Sciences International -- the firm that evaluated the safety of certain chemicals for the U.S. Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, "helping the government determine whether they pose dangers to reproduction and newborn babies" -- has been fired by the federal government.
"The National Institutes of Health has temporarily suspended" the consulting firm Sciences International, which "had been reviewing the health dangers of chemicals for the government while also working for the chemical industry," reports Marla Cone. The evaluation of the firm's work is ongoing, and its $5 million government contract, "which runs through June 2008," remains in force.
An examination of records from Minnesota, where legislation requires drug company payments to doctors to be disclosed, reveals that between 1997 and 2005 over 5,500 medical professionals in the state were paid a total of over $57 million. Gardiner Harris and Janet Roberts report that "another $40 million went to clinics, research centers and other organizations. More than 20 percent of the state’s licensed physicians received money.
In its current issue, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition acknowledges that a review of soft drinks and obesity (which challenges links between the one and the other) was funded by the American Beverage Association. But the journal excludes information that one of the authors personally and professionally has had close ties to the beverage industry.