Scientific American Publishes Article by Discredited Institution


Scientific American risks taking on the stigma of the loss of credibility

The American Council on Science and Health, which was busted in a scam to trick people all around the world into thinking that glyphosate – an ingredient in RoundUp(TM) was safe – advertises itself as a “pro-industry” not-for-profit.  Monsanto (now Bayer Crop Sciences).  RTK (Right to Know) considers ACSH a “corporate front” (Read: Glyphosate:GEOFFREY KABAT’S TIES TO TOBACCO AND CHEMICAL INDUSTRY GROUPS  (RTK)).  GM Watch describes how discovery in the first trial on fake science constructed in an attempt to refute studies that supported that Glyphosate is a cancer-causing agent.  (Read:Glyphosate and Cancer: Buying Science (GM Watch)).  ACSH’s involvement in the fake science came out in the Dewayne Johnsons’ successful lawsuit against Monsanto which led to an historic ruling that Monsanto influenced studies that were represented as independent.   Emails obtained on discovery showed that Monsanto employees were openly discussing “Ghost Writing” (as they had done in past studies).

The Journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology (CRT) published a series of papers reviewing the carcinogenic potential of weed-killing agent glyphosate. In a special issue of CRT entitled “An Independent Review of the Carcinogenic Potential of Glyphosate,” the review found that the weight of evidence showed the weed killer was unlikely to pose any carcinogenic risk to people.  These conclusions ran counter to previous studies, which ACSH was involved in a coordinated campaign in which they (and others with ties to Monsanto) attempted to discredit past studies showing that that glyphosate is a carcinogen.

In the review, sixteen scientists from “four independent panels” had declared in their paper that their conclusions were free of Monsanto’s intervention.  The Declaration of Interest section reads: “Neither any Monsanto company employees nor any attorneys reviewed any of the Expert Panel’s manuscripts prior to submission to the journal.

In reality,  William Heydens, Monsanto’s chief of regulatory science, emailed: “I have gone through the entire document and indicated what I think should stay, what can go, and in a couple spots I did a little editing.“  A confidential document dated May 11, 2015 identified several candidate scientists who could be used as authors to give the papers credibility. The Monsanto documents show discussion of “ghost-writing” strategies employing non-Monsanto scientists as authors to lend credibility to the study’s findings.
In the trial, Heydens admitted that he had received copies of the papers in advance of publication, and that he had read “parts of some of them,” before the study was sunmitted to the journal for publication.  He testified that he did not “recall” making the 28 edits that plaintiffs’ attorneys found after in-depth review of the internal records. (Read: EHN  A story behind the Monsanto cancer trial — journal sits on retraction).


Now, Scientific American has published an article authored by an ACSH author in which he, and a astrophysicist compare mothers of vaccine injured children to drunk drivers.  The analogy they make is a terrible logical fit in innumerable ways.  For one, drunk drivers make bad choices with impaired judgement, whereas mothers of vaccine injury are super-informed and have been conscripted to be vaccine risk aware as a result of direct personal experience and have chosent to not repeat the risk of vaccine injury in their family.  What is society’s monument of gratitude for the families who stop vaccinating after death or serious injury?  Denialism, lack of research on treatments of vaccine injury, ridicule, censorship, comparison to terrorists and pedophiles, and drunk drivers, and, in Rockland County, NY, a new executive order that they cannot bring their children into the public without risking arrest and imprisonment.  This degree of abuse is not sustainable because vaccines continue to add more injured families toqt the population. The real public health crisis is the growing amount of chronic illness that mechanistic studies tell us can manifest in some people. The American public is experiencing gas-lighting on vaccine risk. Full Stop.

There is insufficient research on identifying families at risk prior to vaccine injury.  Instead, post-market surveillance studies are used to find rates of vaccine injury – but vaccine injury denialism is hard-wired into the vaccination promotion paradigm.  The families who pay the cost of vaccine injury learn that vaccine injuries are not reported, as required by law, by their doctors to VAERS – which captures 1% of vaccine adverse events and is touted both as a critical tool for tracking vaccine injury and a flawed tool because causality cannot be assessed.  More gas-lighting.

Society must take heed and carefully consider anything put out by institutions that are comfortable selling their reputation to corporations.  Ghost writing, of course, is not new.  Flaherty (2013) warned:

“Industry-sponsored ghost- and guest-authored clinical research publications are a continuing problem in medical journals. These communications are written by unacknowledged medical communication companies and submitted to peer-reviewed journals by academicians who may not have participated in the writing process. These publications, which are used for marketing purposes, usually underestimate the adverse effects and medical risks associated with the products evaluated. Since peer-reviewed data are used to develop health care paradigms, misleading information can have catastrophic effects. A failure to curb ghost and guest authorship will result in an erosion of trust in the peer-review system, academic research, and health care paradigms.”

Scientific American can do better.  The medical establishment can do better.  The public has the right – and in a democracy the civic duty – to hold scientific institutions accountable for not conducting the type of science required to generate knowledge of causation of the epidemic of chronic illnesses, autism and autoimmunity, anxiety, anorexia, depression and suicide.  The mainstream press is participating due to their conflict of interest from direct-to-consumer marketing of pharmaceutical products.

As Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently  said in an event at Yale University: “It’s time to start listening to women.  My body, my choice.  Whatever happened to that?”

James Lyons-Weiler, PhD

Allison Park, PA

UPDATE:  In February 2019 a University of Washington meta-analysis concluded that glyphosate raises cancer risk by 41 per cent. That study was publishced in the journal Reviews in Mutation Research.

Flaherty DK. 2013. Ghost- and guest-authored pharmaceutical industry-sponsored studies: abuse of academic integrity, the peer review system, and public trust. Ann Pharmacother. 2013 Jul-Aug;47(7-8):1081-3. doi: 10.1345/aph.1R691. Epub 2013 Jun 26.


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  1. “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

    Dr. Marcia Angell

    Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals
    Richard Smith


      I love this. It reminds me of what BEN GOLDACRE wrote in his book intro:
      “How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients”

      Medicine is broken. And I genuinely believe that if patients and the public ever fully understand what has been done to them – what doctors, academics and regulators have permitted – they will be angry. On this, only you can judge. We like to imagine that medicine is based on evidence, and the results of fair tests. In reality, those tests are often profoundly flawed. We like to imagine that doctors are familiar with the research literature, when in reality much of it is hidden from them by drug companies. We like to imagine that doctors are well-educated, when in reality much of their education is funded by industry. We like to imagine that regulators only let effective drugs onto the market, when in reality they approve hopeless drugs, with data on side effects casually withheld from doctors and patients. I’m going to tell you how medicine works, just over the page, in one paragraph that will seem so absurd, so ludicrously appalling, that when you read it, you’ll probably assume I’m exaggerating. We’re going to see that the whole edifice of medicine is broken, because the evidence we use to make decisions is hopelessly and systematically distorted; and this is no small thing. Because in medicine, doctors and patients use abstract data to make decisions in the very real world of flesh and blood.

      Not a fan of Goldache but he did shed some needed light on the industry. Big disappointment but not surprised he stopped short of outing the vaccine industry.

  2. It’s very creepy but not a bit surprising that the same industry front organization protecting tobacco and glyphosate is now protecting vaccine makers. Thank you for making the connection, Dr. Lyons Weiler.

  3. Could you tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of a prospective cohort study compared to a retrospective case control design?

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