CDC senior scientists lodge ethics complaint against CDC
(NaturalHealth365) Manipulating data. Suppressing information. Engaging in questionable corporate alliances. Even committing scientific fraud. The CDC, already under siege for accusations it manipulated data regarding a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, has been hit with explosive new allegations — lodged by its own employees.
CDC scientists cry “foul” over shady practices
In an anonymous August 29th letter to the CDC Chief of Staff, over a dozen senior scientists lodged an ethics complaint, stating their fear that the CDC’s mission is being “influenced and shaped by rogue parties and outside interests” – and that taxpayers are being cheated.
In the letter, signed by CDC SPIDER – or Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research – the group claimed that Congress’ intent for the CDC is being circumvented by its own leaders, and that unethical practices threaten to undermine the integrity and credibility of the federal agency.
Unholy alliances: Are CDC officials “in bed” with corporate giants?
Specifically, the scientists are troubled by the close three-way ties between Coca-Cola Co., the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) – a non-profit interest group Coca-Cola supports – and a pair of highly-placed CDC officials, Dr. Barbara Bowman and Dr. Michael Pratt.
Bowman, former director of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, retired from the CDC in June after emails revealed that she offered guidance to a leading Coca-Cola advocate in an attempt to sway world health authorities regarding sugar and beverage policy matters.
Also involved is Dr. Michael Pratt, who works closely with ILSI – which advocates on behalf of food and beverage industries. Emails suggested that Pratt has a pattern of promoting and helping to lead Coca-Cola-funded research, even co-authoring research papers at least partly funded by the soft drink giant.
Pratt has also accepted a position at University of California-San Diego, while employed by the CDC – a truly troubling situation, and one which has already drawn the attention of national news outlets, including The Hill and The Huffington Post.
This is a clear-cut, scientific conflict of interest
The CDC is an agency intended to protect and preserve public health – yet some its key officials are advancing the interests of the food and beverage industry, and the sugar-laden drinks it merchandises to the American people. As the CDC’s own statistics attest, rates of obesity are soaring; 36.5 percent of Americans are obese, with an average cost estimated in 2008 as $147 billion dollars.
CDC “cooks the books” of multi-million-dollar project
The scientists accuse the CDC of covering up the poor performance of a women’s health program, misrepresenting data given to Congress and inflating numbers to make it appear that the program is reaching more women than it is.
The whistleblowers also allege that an internal review of the program, a multi-million-dollar project called Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation, or WISEWOMAN, was suppressed in order to keep the information from Congress – and the media.
Allegations are newest chapter in the ongoing saga of CDC corruption
In 2014, a senior scientist with the CDC, Dr. William Thompson, blew the whistle on the CDC – which suppressed data confirming the link between the MMR vaccine and autism. (Of course, the CDC denies these truths – to this day)
According to research published by Dr. Brian Hooker in Translational Neurodegeneration, the CDC has manipulated data in order to hide the fact that African-American boys who were given the MMR vaccine before they reached the age of three were 3.4 times more likely to develop autism.
Hooker and Thompson alleged that the CDC has known of the link since 2003, but continues to suppress the information – casting doubt on the integrity of the agency and on the credibility of other findings.
The CDC response – so far, nonexistent
CDC spokeswoman Kathy Harben has refused to discuss the CDC’s response – if indeed there has been any – to the SPIDER complaint. Maintaining that the CDC utilizes a “full range of federal ethics statutes, regulations and policies that apply to all federal employees,” Harben said that the CDC takes its responsibility to comply with ethics rules “seriously.”
Plainly, the employees who are pointing out the CDC’s unethical practices take it more seriously than those officials at the top. You can read their letter here.