A controversial scientist who is under investigation at the University of California, Berkeley, for making false claims in a paper and failing to declare a colleague's alleged conflict of interest ignored an earlier warning that he could face misconduct charges if the paper was published.
Earlier this month, molecular and cell biologist Peter Duesberg told the ScienceInsider policy blog that the publication of his paper in the journalMedical Hypotheses prompted two letters of complaint to Berkeley. After receiving the letters, the institution opened a misconduct investigation.
But Duesberg had earlier submitted the paper for publication in theJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS), and a review of the paper, seen by Nature, explicitly warns Duesberg that "cherry-picking" of results and a co-author's "obvious conflict of interest" could lead to misconduct charges if the paper were to be published. Despite the warnings, Duesberg chose to publish the paper in Medical Hypotheses, which does not peer review submissions.
In the 1970s Duesberg won international acclaim for his groundbreaking work on cancer, but the following decade he began to focus on AIDS. He denies that HIV causes AIDS, and instead proposes that HIV is a mere 'passenger' virus, and that AIDS is actually caused by environmental toxins or the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs used to combat the disease.
His work has attracted some supporters, including the former South African president Thabo Mbeki. In 2000, Mbeki put Duesberg on a panel of AIDS advisers along with several other researchers who deny that HIV is the cause of AIDS. The resultant policies prevented the roll-out of ARV drugs in South Africa at a time when the country was in the throes of an AIDS epidemic, with a quarter of the population testing HIV positive. Since then, two studies have estimated that the lack of medication during Mbeki's administration led to some 330,000 premature deaths.
One of these studies, led by epidemiologist Max Essex at Harvard University in Boston, was published in JAIDS in December 20082. Early last year, Duesberg submitted a paper to JAIDS that attempted to refute Essex's death-toll estimates while also denying the effectiveness of ARV drugs.
When the paper was rejected, Duesberg submitted it in June toMedical Hypotheses, where it was accepted within two days. But its publication in July 2009 generated a string of complaints to Elsevier. The publisher responded by sending the paper out for review and, after all five referees recommended rejection, withdrawing itpermanently (see 'Editor says no to peer review for controversial journal').
But the paper also sparked two letters to Berkeley, one of which points out that the withdrawal was based on "issues of credibility and false claims" and both state that Duesberg failed to declare a conflict of interest on the part of David Rasnick, his co-author. Rasnick was previously a paid employee of Matthias Rath, who sells vitamin pills as remedies for AIDS, although Rasnick denies a conflict of interest and says he has had no connection with Rath since 2006.
Now, an earlier review of Duesberg's paper, which he would have received upon rejection from JAIDS but before he resubmitted toMedical Hypotheses, shows that Duesberg was warned of the risks of publication.
The reviewer, who asked to remain anonymous, states that Duesberg and his co-authors are "committing a serious breach of professional ethics" by failing to state a possible conflict of interest. "Clearly, the views in the present article could assist Rasnick and Rath in their commercial activities, by denigrating rival (and effective!) products," he wrote.
The reviewer also says that the authors are guilty of cherry-picking from past research: "They select only those publications that (allegedly) support their arguments, but ignore all those (many, many more) that do not. Worse, they take quotations and statements out of their original context, to create a message that is the opposite from the one provided by the original publication."
"This conduct is so egregious," the reviewer states, "that if the present article were to be published, Duesberg et al. could well find themselves answering scientific misconduct charges".
William Blattner, a physician scientist and an editor-in-chief ofJAIDS, says it is "baffling" that Duesberg did not address the reviewer's comments before submitting the paper to Medical Hypotheses.
Nature has also learned that, before Duesberg wrote his paper, he tried to have Essex's JAIDS study withdrawn by claiming to Harvard that Essex himself had a conflict of interest because he owned shares and received consultation fees from companies manufacturing AIDS tests. These claims were false, Essex says, and Harvard has not taken any action against him.
Meanwhile, Duesberg, acting on legal advice, says he cannot comment on any aspect of the investigation until it is concluded. Berkeley does not comment on internal investigations and will neither confirm nor deny that the investigation is under way. The university's code of conduct cites penalties for misconduct ranging from a written reprimand to loss of faculty position.
It's a shame that in the U.S. you are judged guilty, before having to prove your innocence. I'd love to see Duesberg cleared, if only to higlight how viscious you are. A doubtful proposition considering who the inquisitor is. Surprised you don't advocate burning him at the stake regardless.ReplyDelete
Q. If he is vindicated, will you publish a retraction or apology? And if he is not censured does that prove he is right?
Anonymous - Again -ReplyDelete
He is under investigation, not found guilty of scientific misconduct. Yet. Frankly, I am surprised by this story. Conflict of Interest is nothing compared to his other acts of misconduct.. spreading misinformation, misusing science to promoting a personal agenda, using common pet mice in lab research, sexist/homophobic actions, harboring a fugitive...
Nevertheless, you bet I will post the outcome, no matter what it is.
I am not sure what I would apologize for?
His not being censured means that he was not found guilty of scientific misconduct - the conflict of interest charge. That is all it means.
Now go get some rest. You can post your comments in the morning.
Why is Seth viscious?ReplyDelete
Duesberg submitted his paper to a peer reviewed journal. He was warned! But forget that. Do you not think the fact that he went to a local pet store, bought mice, and gave them cancer for his research, is that not scientific misconduct? How about just plain stupid?
Duesberg's time has come and gone. He needs to FINALLY be held accountable for all the years of lies! That's what grown ups do. Although, responsible adults do not do what Duesberg has done for all these years.
Duesberg is like over 70 years old, right?ReplyDelete
No one lives for forever.
He must be thinking about his life contributions. Where he went wrong. What he might have done different. what is legacy will be.
At the moment, he will be remembered as a man with great potential to make huge scientific contributions who failed. His character called into question. His marginalization by every respected scientist in the world. His admirers are frauds, quacks, and con men. The crazies that he told Newsweek he had become one of.
But he is not gone yet. He can undo some of the harm he has caused. All he has to do is say he has been wrong and to tell us what has motivated him to dig in his heals regardless the cost.
Write Peter Duesberg and urge him to salvage some dignity and respect.
JT is quite correct. Universities have IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) which supervises the use of animals to ensure that they are treated as humanely as possible. If Duesberg did in fact bypass them by taking pet store mice and experimented on them without approval then it would be a serious charge indeed.ReplyDelete
What is interesting is that the precise problems for which he is currently under investigation (note I did not say he was guilty of it until found to be), were all brought to his attention before. It would be a simple 5 minute task to include a conflict of interest statement prior to resubmitting it. The cherry-picking/misquoting, ect... would take longer, of course.
Hypocritically, according to the article, "before Duesberg wrote his paper, he tried to have Essex's JAIDS study withdrawn by claiming to Harvard that Essex himself had a conflict of interest because he owned shares and received consultation fees from companies manufacturing AIDS tests. These claims were false, Essex says, and Harvard has not taken any action against him."
The following comments render your post incorrect for misrepresenting facts:
“His work has attracted some supporters, including the former South African president Thabo Mbeki.”
The is no record (not a single record) of President Mbeki or his government supporting the essence of his works, only media and NGO allegations to that effect. The only incidence of Mbeki supporting him is when Mbeki and his government asserted an internationally accepted truism that a scientist should not be silenced because he has differing views and that his views must be considered on the merits or lack thereof.
“In 2000, Mbeki put Duesberg on a panel of AIDS advisers along with several other researchers who deny that HIV is the cause of AIDS.”
Read my comment above. In this regard, please also acknowledge that the “orthodox” scientists in the panel by far outnumbered the “dissidents”.
“The resultant policies prevented the roll-out of ARV drugs in South Africa at a time when the country was in the throes of an AIDS epidemic, with a quarter of the population testing HIV positive.”
The above is a blatant falsehood unsupported by fact. In the foregoing regard it borders on the malicious, vis-à-vis Mbeki and the RSA government in view of the fact that I have previously submitted a link of the govt’s HIV and AIDs policy which clearly followed an approach of prevention, treatment using all acceptable drugs including ARVs, health infrastructure development and the general improvement of nutrition. Read in this regard the RSA’s govt’s 2000 and 2006 policy, which incidentally has not been withdrawn by our current administration, who are still addressing HIV and AIDS based largely on the 2006 comprehensive policy. Further, Government’s policies did not prevent the roll out of ARVs they sought only to gradually roll them out, initially using test sites to assess the impact, successes, failures, required infrastructure and to train staff (which if you have lived in Africa you would now that such processes are required), whilst “AIDS” activist sought an immediate rollout, ignoring all these processes. In this regard the “Aids” activist won a court case forcing government’s immediate roll out. As a result of the immediate rollout, the nevarapine mono therapy was shown not to be effective and “effective” only in multi-drug regimes, a concern that was raised by government (hence their support of a gradual roll out). No doubt, as a result, thousands of babies and their mothers could have died, drug resistance could have led to manifold deaths, etc (aspects which we do not know, because no one will conduct a Harvard Study on the negative impact, if any, of the comprehensive roll out of ARVs, but for the “denialists” and “dissidents” who will in any event be ignored.
“Since then, two studies have estimated that the lack of medication during Mbeki's administration led to some 330,000 premature deaths”.
The above is accurate only to the extent of stating that these were studies and that they made estimates; therefore do not constitute facts. Interestingly you do not mention that other studies have disputed these aforementioned (perhaps because they were authored by “dissidents”?) and therefore were not published in a respectable peer reviewed journal (notwithstanding that these journals invariably reject anything that departs from the orthodox).
Lastly, I gather you are well acquainted with many AIDS activist in RSA, but I suggest you be very wary of taking what they say as Gospel Truth because for many years they had a vested interest in projecting the RSA government as denialists, notwithstanding the absence of fact. Hence Mbeki’s administrations very policies, in the hands of the “new” administration (the majority of whom were in Mbeki’s administration, including the present health Minister, who was an MEC) are now described as a departure from old policies!
You are patently wrong. I lived in South Africa both before and during Mbeki's ineffective and corrupt reign. He was a complete failure and an utter embarrassment in many ways, AIDS denialism being just one tragic example.
Please do not attempt to reframe history Nokwindla.
Mbeki authored a 100-page paper and distributed it amongst the ANC leadership six years ago. This paper compared orthodox AIDS scientists to latter-day Nazi concentration camp doctors and portrayed black people who accepted orthodox AIDS science as "self-repressed" victims of a slave mentality. It described the "HIV/AIDS thesis" as entrenched in "centuries-old white racist beliefs and concepts about Africans". In a published biography Mr Gevisser describes the president's view of the disease as apparently shaped by an obsession with race, the legacy of colonialism and "sexual shame".
Nokwindla - Mbeki was, and is, simply, a piece of shit.
Nicoli Nattrass of the University of Cape Town estimates that 343,000 excess AIDS deaths and 171,000 infections resulted from the Mbeki administration's policies, an outcome she refers to in the words of Peter Mandelson as "genocide by sloth".
Mbeki's Advisory Panel meetings were closed to the general press; an invited reporter from the Village Voice wrote that Rasnick advocated that HIV testing be legally banned and denied that he had seen "any evidence" of an AIDS catastrophe in South Africa, while Duesberg "gave a presentation so removed from African medical reality that it left several local doctors shaking their heads.
In his address to the International AIDS Conference, Mbeki reiterated his view that HIV was not wholly responsible for AIDS, leading hundreds of delegates to walk out on his speech.
Mbeki also sent a letter to a number of world leaders likening the mainstream AIDS research community to supporters of the apartheid regime. The tone and content of Mbeki's letter led diplomats in the U.S. to initially question whether it was a hoax.
The former South African health minister APPOINTED BY MBEKI - Manto Tshabalala-Msimang also attracted heavy criticism, as she often promoted nutritional remedies such as garlic, lemons, beetroot and olive oil, to people suffering from AIDS, while emphasizing possible toxicities of antiretroviral drugs, which she has referred to as "poison".
The South African Medical Association has accused Tshabalala-Msimang of "confusing a vulnerable public". In September 2006, a group of over 80 scientists and academics called for "the immediate removal of Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang as minister of health and for an end to the disastrous, pseudoscientific policies that have characterized the South African government's response to HIV/AIDS."In December 2006, deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge described "denial at the very highest levels" over AIDS.
She was subsequently fired by Mbeki.
Nokwindla - stop defending this asshole and trying to rewrite history and remove the utter failings of Mbeki's complete disaster. Even Mandela for God's sake thought Mbeki was a piece of shit - especially after his son died of AIDS!
FROM "Rethinking AIDS" Exposed Forum (Formerly "AIDS Myth Exposed")ReplyDelete
Rod Knoll, Forum Owner
In what is now a familiar pattern with her, Celia Farber, writing on 14 April in yet another blog post which has since been deleted, attempted to gain sympathy for Peter Duesberg by revealing that, apparently since last November, Duesberg has been "under investigation" by the University of California at Berkeley for alleged, potential "misconduct" surrounding a paper he and fellow "HIV is a passenger virus" theorists submitted to the Journal Medical Hypotheses. Duesberg et al.'s paper was subsequently withdrawn, ostensibly because “prominent AIDS researchers” had contacted the Journal's publisher Elsevier and demanded the paper’s withdrawal, purportedly under the pretext that the paper ‘could potentially be damaging to global public health.’
Trying to drum up support for himself, Duesberg wrote on a third-party blog on 12th April: "Yes, the allegations are that 'the ideas (expressed in the now withdrawn Medical Hypotheses paper) are false, … un-supported by evidence, and dangerous'" and then he belly-ached that he had "not received evidence from UCB or elsewhere to support these allegations." This is a blatant LIE. Duesberg had INDEED received evidence which supports the notion that his ideas expressed in his withdrawn Medical Hypotheses paper are "unsupported by evidence", but such evidence was presented to him BY A FELLOW DISSIDENT.
In this analysis, which Duesberg ACKNOWLEDGED he's seen, Claus Jensen had pointed up the defects of Duesberg et al.'s criticism of the Chigwedere et al paper. Duesberg circulated this rebuttal nominally drawn by a third party. However, as Anthony Brink pointed out months ago, this rebuttal seems clearly co-written by discredited Rethinking AIDS Grand poobah and eternal dipshit David Crowe: "it's marked all over with his characteristically vapid style of verbose argumentation, his favorite limp turns of phrase, his anodyne rhetorical tricks and generally his fingerprint stupidity and dishonesty". Jensen responded by asking Duesberg some questions which, as usual went unanswered. Duesberg, the eternal hypocrite and CHICKEN SHIT, seems to have a habit of developing hearing problems whenever asked hard questions. Instead of addressing the issues that Jensen raised, Duesberg challenged Jensen to write his own critique of the Chigwedere et al. paper, and Jensen obliged here.
Suffice it to say, Duesberg possesses a profound level of chutzpah. For years, he has hypocritically exhibited precisely the same behavior in his dealings with (or lack thereof) the Perth Group that he is constantly lamenting in the AIDS industry's dealings with him. Last year, Duesberg's partisans in the Rethinking AIDS group, the two dipshit Davids- Dipshit David #1: RA Grand poobah David Crowe, and Dipshit David #2: Rasnick, one of Duesberg's co-authors of the withdrawn paper- both conspired to keep the issue of the lack of proof of "HIV" off the agenda for their "RA 2009" conference which proved to be a huge FLOP. Any literate, astute AIDS dissident with half a brain in his or her head knows that the lack of proof of purification of "HIV" is the central issue facing dissidents, and it's the Achilles heel of the AIDS industry.
It's high time that hypocrite and chicken shit Duesberg either "man-up", stop lying and ducking the issue of "HIV's" non-isolation, or retire from the dissident movement, his tail forever between his legs for repeatedly refusing to face facts about his stance on this crucial issue.
The charge of conflict of interest while true is minor compared to Duesberg's deliberate misrepresentation of the 2006 Lancet paper by May et al. Duesberg was warned about these misrepresentations when he submitted the maunscript to JAIDS. The Denialists have been previously warned about these misrepresentations and yet they continue to make dishonest claims. Importantly Duesberg omits more recent papers by the same authors where his claims are specifically refuted. This is dishonest unethical and fraudulent. Duesberg deserves whatever punishment he gets.ReplyDelete
Before Duesberg acolytes cry persecution they should learn some history. Duesberg Charges the Winkelstein Group with Data Fabrication
Duesberg falsely accused Winkelstein of fabricating data. Instead of making a formal complaint to the university he sent emails to 100 scientists spreading this unsubstantiated charge. Winkelstein had to initiate an inquiry himself to clear his name and reputation. The outcome of the independent inquiry was that the charges were unsubstantiated. Duesberg had simply misread a table of data.
What happened to the claims that the original publication of Gallo, in Science, was frauded?ReplyDelete
And how do the remarks of Montagnier fit in the big picture? His claims are not that different from that of Deusberg.
To me it seems the science behind the 'HIV causes AIDS' is a like climate-science. No science. You can make it fit any story you like.
Nokwindla, you'll only hurt your head bashing it against the AIDS wall here. The only surprise being they didn't call you a Denialist.ReplyDelete
Mbeki was a very successful President in South Africa and in all likelihood could still have been save for some ANC factional in-fighting that had absolutely nothing to do with the HIV/AIDS issue and more to do with his unfettered support of Robert Mugwabe.
The hysterical AIDS activists in SA use/d exactly the same tactics as happened in the US in the mid 80's when "leaked" information suggested that AZT would cure AIDS and prevent the devastation of humanity. For many years the wonder drug AZT was headline news as a saviour for humanity. The uprising was seeded by pharma money and propelled through desperation by those given an effective death sentence. Hence the drug was fast tracked for sale following the highly suspicious and shortened Concorde Trial. High Does Monotherapy with AZT has since faded in to history, along with those TENS of thousands it killed so rapidly.
Does anyone notice the correlation between progressively lowering the AZT dosage rate and the progressive increased life span of HIV Positives?
Africa simply represents a bigger market place with an estimation of 40 million infected, oh sorry now it's 33 million. And as for the South African genocide Mbeki is accused of 330k, 341K or 360K deaths, pick a number, they've all been used on this blog as fact, a shame they can't get a consensus on the numbers, and diverge in orders of magnitude from the official statistics.
By my reckoning; The HIV infection rate has been reported as in the TENS of millions for at least the past 15 years and ARV's are given out to a tiny fraction of that. Under HIV theory we should be seeing TENS of millions of untreated AIDS patients dying annually after reaching their 10 year latency. Where are all those additional corpses?
Like all things AIDS, a little bit of guess work, a little bit of fear, a lot of media attention and a lot of profit. And whilst most Africans can't afford expensive ARV's, there's always a Bill Gates or Bono willing to shell out millions mistakenly thinking they are helping the poor.
If product (RED) was used to buy mosquito nets and water purifiers instead of ARV's the ALL CAUSE death rate would plummet in Africa overnight. AIDS aside, the money could be better spent in so many ways and achieve such better results for Africa rather than increasing the stock prices for Glaxo, Pfizer and all the others pedalling Pharma Junk and Voodoo Science on a vulnerable population.
This lot howl at Duesberg buying some pet shop mice to experiment on, but don't blink at using real African Human Beings as Guinea Pigs and Cash Cows.
If Mbeki accused the AIDS machine of being racist either by ommission or design.....He was correct.
Anonymous (one of the many who are too chicken shit to say who they are, and with good reason) wants to know:ReplyDelete
"What happened to the claims that the original publication of Gallo, in Science, was frauded?"
Quite simply, they were not "frauded" and therefore Janine Roberts et al were (once again) dismissed for seeing ghosts where none existed.
This last "anonymous" of May 6, is obviously ultra idiot and chicken shit, Clark Baker. He spouts the same old tired and UNSUPPORTED crap. Well, he did not mention Sustiva, so maybe it's not Baker. They are all so equally vapid who can tell anymore?
How about we just let this one incredibly stupid, unsubstantiated and false claim speak for itself:
"Does anyone notice the correlation between progressively lowering the AZT dosage rate and the progressive increased life span of HIV Positives?"
"What happened to the claims that the original publication of Gallo, in Science, was frauded?"ReplyDelete
They probably provided much amusement to the editors of Science. Janine Roberts is a scientifically illiterate germ theory denialist. She also "questions" the role of poliovirus in polio.
They also highlight the hypocrisy of HIV Denialists when they cry "censorship" when Duesberg's article is withdrawn from Medical Hypotheses.
Duesberg has already falsely accused Winkelstein of fabricating data. He has also slandered many other AIDS researchers by accusing them of being motivated by money. It is hypocritical of him to now pretend to be a poor victim.
"By my reckoning; The HIV infection rate has been reported as in the TENS of millions for at least the past 15 years and ARV's are given out to a tiny fraction of that. Under HIV theory we should be seeing TENS of millions of untreated AIDS patients dying annually after reaching their 10 year latency. Where are all those additional corpses?"ReplyDelete
Learn the difference between incidence and prevalence before you start "reckoning".
And no, you won't grasp this if your epidemiology teachers are the likes of Peter Duesberg, David Rasnick, Christian Fiala or Henry Bauer. They are evidently as clueless as you are.