Scientists ask journal to retract scientifically flawed article by leading asbestos industry consultant

Mon, Jul 14, 2014

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Kathleen Ruff,

Over one hundred scientists and thirty organisations have called on the journal, Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, to retract an article by David Bernstein, a consultant heavily linked to and financed by the asbestos industry, entitled The Health Risk of Chrysotile Asbestos. Bernstein’s article claims that his survey of the scientific evidence shows that exposure to high levels of chrysotile asbestos causes no harm to health and that chrysotile asbestos can be safely used.

The scientific evidence shows the exact opposite.

Bernstein is a leading propagandist for the asbestos industry and, like all his work, the article serves the industry’s interests and helps to promote the asbestos trade.

In their letter of July 12, 2014, available here, the scientists and organisations state:

“We call on Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine to withdraw Bernstein’s article due to its bias, its scientifically flawed data, its selective literature review and its misrepresentation of facts. More than this, however, we call on Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine to withdraw the article because it contributes to harm to health.

While the asbestos industry will rejoice that the consultant it has copiously financed for more than a decade has succeeded in placing the asbestos industry’s discredited propaganda in your journal, health professionals are appalled by this fact, which brings shame on your journal and betrays the trust of your readers.”

 The scientists and organisations appealed to the publisher and editors of Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine not to be complicit in causing harm and to retract Bernstein’s discredited, distorted and harmful article.

As well as putting forward asbestos industry misinformation in his article, Bernstein falsely stated that he had no conflict of interests.


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