Scientists allied to asbestos interests criticized once again for putting forward “seriously misleading information”

Wed, Mar 9, 2016


Kathleen Ruff,

Edward Ilgren and John Hoskins, who have long-standing financial ties to asbestos interests, have published a series of articles denying harm caused by chrysotile asbestos and Bolivian crocidolite asbestos.

Many serious improprieties have been exposed regarding these articles – failure to disclose conflicts of interest, false information, publishing in disreputable and/or non-existent journals.

Now eleven leading Italian scientists, who have carried out decades of research on asbestos issues for independent, reputable scientific bodies, have exposed serious problems in yet another asbestos article written by Ilgren, Hoskins and a consulting company, RJ Lee, that does work for asbestos interests. The article was published in 2015 by the journal Epidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health.

In their Comments, published in Epidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health, the eleven scientists criticize the article by Ilgren et al for its incorrect information and for putting forward conclusions that are not supported by the evidence.

Ilgren stated that he was receiving financial support from companies in asbestos litigation when he wrote the article. This might explain why the article is such a weak, unclear and inconsistent document, say the scientists in their Comments, as it was targeted at an extra-scientific setting.

The scientists asked Ilgren to provide the supporting data for claims he puts forward in the article, but he was unable to supply any supporting data.

Journal asked to consider retracting the article

The eleven scientists conclude that the article by Ilgren et al puts forward seriously misleading information and they call on the journal to consider retracting it.

Epidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health is the official journal of the Italian Society of Medical Statistics and Clinical Epidemiology (SISMEC).  The many serious scientific and ethical improprieties being practised by its journal have been brought to the attention of SISMEC.

SISMEC has been asked to take strong action to restore scientific and ethical integrity to its journal. SISMEC has, to date, failed to take action and the improprieties continue.


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