The International Association of Cancer Registries has terminated its relationship with the European Journal of Cancer Prevention

Tue, Feb 10, 2015


Kathleen Ruff,

Since 2001, the European Journal of Cancer Prevention (EJCP) has enjoyed the credibility of a special relationship with the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR). Each issue of the EJCP has displayed the IACR logo and a statement: “Official journal of the International Association of Cancer Registries”. An IACR representative was one of the three Associate Editors of the EJCP.

In January 2014, the IACR was asked to reconsider its relationship with the EJCP in light of concerns about improprieties in the conduct of the EJCP regarding non-disclosure of conflicting interests in an article on asbestos, published by the EJCP, which was written by the journal’s Associate Editor, Carlo La Vecchia, and Paolo Boffetta. Concerns about other improprieties were also raised.

In a letter of February 5, 2015, the President of the IACR, Dr. Roberto Zanetti, states, “The relation between the Association and the Journal, started in 2001, has not been regularly monitored by the Executive Board of the Association after 2006 and has become almost vestigial.” He states that the Executive Board of the IACR discussed the matter at their meeting in June 2014 and recommended to end the relation with Journal. This decision was later adopted and communicated to the Editor in Chief and to the Publisher of the Journal and the European Journal of Cancer Prevention no longer carries the logo of the International Association of Cancer Registries or the statement “Official Journal of the IACR”, said Zanetti.

A response has been sent to Dr. Zanetti, thanking the IACR for having taken this action to protect the integrity of the IACR. The letter notes that:

“The public places trust in the IACR and it is important that the IACR take great care that its credibility not be misused.

In addition to the failure of the editors of the European Journal of Cancer Prevention to respect Conflict of Interest Disclosure standards, which conduct appeared to the public to have the support of the IACR, it was troubling to see IACR’s official journal publishing articles promoting the consumption of Coca Cola and highly sweetened beverages in a project funded by Coca Cola and promoting the use of the herbicide Atrazine in a project funded by Syngenta Crop Protection.

The sweetened drink industry and the chemical industry have great financial and political influence, which they use to advance their vested interests. In my opinion, the name and credibility of the IACR should not be allowed to be used for promoting industry-funded projects that serve the vested interests of the industry and that go contrary to the efforts of independent scientists working to protect the public from carcinogenic harm from the products sold by these industries.

Thank you again. I am very glad that the IACR has acted responsibly and with integrity.

Following the refusal of the editors of the EJCP to address the complaint regarding failure to disclose conflict of interest and other improprieties, a complaint was submitted to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). See Scientific journals: Do ethical standards apply?

As a result of the complaint to COPE, the publisher of the EJCP required that the authors, Carlo La Vecchia and Paolo Boffetta, publish an Erratum disclosing their conflicting interests and correcting the false funding information they had provided in their article on asbestos. See: Scientists publish Erratum to disclose their conflicts of interest.




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