Opinion: Problems with Hidden Conflicts of Interest. When a scientific article has an author or a list of authors, we usually have no reason to wonder who was responsible for the work. But despite increased focus on conflicts of interest (COI), recent events suggest that there may be more to authorship than a list of researchers’ names and their affiliations. Earlier this year, a court case revealed that four independent laboratories that contributed to a study on a proprietary chemical published in a peer-reviewed journal were not so independent after all.
Reporting bias common in epidemiological studies, says expert. Epidemiological studies too often suffer from “reporting bias”, according to Gerard Swaen, an epidemiologist from scientific consultancy, Exponent, in the Netherlands. He was speaking at a Fresenius conference on endocrine disruptors. (Bear in mind this is not a published paper but an opinion.)
Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims. The authors suggest 20 concepts that should be part of the education of civil servants, politicians, policy advisers and journalists — and anyone else who may have to interact with science or scientists.
Bad Reporting or Bad Science? Systematic Data Evaluation as a Means to Improve the Use of Peer-Reviewed Studies in Risk Assessments of Chemicals. Pilot of a new set of criteria for evaluating methodological quality of toxicological research.
Scientists’ Ties to Food Industry Raise Questions in Europe. Nearly 60 percent of the scientists used as consultants by the European Food Safety Authority, or E.F.S.A., have direct or indirect ties to industries regulated by the agency, according to a report from the Corporate Europe Observatory, an advocacy group that criticizes corporate influence on public policy.
Scientist with extensive industry ties quits EU advisory panel. A German scientist who is critical of the European Union’s plan to regulate chemicals and has extensive financial ties to regulated companies has resigned from a key scientific committee of the European Commission.
Getting Real About Chemical Risks. Many people assume that the chemicals in their detergents, floor cleaners, and other household products have undergone rigorous safety testing. But little is known about the potential risks associated with most of the estimated 80,000 chemicals in commerce today. While industry tries to dispel links to illnesses that go beyond what science can prove, the public is skeptical because companies have a financial stake in showing their products are safe. This leads both sides to look to the federal government for help.
Risk By Association. Very good article outlining the difficulties of juggling varying evidence types in the risk assessment and risk management processes.
Report: Scientists who attacked EU chemicals policy had industry ties. Seventeen scientists who publicly criticised EU plans to regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been linked to regulated industries.