2006-12-08 (15) Renowned cancer scientist (Sir Richard Doll ) was paid by chemical firm (Monsanto)
From: Sandra Finley
Lobbying to assert the public interest is no more than banging one’s head against the wall, if we can’t get the corporate influences out of the Government and the universities.
Continuation of: An integrated approach to solving the problem of chemicals and health. Began April 03, 2006.
This follows: EMAIL #14, How good are fine words when CropLife is on the PMRA Advisory Council?, November 7, 2006.
Friday, December 8, 2006
(1) Federal Ministers
– Health, Tony Clement
– Agriculture, Chuck Strahl
– Fisheries and Oceans, Loyola Hearn
– Environment, Rona Ambrose
(2) University of Saskatchewan, Office of Vice President Research, c/o Laura Zink; Deans Ernie Barber (Agriculture) and Grant Isaac (Commerce).
(3) Many Others
Dear Tony Clement,
I am requesting that you remove CropLife Canada (and its most recent iteration, the CropLife Food Safety Council) from contact and work with all Government and publicly-funded bodies.
I am newly requesting that you remove the top management in the PMRA.
The failure to obtain effective responses to problems at the PMRA, and today’s disclosures on Sir Richard Doll (appended) lead me to refer the PMRA to the RCMP.
CropLife Canada is the lobby machine for Monsanto and other of the chemical-biotech companies. You have received my protest that CropLife Canada is on the Advisory Committee for the PMRA. I have sent information regarding Keith Solomon who the PMRA puts on its evaluation panels. I’ve told you about long, on-going, lucrative conflicts-of-interest between an employee (Tom Wolfe) of the PMRA and CropLife Canada. You have received EMAIL #9 May 02, “Context: Corruption of the companies, public record.”. This information was sent again on Nov 7 as an appendage to “How good are fine words when CropLife is on the PMRA Advisory Council?”. Nothing happens.
Now this in today’s news: “$1500 a day, in the mid-eighties.” … “for 20 years” … Renowned cancer scientist (Sir Richard Doll ) was paid by chemical firm (Monsanto). The public record shows Monsanto fined 770 million dollars by an Alabama Court, its attempted bribery of officials in Health Canada over bovine growth hormone, its attempted bribery of officials in Indonesia, and so on and on.
Your vaunted upcoming Cancer Strategy will be nothing more than a continuation of rhetoric if CropLife and other industry organizations remain “partnered” with the Government. How can it be otherwise?
Prior to the placement of Peter MacLeod from CropLife Canada on the PM Advisory Council (Health Canada), I came to Ottawa and met with Karen Dodds, head of the PMRA. To tell her and Connie Moase, another of the head haunchos, about the problems. Many people from across Canada are familiar with the problems at the PMRA and have voiced them. IN SPITE OF THAT and with no explanation, Peter MacLeod from CropLife was appointed to the Advisory Council.
When I call your office to lodge complaints about the PMRA, I am referred to Janet Saloum at 1-800-267-6315. She is INSIDE the PMRA. As told to you, the PMRA is so in bed with the industry it is supposed to regulate, well-documented and well-known to Canadians, that a referral to anyone inside the PMRA is pointless. Janet will be well-intentioned. Good intentions within the structure are powerless in the face of the corporate influence at the top.
I am completely exasperated. I will send this matter to the RCMP. I don’t know what else to do.
Friday December 8, 2006
Renowned cancer scientist (Sir Richard Doll ) was paid by chemical firm (Monsanto) for 20 years http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1967385,00.html
Sarah Boseley, health editor
A world-famous British scientist failed to disclose that he held a paid consultancy with a chemical company for more than 20 years while investigating cancer risks in the industry, the Guardian can reveal.
Sir Richard Doll, the celebrated epidemiologist who established that smoking causes lung cancer, was receiving a consultancy fee of $1,500 a day in the mid-1980s from Monsanto, then a major chemical company and now better known for its GM crops business.
While he was being paid by Monsanto, Sir Richard wrote to a royal Australian commission investigating the potential cancer-causing properties of Agent Orange, made by Monsanto and used by the US in the Vietnam war. Sir Richard said there was no evidence that the chemical caused cancer.
Documents seen by the Guardian reveal that Sir Richard was also paid a £15,000 fee by the Chemical Manufacturers Association and two other major companies, Dow Chemicals and ICI, for a review that largely cleared vinyl chloride, used in plastics, of any link with cancers apart from liver cancer – a conclusion with which the World Health Organisation disagrees.
Sir Richard’s review was used by the manufacturers’ trade association to defend the chemical for more than a decade.
The revelations will dismay scientists and other admirers of Sir Richard’s pioneering work and fuel a rift between the majority who support his view that the evidence shows cancer is a product of modern lifestyles and those environmentalists who argue that chemicals and pollution must be to blame for soaring cancer rates.
Yesterday Sir Richard Peto, the Oxford-based epidemiologist who worked closely with him, said the allegations came from those who wanted to damage Sir Richard’s reputation for their own reasons. Sir Richard had always been open about his links with industry and gave all his fees to Green College, Oxford, the postgraduate institution he founded, he said.
Professor John Toy, medical director of Cancer Research UK, which funded much of Sir Richard’s work, said times had changed and the accusations must be put into context. “Richard Doll’s lifelong service to public health has saved millions of lives. His pioneering work demonstrated the link between smoking and lung cancer and paved the way towards current efforts to reduce tobacco’s death toll,” he said. “In the days he was publishing it was not automatic for potential conflicts of interest to be declared in scientific papers.”
But a Swedish professor who believes that some of Sir Richard’s work has led to the underestimation of the role of chemicals in causing cancers said that transparency was all-important. “It’s OK for any scientist to be a consultant to anybody, but then this should be reported in the papers that you publish,” said Lennart Hardell of University Hospital, Orebro.
Sir Richard died last year. Among his papers in the Wellcome Foundation library archive is a contract he signed with Monsanto. Dated April 29 1986, it extends for a year the consulting agreement that began on May 10 1979 and offers improved terms. “During the one-year period of this extension your consulting fee shall be $1,500 per day,” it says.
Monsanto said yesterday it did not know how much work Sir Richard did for the company, but said he was an expert witness for Solutia, a chemical business spun off from Monsanto, as recently as 2000.
STOP READING, HERE!
THIS IS A PASTE-TOGETHER THAT I NEVER GOT AROUND TO SORTING OUT. INDUSTRY PROPAGANDA + NEWS REPORTS ABOUT THE SAME STUFF
May 5, 2004
Only bad science links 2,4-D to cancer
by Donald L. Page
Remarkably, the OCFP review failed to include the comprehensive literature reviews by researchers attempting to quantify the contribution of pesticides to the overall incidence of cancer. Such reviews include Sir Richard Doll (1981), Doll (1998), Ritter (1997) and Gold (2002). Every one of them concludes that the major causes of preventable cancer are smoking, alcohol consumption and lifestyle (mainly diet), and that the contribution from pesticides is negligible.
Based on these expert reviews, the health of Canadians would be better served to have all the resources currently dedicated to banning lawn care pesticides redirected to improving the diet and exercise of the population.
Last year at this time, Sir Richard Doll, professor emeritus of cancer research epidemiology at Oxford University, spoke at a meeting in Guelph, Ont. As reported by the news media, when a local municipal politician asked Sir Richard if there was a connection between the use of pesticides and cancer, and if a ban was warranted on the use of lawn and garden pesticides, he responded, “No. There’s no scientific basis for it.”
It is not in the public interest to misrepresent the science when science is the fundamental basis for our decision-making. Doctors and scientists charged with protecting our health should make decisions on the basis of the weight of evidence. The OCFP report fails that critical test.
May 9, 2004
OCFP and Pesticides
All members of the Ontario College of Family Physicians should be ashamed of their organization’s so-called review of literature on pesticides!
by Art Drysdale
After talking at length with Dr. Keith Solomon at the University of Guelph (he is chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Network of Toxicology Centres) about this, I looked up a little more information about Dr. (Sir) Richard Doll, professor emeritus of cancer research epidemiology at Oxford University. Both Don Page and Keith Solomon mentioned him. It is only about a year ago that the elderly good Doctor was at a meeting at the University of Guelph. The local news media reported: “when a local municipal politician asked Sir Richard if there was a connection between the use of pesticides and cancer, and if a ban was warranted on the use of lawn and garden pesticides, he responded, ‘No. There’s no scientific basis for it.'”
When are the doctors in the OCFP going to be honest with the public?
Journal of the American College of Toxicology See page 37 Reviewers such as Sir Richard Doll have commented that Hardell’s work … 2,4-D-containing herbicides to their lawn and/or employed commercial lawn care .
March 1999 BOOK REVIEW OF THE DAY: “Environmental …
Sir Richard Doll calls Devra Lee Davis’ work “uninteresting,” … a history of exposure to certain herbicides and fungicides had higher-than-expected rates …
Mon 17 May 2004
Safe on Your Food … Safe on Your Lawn: What the Experts Say
Asked if there was a connection between the use of pesticides and cancer, and if a ban was warranted on the use of lawn and garden pesticides: “No. There’s no scientific basis for it.”
Sir Richard Doll, Professor Emeritus, Cancer Research Epidemiology Oxford University (doctor who discovered the link between smoking and cancer)
+44 1 865 9 404825
Company: Scotts Canada Ltd.
Contact: /For further information: Jill Fairbrother, Scotts Canada, (416) 255-2883, (416) 788-0539/
April 13, 2005
Herbicides, Pesticides and Intellectual Honesty An illuminating exchange on the frontiers of environmental purity
The Frontier Centre’s Agricultural Policy
by Rolf Penner
All this raises serious questions about Dr. Paton’s credibility on the subject at hand, and his overall general lack of commitment to the scientific method. If you think that neither Paton nor myself are qualified enough to comment on the issue, how about Sir Richard Doll, professor emeritus of cancer research epidemiology at Oxford University? At a meeting in Guelph, Ontario, when a local municipal politician asked Sir Richard if there were a connection between the use of pesticides and cancer, and if a ban was warranted on the use of lawn and garden pesticides, he responded, “No. There’s no scientific basis for it.” The argument from authority cuts both ways.
FRONTIER CENTRE FOR PUBLIC POLICY – Suite 25 Lombard Concourse, One Lombard Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada R3B 0X3, Tel: (204) 957-1567
Fax: (204) 957-1570, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Bill Paton,
Botany, Brandon University,
Manitoba, MB R7A 6A9
Thursday March 30, 2006
Parents, don’t fall for this pesticide/cancer scare story
The latest claims, based on archaic theories, ignore the scientific evidence, says Adam Wishart
The myth that pesticide residues are causing a rise in cancers has once again surfaced (Scientists warn parents on pesticides and plastics, March 21). Professor Vyvyan Howard and John Newby of Liverpool University argue that “low levels of chemicals from pesticides and plastics could affect the development of babies before they are born and increase their likelihood of developing cancer later in life”.
Howard’s paper itself included no original research but was a review of 316 other papers, some more than 50 years old. And despite running to 59 pages, it contained no mention of Causes of Cancer, a monograph written in 1981 by Richard Peto and Sir Richard Doll which many scientists regard as the key work on the subject and which pointedly rejected the link between low levels of pesticides and rising incidence of cancer among the general population.
- Adam Wishart’s book, One in Three: A son’s journey into the history and science of cancer, will be published by Profile in June
13 November 2006
Hardell, L, MJ Walker, B Walhjalt, LS Friedman and ED Richter. 2006.
Secret ties to industry and conflicting interests in cancer research.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, in press.
7 December Exxon spends millions to cast doubt on warming. The oil giant is still spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund European organisations that seek to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on global warming. London Independent, England.
7 December Promoting ethics in science. Increasingly, journals are appearing in front page scandals that expose undisclosed industry support of research and scientists who have faked results. Inside Higher Ed.
4 December Group claims ‘tobacco’-style lobby shields toxic interests. An environmental organization claims that a group funded by manufacturing and aerospace companies used misleading research and tobacco industry-style lobbying to influence the debate on the effects of perchlorate. Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, California.
3 December The N.J. lab that gave a global warning. The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Plainsboro was long a place of blessed obscurity for its scientists. That was, until two scientists said the Bush administration was suppressing publication of their findings on global warming. Newark Star-Ledger, New Jersey.
3 December Group hits perchlorate study tactics. In California, an environmental organization claims that a group funded by manufacturing and aerospace companies used misleading research and tobacco industry-style lobbying to influence the debate on the effects of perchlorate. Whittier Daily News, California.
An analysis of peer-reviewed documents and other sources reveals that scientists paid by the tobacco industry are not the only scientists who regularly fail to to reveal their funding links to industry when they publish studies. The most striking case is that of Sir Richard Doll, co-author (with Richard Peto) of one of the most influential papers in cancer epidemiology, one that concluded that only a small percentage of cancer was caused by environmental exposures.
According to the findings of Hardell et al.’s research, Doll had a long term financial relationship with Monsanto between 1970 and 1990.
Hardell et al. describe a letter from a Monsanto epidemiologist renewing Doll’s contract for £1000 per day from Monsanto, which Doll had deposited in 2002 in a library at the Wellcome Institute. The Doll and Peto paper was published in 1981. Additional documents, according to Hardell et al., reveal that Doll and an industry medical advisor agreed to have any articles written by Doll reviewed by Peto and the medical advisors of two chemical companies.
Doll’s work for Monsanto included reviews of the cancer risks of vinyl chloride, dioxin and phenoxy herbicides (2,4-D and 2,4,5-T).
The vinyl chloride work led to a peer-reviewed paper published in 1988 in a Scandinavian journal reporting that vinyl chloride was not a significant carcinogen other than in the liver.
According to Hardell et al., Doll’s analysis became the gold standard on vinyl chloride toxicity, including being cited by the American Chemical Council (2001) as showing no link between vinyl chloride and brain cancer.
Hardell et al. report finding additional documentation of Doll’s relationships with companies and trade associations in the Welcomme Trust library. For example, in the 1988 paper, Doll did not disclose receiving £15,000 plus expenses from the Chemical Manufacturer’s Association and the chemical companies ICI and Dow (two large producers of vinyl chloride), a payment documented by papers reviewed by Hardell et al. They also report that Doll was receiving additional payment at the same time from Monsanto, another large producer of vinyl chloride.
Hardell et al. also note that Doll, in a private unsolicited letter to the chair of an Australian Royal Commission reviewing the safety of dioxin and phenoxy herbicides wrote that “there is no reason to suppose they are carcinogenic in laboratory animals.” His letter went further to challenge the veracity of peer-reviewed published research by Hardell and colleagues on the carcinogenicity of phenoxy herbicides: “In my opinion, his [Hardell’s] work should no longer be cited as scientific evidence.” The Commission’s final report included, according to Hardell et al., “an almost verbatim account of a Monsanto submission on this issue.”
Hardell et al. describe other additional examples of researchers failing to disclose financial ties to industries with vested interests in the outcome of their peer-reviewed studies. For example:
* Swedish professor Ragnar Rylander worked for decades as a consultant to Philip Morris, failing to disclose this tie to his employer while, at the same time, discussing “all his tobacco related research at the universities with Philip Morris and their lawyers.”
While he initially denied the consultancies when it was first revealed in 2002, Rylander’s contract has been made public in the Philip Morris Archives.
* Scientists were hired by the product-defense firm Exponent to argue that dioxins are not associated with cancer in people. They made presentations at public meetings casting doubt on the chemical’s impact, and wrote peer reviewed articles with the same conclusion, without revealing their industry ties. According to Hardell et al., the vice president of Exponent, Dennis Paustenbach, was on the EPA’s science advisory board at the time, but was also conducting research for Dow Chemical on dioxin in soils around its chemical facility in Midland, Michigan. Paustenbach has since been associated with other efforts to distort science, particularly hexavalent chromium, including in articles in the Wall Street Journal.
Hardell et al. conclude their review by calling for strict development and application of policies on disclosing conflicts of interest. As they observe, “financial relationships between industry, researchers and academic institutions are becoming increasingly common.” While funding from industry “should be a good thing,”
according to Hardell et al., “the few examples we give show that it invites abuse when it is secret, concealed, disguised or non-disclosed, and as other research suggests, these examples are not isolated.” They are especially troubling because “they involved some of the world’s leading epidemiologists.”
Case study 2: Agent Orange
Intervention in Vietnam inquiry
Friday December 8, 2006
In 1985, while Sir Richard was a paid consultant for Monsanto, he stepped into the debate over the herbicides Agent Orange and dioxin, which had been sprayed from the air in the Vietnam war. An Australian royal commission was investigating whether the herbicides, made by Monsanto, had caused cancers in Australian personnel involved in the war. Sir Richard offered his unsolicited views in a letter to Justice Phillip Evatt, who headed the inquiry, and gave Agent Orange a clean bill of health.
“There is no reason to suppose that they [the herbicides] are carcinogenic in laboratory animals and that even TCDD [dioxin], which has been postulated to be a dangerous contaminant of the herbicides, is at the most, only weakly and inconsistently carcinogenic in animal experiments,” he wrote.
Lennart Hardell, the professor in the department of oncology at University Hospital who has now become the leading critic of Sir Richard’s industry funding, had also offered evidence to the inquiry.
Professor Hardell considered Agent Orange a cancer hazard, but Sir Richard warned the commission not to place much value on his work.
Many of his published statements, wrote Sir Richard, “were exaggerated or not supportable and … there were many opportunities for bias to have been introduced in the collection of his data. His conclusions cannot be sustained and in my opinion, his work should no longer be cited as scientific evidence.”
Prof Hardell says of Sir Richard: “My colleagues and I could never understand his standpoint. He was at the same time negotiating a new contract with Monsanto.” The commission concluded that Agent Orange was not a health hazard.
Prof Hardell says that the passage reviewing the scientific evidence in its report was taken word for word from Monsanto’s evidence.
8 December 2006
Industry ‘paid top cancer expert’
The scientist who first linked smoking to lung cancer was paid by a biotech firm while investigating cancer risks in the industry, it has emerged.
The Guardian newspaper reported that Professor Sir Richard Doll held a consultancy post with US firm Monsanto for more than 20 years.
During that time he investigated the potential cancer causing properties of Agent Orange, made by the company.
But a former colleague said he gave the money he was paid to charity.
Professor Sir Richard Peto, a fellow expert in cancer, said:
“Everybody working in this area knew that Richard worked for industry and consulted for industry, and would do court cases.
“It does not in any sense suggest that his work was biased. He was incredibly careful to avoid bias.”
The Guardian reported that Sir Richard, who died in 2005 aged 92, received a US$1,500-a-day consultancy fee from Monsanto, then a chemicals company, in the mid-1980s.
During that period, Sir Richard wrote to an Australian commission on the results of his investigation into whether the chemical Agent Orange, famous for its use by the US during the Vietnam War, caused cancer.
He argued in his letter that there was no evidence that Agent Orange caused cancer.
Should come clean
Professor Lennart Hardell, of the Oncology Department at University Hospital Orebro, Sweden, has also studied the potential hazards posed by Agent Orange.
He was one of the scientists whose work was dismissed by Sir Richard.
He told the BBC Sir Richard’s work was tainted.
He said: “It’s quite OK to have contacts with industry, but you should be fair and say ‘well, I’m writing this letter as a consultant for Monsanto.”
“But he does it as president, Green College, UK – a prestige position; also the Imperial Research Cancer Organisation in the UK.
“And that makes a different position of the paper because you are an official university-employed person giving this position.”
Further documents obtained by The Guardian allegedly show that Sir Richard was also paid a £15,000 fee by the Chemical Manufacturers Association, and chemicals companies Dow Chemicals and ICI for a review of vinyl chloride, used in plastics, which largely cleared the chemical of any link with cancers apart from liver cancer.
According to the newspaper, this is a view with which the World Health Organisation disagrees.
Doll’s views on the chemical were used by the manufacturers’ trade association to defend it for more than a decade, The Guardian said.
Sir Richard was the first to publish a peer-reviewed study, in 1951, to demonstrate smoking was a major cause of lung cancer.
Story from BBC NEWS:
8 December 2006 http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health_medical/article2055641.ece
Lung cancer pioneer ‘was on chemical firms’ payroll’
By Helen McCormack
A renowned British scientist who established that smoking causes lung cancer was on the payroll of a chemical company while investigating cancer risks, it was reported last night.
Sir Richard Doll, who died last year aged 92, was said to have received a consultancy fee of $1,500 a day during the mid 1980s from the chemicals firm Monsanto, which is now associated with GM crops.
Doll, an epidemiologist, also received payments from the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the companies Dow Chemicals and ICI, The Guardian reported. It said the three organisations paid him £15,000 to assess the potential dangers of vinyl chloride, used in plastics.
Doll largely cleared the chemical industry of having links with cancer, a conclusion which goes against the World Health Organisation’s assessment. The association is said to have used the review to defend its members’ use of vinyl chloride.
While on Monsanto’s payroll, it is claimed Doll wrote to a government-appointed commission in Australia investigating the potential for Agent Orange to cause cancer. He said there was no evidence the agent, manufactured by Monsanto and used during the Vietnam war, caused cancer.
Doll pioneered the argument that cancer is caused by smoking, a view contested by environmentalists who point to the dangers of pollution.
His work was funded by Cancer Research UK. Its medical director, Professor John Toy, said that Doll had been working in a different era when it was “not automatic for potential conflicts of interest to be declared in scientific papers.”