“I recently read the press release dated 12/9/2008 in which Semmelweis endorses scientist’ call for Science to RETRACT fraudulent reports on HIV. I also read the letter sent to Science sent in Dec. 2008. I am new to this topic I didn’t know it was all based upon a fraud that has maintained for 30 years and I totally support the request to withdraw all the fraudulent papers from the journal. Nonetheless, up to this date, has it been any response to that letter from Science? Is it ever expected?”
SSI’s answer is “NO – and one is not expected.” Here’s why:
Shortly after HIV co-discoverer Luc Montagnier MD accepted a Nobel Prize that Robert Gallo MD didn’t receive, Semmelweis Society International (SSI) endorsed a demand by 37 scientists and researchers for the journal Science to retract Gallo’s four original reports.
Unlike the pharmaceutically-funded activists who pressured UC Berkeley and the journals Medical Hypothesis and Nature to attack cancer researcher Peter Duesberg Ph.D., the signatories of this letter are credible academics and researchers.
Although retractions are not broken down by political or scientific reasons, mathematician John Ioannidis Ph.D. reported in 2005 that 80 percent of all non-randomized studies (the most common) turn out to be wrong, as do 25 percent of supposedly “gold-standard” randomized trials, and as much as 10 percent of the “platinum-standard” large randomized trials. When he looked at 49 of the most highly regarded research findings in medicine over the previous 13 years, he found that 41 percent had been proven wrong or significantly exaggerated.
If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine is untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem are undeniable – especially when the number of papers that reference these studies are extrapolated.
For example, when Prof. Depak Das’ claims about a grape extract were recently proven false, the news caused some embarrassment at the University of Connecticut and damaged the sales and marketing of a few products.
But according to Retraction Watch:
Das’ work has been influential. Thirty of his papers have been cited more than 100 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. One, in Toxicology, has been cited 349 times, while another, in Free Radical Biology, has been cited 230.
While Das’ “influential work” may have irreparably harmed the work and reputations of a few researchers and journals, one can only begin to imagine the global impact when Dr. Gallo’s fraud is fully understood.
Despite much fanfare, Gallo’s four original reports (1, 2, 3, 4) never explained how he isolated HIV and never proved that HIV attacks cells or causes AIDS. And when then-HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler and Gallo claimed to have discovered “the probable cause of AIDS” (video min:11:00), no one ever bothered to check. While “probable cause” allows policemen to question a man waiting near a bank, it doesn’t allow them to arrest him for bank robbery. And while HIV might be present among sick people, it doesn’t mean that HIV makes people sick anymore than fire trucks parked at structure fires caused the fire.
Like Capt. Renault’s discovery of gambling at Rick’s casino, the editors at journals like Nature and Science seem to think that self-flagellation, hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing among scientists like Jennifer Crocker and M. Lynne Cooper is sufficient – and maybe it is, for now. After all, as long as politicians profit from pharmaceutical kickbacks and insider trading, it’s unlikely that Rick’s casino will hear from the Justice Department anytime soon.