taxpayers) through elected and appointed representives,
    > make policy. We PAY to have experts advise us on the
    > options. We KNOW what our advisors have done and for whom
    > and for how much. ...

    Yes, and we know what they will say, because they have been
    bought and paid for.

    I realize that G.W. Bush has the power to overrule the
    policy committee recommendations. Currently, he is busy with
    more important matters. Whether committee recommendations
    get implemented or not, I'd rather have more neutral
    committees.

    > > only have members who are biased towards the vaccine
    > > industry.
    > You suggest that there is a bias and you know this
    > because the advisors have actually done funded research
    > on the behalf of the manufacturers of vaccines. You know
    > that the advisors are biased because they have also been
    > paid for doing EXACTLY what you are asking them to do -
    > to provide advice.

    The bias is well-documented. Even if it weren't, the bias
    would be obvious from the recommendations.
     
  14. "JG" <[email protected]> wrote
    > How many vaccination recommendations put forth by the ACIP
    > *haven't* been approved by the CDC?

    None, that I know of. A couple of times the CDC had to
    rescind a recommendation because of evidence that the
    vaccine was dangerous. (Eg, HBV with mercury, rotavirus.)

    > > 1) The requirement for vaccinations is usually set by
    > > local school boards or boardsof health.
    > Name a state where (school) vaccination requirements
    > aren't set at the *state* level (i.e., either by the
    > legislature or the state department of health).

    Yes, at the state level. CBI doesn't know what he is
    talking about.
     
  15. Jg

    Jg Guest

    "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "JG" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > How many vaccination recommendations put forth by the
    > > ACIP *haven't* been approved by the CDC?

    > None, that I know of. A couple of times the CDC had to
    > rescind a recommendation because of evidence that the
    > vaccine was dangerous. (Eg, HBV with mercury, rotavirus.)

    > > > 1) The requirement for vaccinations is usually set by
    > > > local school boards or boardsof health.
    > > Name a state where (school) vaccination requirements
    > > aren't set at
    the
    > > *state* level (i.e., either by the legislature or
    > > the state
    department
    > > of health).

    > Yes, at the state level. CBI doesn't know what he is
    > talking about.

    Hardly the first time. Too bad; the first link of his little
    chain is broken. Guess he's happy foolin' some of the people
    at least some of the time!
     
  16. Cbi

    Cbi Guest

    Roger Schlafly wrote:
    > "Jonathan Smith" <[email protected]> wrote
    >>> I am not saying that biases among researchers can be
    eliminated.
    >>> But I do think that members of gubmnt policy committees
    should
    >>> stick to people without blatant biases, or perhaps
    balance the
    >>> biased members with some who are biased in the opposite
    >>> direction.
    >> Policy ADVISORY committees, Roger - ADVISORY. We (the
    taxpayers)
    >> through elected and appointed representives, make policy.
    We PAY to
    >> have experts advise us on the options. We KNOW what our
    advisors
    >> have done and for whom and for how much. ...
    >
    > Yes, and we know what they will say, because they have
    been
    > bought and paid for.
    >
    > I realize that G.W. Bush has the power to overrule the
    policy
    > committee recommendations.

    BWAHAHHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA !!!!!

    Talk about not knowing what you are talking about. The
    president does not set the policies. Not even JG claims they
    are set at a national level.

    You guys are just making things too easy.

    --
    CBI, MD
     
  17. Cbi

    Cbi Guest

    JG wrote:
    > "CBI" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> [email protected] (Jonathan Smith) wrote in
    message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >>> "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >>>> I am not saying that biases among researchers can be
    eliminated.
    >>>> But I do think that members of gubmnt policy committees
    should
    >>>> stick to people without blatant biases, or perhaps
    balance the
    >>>> biased members with some who are biased in the opposite
    >>>> direction.
    >
    >>> Policy ADVISORY committees, Roger - ADVISORY.
    >
    > How many vaccination recommendations put forth by the ACIP
    *haven't*
    > been approved by the CDC?

    The CDC doesn't make laws or mandate immunizations either. I
    don't understand why you continue to insist on arguing
    things you obviously don't undeerstand with those that do.

    And to answer what I think was the gist of your question -
    Prevnar is one.

    It is currently a recommended vaccine according to the ACIP
    recommended and AAP/AAFP approved schedule yet it is not
    required by the school discticts I know of. Things may be
    different somewhere. Since the school entry requirements are
    set at a local level I am sure there are other expmaples
    like Hep B in some systems, and Hep A vaccine in places
    where it is in high prevalence.

    >> Well this is the how Roger goes about telling his lies.
    On the face
    >> of them they are factually correct. They just fall apart
    when you
    >> closely examine the entire premise.
    >
    >> 1) The requirement for vaccinations is usually set by
    local school
    >> boards or boardsof health.
    >
    > Name a state where (school) vaccination requirements
    aren't set at the
    > *state* level (i.e., either by the legislature or the
    state department
    > of health).

    Maryland for one. Around here the requirements areset by the
    Baltimore Dept of health. Even if what you say is true it
    still doesn't matter. The requirements would still be being
    set by a local government- nit the feds - and not by any
    national organization - not the AAP, the ACIP, the CDC, or
    any other. They still would be being set by elected
    officials.

    > They are largely composed of elected
    >> officials and generally have done no research and have no
    ties to
    >> pharmaceutical companies. There is no potential for a
    conspiracy
    >> theory there so the anti-vacs must look elswhere.
    >
    > Setting vaccination policy varies from state to state. In
    states
    > where the (state)department of health doesn't directly
    establish
    > policy, I imagine public health officials more or less
    dictate their
    > wishes to various legislators,......

    The key words being, "I imagine." I'm really not interested
    in arguing about what you imagine.

    --
    CBI, MD
     
  18. Cbi

    Cbi Guest

    JG wrote:
    > "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> "JG" <[email protected]> wrote
    >>> How many vaccination recommendations put forth by the
    ACIP *haven't*
    >>> been approved by the CDC?
    >
    >> None, that I know of. A couple of times the CDC had to
    rescind
    >> a recommendation because of evidence that the vaccine was
    >> dangerous. (Eg, HBV with mercury, rotavirus.)
    >
    >>>> 1) The requirement for vaccinations is usually set by
    local school
    >>>> boards or boardsof health.
    >>> Name a state where (school) vaccination requirements
    aren't set at
    >>> the *state* level (i.e., either by the legislature or
    the state
    >>> department of health).
    >
    >> Yes, at the state level. CBI doesn't know what he is
    talking about.
    >
    > Hardly the first time. Too bad; the first link of his
    little chain is
    > broken. Guess he's happy foolin' some of the people at
    least some of
    > the time!

    Umm - your claim is that the members of national vaccine
    advisory committees set the policies. I say it is elected
    officials in local governments Your rebuttal is to claim it
    is a different local government?

    Weak.

    if you are even going to try to defend you position then
    I'll take it as an admission of defeat.

    --
    CBI, MD
     
  19. Jg

    Jg Guest

    "CBI" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > JG wrote:
    > > "CBI" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > >> [email protected] (Jonathan Smith) wrote in
    > message
    > > news:<[email protected]>...
    > >>> "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message
    > > news:<[email protected]>...

    > >>>> I am not saying that biases among researchers can be
    > eliminated.
    > >>>> But I do think that members of gubmnt policy
    > >>>> committees
    > should
    > >>>> stick to people without blatant biases, or perhaps
    > balance the
    > >>>> biased members with some who are biased in the
    > >>>> opposite direction.

    > >>> Policy ADVISORY committees, Roger - ADVISORY.

    > > How many vaccination recommendations put forth by
    > > the ACIP
    > *haven't*
    > > been approved by the CDC?

    > The CDC doesn't make laws or mandate immunizations either.

    Who said they do? Look, the ACIP makes recommendations to
    (i.e., ADVISES) CDC officials, who then issue
    recommendations to the states.

    I
    > don't understand why you continue to insist on arguing
    > things you obviously don't undeerstand with those that do.

    Bwahahaha...snort...bwahahahaha!

    > And to answer what I think was the gist of your question -
    > Prevnar is one.

    No, Chris; the CDC, under the advice/recommendation of the
    ACIP, added Prevnar to its list of recommended vaccines.
    (See http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5301-
    Immunizationa1.htm for the current "recommended
    vaccinations" schedule.) My question was simply whether the
    CDC has ever NOT recommended a vaccine after being advised
    to do so by the ACIP.

    > It is currently a recommended vaccine according to the
    > ACIP recommended and AAP/AAFP approved schedule yet it is
    > not required by the school discticts I know of.

    What does this have to do with *anything* being discussed?
    (And for heaven's sake, PCV [Prevnar] isn't even recommended
    for kids >/= 5! Your lack of knowledge is scaring me, Chris!
    ...Are you *sure* you're a pediatrician?)

    Things may be
    > different somewhere. Since the school entry requirements
    > are set at a local level I am sure there are other
    > expmaples like Hep B in some systems, and Hep A vaccine in
    > places where it is in high prevalence.

    I'm sure if you do a bit of research you'll find that MD's
    (school) vaccination requirements are set by the STATE
    government and that your local district is simply informing
    district parents about them.

    > > Name a state where (school) vaccination requirements
    > aren't set at the
    > > *state* level (i.e., either by the legislature or the
    > state department
    > > of health).

    > Maryland for one. Around here the requirements areset by
    > the Baltimore Dept of health.

    No, Chris; they're set by the state. You might want to read
    the article at http://www.dhmh.state.md.us/publ-
    rel/html/pr081803.htm and the information at http://www.mda-
    rchives.state.md.us/msa/mdmanual/26excom/html/22immun.html
    before you make a further fool of yourself.

    Even if what you say is true it
    > still doesn't matter. The requirements would still be
    > being set by a local government- nit the feds - and not by
    > any national organization - not the AAP, the ACIP, the
    > CDC, or any other.

    CHRIS! WAKE UP!!! They're set by STATE government! State
    government is NOT local government!

    They still would be being set by elected
    > officials.

    Not in Maryland! (Go to the second link I provided.)

    > > They are largely composed of elected
    > >> officials and generally have done no research and
    > >> have no
    > ties to
    > >> pharmaceutical companies. There is no potential for a
    > conspiracy
    > >> theory there so the anti-vacs must look elswhere.

    > > Setting vaccination policy varies from state to
    > > state. In
    > states
    > > where the (state)department of health doesn't directly
    > establish
    > > policy, I imagine public health officials more or less
    > dictate their
    > > wishes to various legislators,......

    > The key words being, "I imagine." I'm really not
    > interested in arguing about what you imagine.

    Not surprising. Your own imagination seems to keep you
    busy enough!
     
  20. Jg

    Jg Guest

    "CBI" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > JG wrote:
    > > "Roger Schlafly" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > >> "JG" <[email protected]> wrote

    > >>> How many vaccination recommendations put forth by the
    > ACIP *haven't*
    > >>> been approved by the CDC?

    > >> None, that I know of. A couple of times the CDC had to
    > rescind
    > >> a recommendation because of evidence that the vaccine
    > >> was dangerous. (Eg, HBV with mercury, rotavirus.)

    > >>>> 1) The requirement for vaccinations is usually set by
    > local school
    > >>>> boards or boardsof health.
    > >>> Name a state where (school) vaccination requirements
    > aren't set at
    > >>> the *state* level (i.e., either by the legislature or
    > the state
    > >>> department of health).

    > >> Yes, at the state level. CBI doesn't know what he is
    > talking about.

    > > Hardly the first time. Too bad; the first link of his
    > little chain is
    > > broken. Guess he's happy foolin' some of the people at
    > least some of
    > > the time!

    > Umm - your claim is that the members of national vaccine
    > advisory committees set the policies.

    Excuse me? *My* claim? Where? When? You're getting daffier
    with each post, Chris! I'm fully aware (as stated in my post
    and copied by you, above) that the ACIP advises (i.e., makes
    recommendations to) the CDC and that CDC officials, in turn,
    then make recommendations to the states.

    I say it is elected
    > officials in local governments Your rebuttal is to claim
    > it is a different local government?

    LOL. No, my claim is that vaccination policy is set at the
    STATE level, i.e., by STATE officials, either elected
    (legislators) or appointed/hired (health department
    personnel). Look, *local* governments are county/city/town
    governments (and smaller units; e.g., fire districts, school
    districts, water districts. sanitation districts, soil
    districts).

    > Weak.

    Ah, Chris! Stop embarrassing yourself!

    > if you are even going to try to defend you position then
    > I'll take it as an admission of defeat.

    Get help. Learning to think logically wouldn't hurt, either.
     
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