Corruption in Science News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on corruption in science
The US government has lifted a three-year ban on making lethal viruses in the lab, saying the potential benefits of disease preparedness outweigh the risks. Labs will now be able to manufacture strains of influenza, Sars and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers). The ban was imposed following safety breaches at federal institutions involving anthrax and avian flu. Now a scientific review panel will have to green-light each research proposal. It will only be allowed to go ahead if the panel determines there is no safer way to conduct the research and that the benefits it will provide justify the risk. Critics say such "gain-of-function" research still risks creating an accidental pandemic. The ban was imposed in 2014 after embarrassing safety lapses including ... dozens of workers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) being exposed to anthrax bacteria, [and] long forgotten vials of smallpox left in a cardboard box being discovered at a research centre near Washington. In addition, there was concern that research into transmissible pathogens, which is published, could be used to deliberately engineer a mutant virus. Now, the US National Institutes of Health says it is time to lift the ban on funding such research.
Note: Despite FBI assurance to the contrary, the 2001 weaponized anthrax attacks remain unsolved. From November of 2001 to March of 2002, eleven microbiologists mysteriously died. According to this 2009 ABC News article, swine flu may be a "man-made product of genetic experiments accidently leaked from a laboratory". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on avian and swine flu from reliable major media sources.
Alison Steel was only 4˝ years old when her mother's life changed forever. In 1957, Jean Steel was admitted to Montreal's Allan Memorial Institute. In the months that followed, Steel became the victim of CIA-funded brainwashing experiments conducted by Dr. Ewen Cameron. She was kept in a chemically induced sleep for weeks and subjected to rounds of electroshocks, experimental drugs and tape-recorded messages played non-stop. Steel said her mother was never quite the same. Now, 60 years after Cameron's experiments left her mother damaged for life, Alison Steel has finally won a measure of justice for her family. The federal government quietly reached an out-of-court settlement with Steel earlier this year, paying her $100,000 in exchange for dropping the legal action she launched in September 2015. The settlement with Steel is the latest development in the decades-old saga that began with Cameron's experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute in the '50s and '60s. What patients and their families didn't know was that Cameron's experiments were ... being funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's MK Ultra program. The CIA ... funded mind-control experiments across North America. In 1992, Conservative Justice Minister Kim Campbell decided to compensate dozens of Cameron's former patients. An estimated 70 patients were compensated, but hundreds more who applied were rejected because the government said they hadn't been "de-patterned" enough to warrant compensation.
There are few federal food policies as contentious as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, developed every five years after a report by the independent U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The guidelines [are] used to develop approaches to everything from food labeling regulations to school lunch menus and food stamp benefits. Following the 2015 committee report, which had recommended that Americans reduce their consumption of red and processed meat and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, the food and beverage industry scrambled to respond. But newly released emails suggest a broader strategy for shaping policy. The chain, which began with a mass email from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC), an industry-funded group, included a conversation between two former executives of Coca-Cola Co. and of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), also an industry-funded group. These emails lay out “what appears to be the food industry’s roadmap for dealing with scientific challenges,” said Gary Ruskin ... an author of a report on the significance of the emails. The emails “reveal deliberate use of [the tobacco industry’s] ‘playbook’ tactics: cast doubt on the science, influence reporters, use front groups (e.g., ILSI and IFIC) to undermine concerns about the harmful effects of sugary drinks and head off dietary guidelines raising such concerns, and regulation,” said Marion Nestle, a professor ... at New York University and author of Food Politics and Soda Politics.
Emails released as part of a federal lawsuit against Monsanto suggest the agriculture supplier cozied up to an EPA regulator and sought to whitewash studies to ignore potential cancer-causing effects of an herbicide found in weed-killer. NPR reports the emails show the company asked scientists to co-sign safety studies on glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, after the International Agency for Research on Cancer found glyphosate may cause cancer. The emails show company representative William Heydens suggesting the company "ghost-write" a finding. He wrote, according to NPR, "we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak." The emails ... also show EPA regulator Jess Rowland boasting in a 2015 email to Monsanto that, "If I can kill this I should get a medal," referring to a Monsanto effort to stop a government investigation into glyphosate. CBS reported another email from a Monsanto employee to an EPA director said, "I doubt EPA and Jess can kill this, but it's good to know they are going to actually make the effort." The company defended the relationship in an interview with Bloomberg. Rowland ... has left the EPA's pesticide division and is involved in about two dozen lawsuits related to the company not disclosing potential cancer-causing hazards of glyphosate.
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
On its website, Kellogg touted a distinguished-sounding "Breakfast Council" of "independent experts" who helped guide its nutritional efforts. Nowhere did it say this: The maker of Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes paid the experts and fed them talking points. The company paid the experts an average of $13,000 a year, prohibited them from offering media services for products "competitive or negative to cereal" and required them to engage in "nutrition influencer outreach" on social media or with colleagues, and report back on their efforts. For Kellogg, the breakfast council - in existence between 2011 and this year - deftly blurred the lines between cereal promotion and impartial nutrition guidance. The company used the council to teach a continuing education class for dietitians, publish an academic paper on breakfast, and try to influence the government's dietary guidelines. One of the breakfast council's most notable achievements was publishing a paper defining a "quality breakfast" in a nutrition journal. Kellogg touted the paper in its newsletter as being written by "our independent nutrition experts." Dietitians could earn continuing education credits from the publisher for taking a quiz about the paper. Kellogg didn't describe its own role in overseeing editing and providing feedback, such as asking for the removal of a line saying a recommendation that added sugar be limited to 25 percent of calories might be "too high."
People rely on unbiased research to find out important statistics about all facets of nutrition. However, recent research from the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney suggests there is bias in industry-funded research studies ... the full extent of which is still unknown. [Professor Lisa] Bero and her team reviewed 775 reports in the medical literature ... to determine whether nutrition studies funded by the food industry were "associated with outcomes favourable to the sponsor". "Most of the studies only looked at the [author's interpretation] of the research. If it were industry sponsored, they were more likely to have a conclusion that favoured the industry sponsor," Bero said. This latest paper [follows] Bero's previous study which found nutrition studies funded by artificial sweetener companies are more likely to lead to favourable results. So, what happens if more industry sponsored nutrition studies are proven to be biased? "If you look at other areas where the effects of industry sponsorship have been shown, like in the pharmaceutical research area and the tobacco research area, people have actually applied more consistent quality criteria," Bero said. "You'd also want to try to make sure that all the data is being published. In the nutrition area they don't have things like clinical trial registries like they do for drug studies, for example. So if you have a study that's unfavourable or parts of it are unfavourable, it's hard to tell if ... all of it has gotten published. That's a huge bias in the pharmaceutical and tobacco studies."
A report commissioned by the College of Family Physicians of Canada to examine the relationship between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry is being criticized. The document ... was completed in 2013 and only released this month after a number of doctors challenged the college board to make it public. In one of its key findings, the report notes, "There have been instances in which marketing messages have been portrayed as education and health care and pharmaceutical industries have attempted in this way to influence physicians' behaviour or practices," it says. "Evidence suggests that there could also be significant influence on the behaviour of individuals who may be offered gifts or other forms of support, even when the recipients perceive neither obligation nor influence." The report makes 20 recommendations dealing with issues such as conflict of interest, financial relationships, marketing and other relationships with the pharmaceutical and health care industries. But they don't prevent a doctor with ties to the pharmaceutical industry from serving in leadership positions, sponsoring certain events, or even from contributing to an "unrestricted" education fund. Alan Cassels, a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria, is critical of the college for sitting on the report as long as it did. He suspects the college held it back because it's "pretty embarrassing."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and big pharma profiteering. Then read an in-depth essay titled "The Truth About Drug Companies" by acclaimed author Dr. Marcia Angell.
Survivors of CIA torture have sued the contractor psychologists who designed one of the most infamous programs of the post-9/11 era. In an extraordinary step, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen now face a federal lawsuit for their role in convincing the CIA to subject terror suspects to mock drowning, painful bodily contortions, sleep and dietary deprivation and other methods long rejected by much of the world as torture. In practice, CIA torture meant disappearances, mock executions, anal penetration ... and at least one man who froze to death, according to a landmark Senate report last year. On behalf of torture survivors ... as well as a representative of the estate of Gul Rahman – who froze to death in a CIA black site in Afghanistan – the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the suit against Mitchell and Jessen on Tuesday in a federal court in Washington state. The suit calls the torture program a “joint criminal enterprise” and a “war crime” in which the CIA, Mitchell and Jessen colluded and from which Mitchell and Jessen financially profited. Although numerous US government investigations have pierced the veneer of secrecy around the torture program, the program’s government architects have faced no legal reprisal. A Justice Department inquiry ended in 2012 without prosecutions. The new lawsuit, aimed not at government officials but the contractors Mitchell and Jessen, aims to break the trend.
Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome-editing technique that would alter human DNA in a way that can be inherited. Ethicists, for decades, have been concerned about the dangers of altering the human germline — meaning to make changes to human sperm, eggs or embryos that will last through the life of the individual and be passed on to future generations. Until now, these worries have been theoretical. But a technique invented in 2012 makes it possible to edit the genome precisely and with much greater ease. The technique has already been used to edit the genomes of mice, rats and monkeys, and few doubt that it would work the same way in people. Though such a moratorium would not be legally enforceable and might seem unlikely to exert global influence, there is a precedent. In 1975, scientists worldwide were asked to refrain from using a method for manipulating genes, the recombinant DNA technique, until rules had been established. “We asked at that time that nobody do certain experiments, and in fact nobody did, to my knowledge,” said Dr. Baltimore, who was a member of the 1975 group. The new genome-editing approach was invented by Jennifer A. Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and Emmanuelle Charpentier of Umea University in Sweden. Many ethicists have accepted the idea of gene therapy, changes that die with the patient, but draw a clear line at altering the germline, since these will extend to future generations.
Note: Is this voluntary moratorium enough to stay the hand of our corrupt scientific establishment?
The U.S. Air Force has notified Congress that it intends to shut down HAARP, a controversial Alaska-based research facility that studies an energetic and active region of the upper atmosphere. HAARP (short for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) has long been the center of wild speculation that the program is designed to control the weather - or worse. In 2010, Venezuelan leader Huge Chavez claimed that HAARP or a program like it triggered the Haiti earthquake. HAARP is a research program designed to analyze the ionosphere, a portion of the upper atmosphere that stretches from about 53 miles (85 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth to 370 miles (600 kilometers) up. The program has been funded by the Air Force, the Navy, the University of Alaska and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. The U.S. military is interested in the ionosphere because this portion of the atmosphere plays a role in transmitting radio signals. HAARP sends radio beams into the ionosphere to study the responses from it. HAARP cost more than $290 million to build. The site was host to numerous projects over the years, including the creation of the first artificially produced aurora in 2005. Conspiracy theorists think HAARP's purpose is far more sinister than meets the eye. The program has been blamed for everything from global warming to natural disasters to mysterious humming noises in the sky.
Note: Recent natural disasters have some researchers wondering if HAARP-like technologies are being used to manipulate the weather. For powerful, reliable information that these technologies are capable of this, see this excellent webpage filled with verifiable information about HAARP and its capabilities.
Chemotherapy can be a tough road for people with cancer, often debilitating and even dangerous. Which is why five years ago, when Duke University announced that it had an advanced, experimental treatment that would match chemotherapy to a patient's own genetic makeup, it was hailed as the holy grail of cancer care. The scientist behind the discovery was Dr. Anil Potti, and soon Dr. Potti became the face of the future of cancer treatment at Duke, offering patients a better chance even with advanced disease. However, when other scientists set out to verify the results, they found many problems and errors. Duke's so-called breakthrough treatment wasn't just a failure -- it may end up being one of the biggest medical research frauds ever. Dr. Potti resigned from Duke. He faces an investigation into research misconduct. These days, he's working as a cancer doctor in South Carolina. And if you look online, you will see that he is celebrated for "his significant contribution to the arena of lung cancer research." The websites were created with the help of an online reputation consultant, perhaps to put the best face on the available data.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corruption in scientific research and publication, click here.
It's fraudulent for academics to give their names to medical articles ghostwritten by pharmaceutical industry writers, say two Canadian law professors who call for potential legal sanctions. Studies suggest that industry-driven drug trials and industry-sponsored publications are more likely to downplay a drug's harms and exaggerate a drug's virtues, said Trudo Lemmens, a law professor at the University of Toronto. The integrity of medical research is also harmed by ghostwritten articles, he said. Ghostwriting is part of marketing that can distort the evidence on a drug, Lemmens said. Industry authors are concealed to insert marketing messages and academic experts are recruited as "guest" authors to lend credibility despite not fulfilling criteria for authorship, such as participating in the design of the study, gathering data, analyzing the results and writing up of the findings. Lemmens and his colleague Prof. Simon Stern argue that legal remedies are needed for medical ghostwriting since medical journals, academic institutions and professional disciplinary bodies haven't succeeded in enforcing sanctions against the practice. Ghostwritten publications are used in court to support a manufacturer's arguments about a drug's safety and effectiveness, and academic experts who appear as witnesses for pharmaceutical and medical device companies also boost their credibility with the publications on their CV, Lemmens said.
Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on [October 29] that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry. The new position was declared in a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Department of Justice ... in a case involving two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. “We acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary to the longstanding practice of the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as the practice of the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies that have in the past sought and obtained patents for isolated genomic DNA,” the brief said. The issue of gene patents has long been a controversial [one]. Opponents say that genes are products of nature, not inventions, and should be the common heritage of mankind. They say that locking up basic genetic information in patents actually impedes medical progress. Proponents say genes isolated from the body are chemicals that are different from those found in the body and therefore are eligible for patents. In its brief, the government said it now believed that the mere isolation of a gene, without further alteration or manipulation, does not change its nature.
Note: This is great news. To see how patents have been used in scary ways to promote global monopolies, watch this documentary.
For the last four years, two robot rovers operated from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge have been moving across the surface of Mars, taking photographs and collecting information. It's an epic event in the history of exploration, one of many for which JPL's 7,000 civilian scientists and engineers are responsible -- when they're not fending off the U.S. government's attempts to conduct an intimidating and probably illegal inquisition into the intimate details of their lives. The problem began -- as so many have -- in the security mania that gripped the Bush administration after 9/11. Presidential Directive No. 12, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, directed federal agencies to adopt a uniform badge that could be used by employees and contractors to gain access to government facilities. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin ... directed Caltech, which has a contract to run JPL for NASA, to make sure all of the lab's employees complied. The government demanded that the scientists, in order to get the badges, fill out questionnaires on their personal lives and waive the privacy of their financial, medical and psychiatric records. The government also wanted permission to gather information about them by interviewing third parties. Twenty-eight of JPL's senior scientists sued in federal court to stop the government and Caltech from forcing them to agree to the background checks as the price of keeping their jobs. They point out that Griffin is one of those who remain skeptical that human actions contribute to global warming, and that some of JPL's near-Earth science has played a critical role in establishing the empirical case to the contrary. They see the background checks as the first step toward establishing a system of intimidation that might be used to silence inconvenient science.
Note: For many disturbing reports on threats to our civil liberties, click here.
Common sense tells us that influencing the past is impossible -- what's done is done, right? Even if it were possible, think of the mind-bending paradoxes it would create. While tinkering with the past, you might change the circumstances by which your parents met, derailing the key event that led to your birth. Such are the perils of retrocausality, the idea that the present can affect the past, and the future can affect the present. Strange as it sounds, retrocausality ... has been debated for decades, mostly in the realm of philosophy and quantum physics. Trouble is, nobody has done the experiment to show it happens in the real world, so the door remains wide open for a demonstration. It might even happen soon. Researchers are on the verge of experiments that will finally hold retrocausality's feet to the fire by attempting to send a signal to the past. It should all be doable with the help of a state-of-the-art optics workbench and the bizarre yet familiar tricks of quantum particles. If retrocausality is confirmed -- and that is a huge if -- it would overturn our most cherished notions about the nature of cause and effect and how the universe works.
The Bush administration is clamping down on scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, the latest agency subjected to controls on research that might go against official policy. New rules require screening of all facts and interpretations by agency scientists who study everything from caribou mating to global warming. The rules apply to all scientific papers and other public documents, even minor reports or prepared talks. Some agency scientists, who until now have felt free from any political interference, worry that the objectivity of their work could be compromised. The new requirements state that the USGS's communications office must be "alerted about information products containing high-visibility topics or topics of a policy-sensitive nature." The agency's director, Mark Myers, and its communications office also must be told -- prior to any submission for publication -- "of findings or data that may be especially newsworthy, have an impact on government policy, or contradict previous public understanding." In 2002, the USGS was forced to reverse course after warning that oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would harm the Porcupine caribou herd. One week later a new report followed, this time saying the caribou would not be affected.
Most of the federal scientists who improperly accepted personal money from drug or biotechnology companies walked away with reprimands or were allowed to retire unscathed. Only two of the 44 scientists found to have violated rules governing private consulting deals are being investigated for possible criminal activity, and they remain on the government payroll. NIH spokesman John Burklow said his agency wanted eight others reviewed for possible crimes, but those cases were rejected by the investigating office at the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. The two still outstanding...both committed "serious misconduct," so grave that they would be fired if they were civilians, NIH internal ethics reports contend. [A Congressional] subcommittee is expected to question NIH officials about documents showing it approved several taxpayer-paid trips for [Dr. Trey] Sunderland to attend conferences and events in places like Hawaii and Toronto, even after recommending his firing. Of the 44 alleged offenders...the majority received reprimands or warnings for failing to properly obtain approvals for their outside consulting work. NIH ethics reports allege...two scientists had unauthorized, unreported deals with drug companies -- Sunderland earning more than $600,000 over eight years for consulting and speeches and [Dr. Thomas] Walsh more than $100,000 in five years -- and that their consulting improperly overlapped with government duties.
Note: The Los Angeles Times later reported that Dr. Sunderland was the first NIH scientist in 14 years to be found guily of conflict of interest laws. For more vital information on major collusion between government and the pharmaceutical companies: http://www.WantToKnow.info/healthcoverup.
Doctors accused of making up data in medical studies. Allegations of misconduct by U.S. researchers reached record highs last year as the Department of Health and Human Services received 274 complaints - 50 percent higher than 2003 and the most since 1989 when the federal government established a program to deal with scientific misconduct. Chris Pascal, director of the federal Office of Research Integrity, said its 28 staffers and $7 million annual budget haven't kept pace with the allegations. The result: Only 23 cases were closed last year. Of those, eight individuals were found guilty of research misconduct. In the past 15 years, the office has confirmed about 185 cases of scientific misconduct. Research suggests this is but a small fraction of all the incidents of fabrication, falsification and plagiarism. In a survey published June 9 in the journal Nature, about 1.5 percent of 3,247 researchers who responded admitted to falsification or plagiarism. (One in three admitted to some type of professional misbehavior.)
[Somender Singh] claims that his invention makes an engine cleaner, quieter and colder...while using up to 20 percent less gas. So far, all Singh’s invention has earned him is a few polite rejection letters from presidents, professors and auto manufacturers. “I am...no man with letters after his name or fancy institutions, and what I have invented is really very simple,” he admits. Remember that the internal combustion engine is itself hardly rocket science. The internal combustion engine (ICE) has been with us for about 200 years. The basic concept—the boom that turns a crank—has not really changed at all. The efficiency of that bang had stalled out at around 28 percent. The vast majority of the fuel was dissipated as engine heat or exhaust. Singh knew that ... the combustion chamber [was where] fuel was turned to bang. He modified a motorcycle, then a two-stroke, then a four-stroke, then a car, then 50 cars. Singh applied for a patent in January 1999, and the U.S. Patent Office issued him No. 6237579 in May 2001. Finally he was allowed to bring his engines and hook them to a Benz EC-70 dynamometer with a five-gas analyzer and a Benz gravimetric fuel-measuring device. At between 2,000 and 2,800 rpm, Singh’s modified engine used between 10 and 42 percent less fuel than its unmodified twin, with no appreciable losses in torque or power.
Note: After posting a message on a group of high-school students who achieved dramatic improvements in car engine efficiency two weeks ago, we received emails from more than ten people claiming to have made or know of similar inventions. The above article was sent as evidence in one case. Dozens of other cases that could be real. For Mr. Singh's website, see http://www.somender-singh.com. For lots more, click here.
It was the kind of study that made doctors around the world sit up and take notice: Two popular high-blood-pressure drugs were found to be much better in combination than either alone. Unfortunately, it wasn't true. Six and a half years later, the prestigious medical journal the Lancet retracted the paper, citing "serious concerns" about the findings. The damage was done. Doctors by then had given the drug combination to well over 100,000 patients. Instead of protecting them from kidney problems, as the study said the drug combo could do, it left them more vulnerable to potentially life-threatening side effects, later studies showed. Today, "tens of thousands" of patients are still on the dual therapy, according to research firm SDI. When a study is retracted, "it can be hard to make its effects go away," says Sheldon Tobe, a kidney-disease specialist at the University of Toronto. And that's more important today than ever because retractions of scientific studies are surging. Since 2001, while the number of papers published in research journals has risen 44%, the number retracted has leapt more than 15-fold, data compiled for The Wall Street Journal by Thomson Reuters reveal. Just 22 retraction notices appeared in 2001, but 139 in 2006 and 339 last year
Note: To learn lots more of how the medical industry puts profit above public health, click here.
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