03 May 2017
Journal threatened –vested-interests
The International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health (IJEOH) is a peer-reviewed international journal that has been publishing important scientific manuscripts on occupational and environmental health hazards, policy and prevention since 1995.
Towards the end of 2016, the publishers replaced the existing editor, David Egilman with a new appointment without any consultation with the existing Editorial Board. The new editor, Dr Andrew Maier, is known to be a consultant to industry. No reasons were given for this choice by the publisher. On 11 February, 29 current and former Editorial Board members wrote to the publisher to express their concern about the lack of transparency and the inappropriateness of the appointment of Dr Maier.
What this struggle represents is a growing phenomenon in scientific publication – the corporatisation of journals and the ascendency of corporate interests over independent science in the public interest.
URLs on the statement and related:
- https://cspinet.org/sites/default/files/attachment/Letter%20to%20IJOEH%20Publisher%20CEO_0.pdf (your letter)
- https://cspinet.org/news/bypassing-editorial-board-science-journal%E2%80%99s-publisher-replaces-editor-withdraws-paper-20170427 (Mike’s statement).
URLs on TERA:
- Lisa Song, InsideClimate News, and Rosalind Adams, The Center for Public Integrity. Texas Weakens Chemical Exposure Guidelines, Opens Doors for Polluters. http://wallacehouse.umich.edu/wp-content-uploads/2016/02/song.pdf
Ethics, morality, and conflicting interests: how questionable professional integrity in some scientists supports global corporate influence in public health
Baur X et al.
How conflicted authors undermine the World Health Organization (WHO) campaign to stop all use of asbestos: spotlight on studies showing that chrysotile is carcinogenic and facilitates other non-cancer asbestos-related diseases
Baur X et al.
Evidence from Toxicology: The Most Essential Science for Prevention
Mandrioli D et al.
GRADE: Assessing the quality of evidence in environmental and occupational health
Morgan RL et al.
Regulating Chemicals: Law, Science, and the Unbearable Burdens of Regulation
Silbergeld EK et al.
08 November 2016
New toxicological standards: Relationship between Research Outcomes and Risk of Bias, Study Sponsorship, and Author Financial Conflicts of Interest
The most critical afflictions of toxicology at present relate to its lack of principles commonly accepted as essential to evidence-based practice, an aversion to transparency, and persistent adherence to nonsystematic methods” (Mandroli and Silbergeld, 2016). “The largest elephant in the room is the failure of toxicology as a field to examine its own biases in terms of conflicts of interest” (LaDou et al. 2010).
“In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation”. (UN 1992)
“The limits of the discipline of toxicology and the delayed promulgation and application of effective regulatory policies based on the use of toxicological principles contributed to the impetus for the precautionary principle largely in order to empower timely preventive actions” (Collegium Ramazzini 2004)
02 October 2016
Ethical Dimensions of Producing and Using Evidence to Inform Policy in a World of Ever-expanding Environmental Health Inequalities
Risk Management and Risk Communication: The Role of Vested Interests in epidemiological science:
Making a cancer cluster disappear.
Read below an article from Center for Public Integrity, winner of Pulizer Price in 2014. By David Heath, Center for Public Integrity
After a record number of brain tumors at a chemical plant, industry launched a flawed study that obscured the extent of the problem:
New Position Statement on Conflicting Interests
EOM supports the proactive steps of the International Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (IJPC-SE) to develop a new Position Statement on Conflicting Interests through a consensus-building process
28 June 2015, Parma, Italy
The role of epidemiology in public policy
Prof. Colin S. Soskolne (presentation 2015,)
Asbestos industry celebrates sabotage of UN Convention
At the close of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam May 15, Russia and Kazakhstan – the world’s biggest asbestos exporters – refused to allow chrysotile asbestos to be put on the Convention’s list of hazardous substances These two asbestos exporters were joined by Zimbabwe (which wants to re-open its asbestos mines) and Russia’s ally, Kyrgyzstan. This group of four countries blocked the recommendation of the Convention’s scientific committee and the wishes of the overwhelming majority of countries attending to put chrysotile asbestos on the Convention’s list, which would have required prior informed consent to be obtained before chrysotile asbestos could be exported - See more at: http://www.rightoncanada.ca/?p=2976#sthash.7FlF9MUW.dpuf
Nature calls: Conflicts-of-interest statements are needed for research used in risk assessment
Nature calls upon regulatory agencies to demand conflicts-of-interest statements for research used in risk assessment; preempts undue influence in rule making
Ethical issues in setting RELs
See current example in the US: (Click here for pdf) which was strongly criticized in letters to NIOSH by many scientists, physicians and organisations due to acceptance of a lifetime cancer risk of exposed workers of 1:1000:
- 66 Health Scientists and Medical Professionals - Comments to NIOSH
- NIOSH Car Pol Org Letter v2
- NIOSH cancer policy comments 02.20.14
- A. M. Finkel comments on NIIOSH carcinogen policy
You may be aware that the situation in the EU is even worse due to acceptance of a lifetime cancer risk of 4:1000. This current debate on TLVs/RELs based on economic feasibility rather than on sound science is also relevant for setting limits in non-cancerogenic occupational health risks. Citation from ATSCME: “People have the same right to protection at work that they do in other activities. There can be no justification for setting exposure limits for workers that provide less protection than for the general population, for which de minimis risk is considered to be 1 in 1 million lifetime risk.”
Here you can find a collection of interesting papers concerning ethical aspects of occupational and environmental medicine, especially the influence of industry on scientific research.