Continuing failure of Canadian universities to address industry influence

Thu, Jun 23, 2016


The influence of vested interests over universities and scientific research poses a threat to democracy and is a  priority issue of our times.

Universities are increasingly dependent on funding from industries who have vested interests and are seeking to influence public policy so as to serve their private interests, whether it be the agro-chemical industry, the fossil fuel industry, Big Pharma, the fast food industry, the sugared drinks industry, the weapons industry.

The Power Point presentation below, given on June 23 at the Epidemiology Congress of the Americas, examines how Quebec’s two leading English-language universities – McGill University and Concordia University – served the interests of the asbestos industry and continue today to refuse to correct the wrongdoing, thus contributing to harm of populations overseas, where the asbestos industry continues to sell asbestos, saying it is a safe .

The presentation calls for a mechanism of transparent, independent oversight to address and prevent improper industry influence.

Continuing failure of Canadian universities to address industry influence and undisclosed conflicting interests. The example of asbestos.


Kathleen Ruff, Expert Adviser on human rights and ethics to the Executive Committee and Chair, International Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology

See the Power Point presentation here.

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