Fake Science


Recent stories in the alternative media indicate that pharmaceutical companies are “ghostwriting” studies to support their drugs, then hiring doctors to place their names on those studies.

Whenever independent scientific studies result in conclusions that big corporations don’t like, they “rush to sponsor a series of contrary studies” (Rampton & Stauber, 186).


“If you want to know just how craven some scientists can be, the archives of the tobacco industry offer a treasure trove of examples… it [was] a systematic effort to pollute the scientific literature” (Rampton & Stauber, 199).

“… they hired people to write letters [to journals], then they cited the letters as if they were independent, disinterested scientists writing” (Rampton & Stauber, 200).


“Pharmaceutical companies hire PR firms to promote drugs [by] hiring free-lance writers to write articles for peer-reviewed journals, under the byline of doctors whom they also hire” (Rampton & Stauber, 201).

Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University did a study of journal disclosures… He found that “in 34 percent of the papers, at least one of the chief authors had an identifiable financial interest connected to the research… None of these financial interests were disclosed in the journals” (Rampton & Stauber, 203-4).


"Sometimes industry-funded studies become so self-promotional that they seem almost like parodies… Eating garlic bread brings families closer together, says research sponsored by Pepperidge Farms bakeries… Eating chocolate may PREVENT cavities, says the Princeton Dental Resource Center, which is financed by the M&M/Mars candy company…” (Rampton & Stauber, 220).


(See Hair Loss Treatment Scams. This is a great example of fake science used as propaganda.)

(Also, see Sex Education Gets Sacked as another excellent example.)

(Also, see NRC Asleep at the Switch about how this federal agency is distorting science)

"The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful" (The Code of Hammurabi, the world's oldest legal code, 1700 BC).


"Eugene Scalia.. believes ergonomics--the shop-floor science that aims to make heavy and repetitive production-line work less destructive to workers' bodies--is a threat to American business...

"Scalia claimed.. ergonomics is founded on "junk science." Repetitive-stress injuries might not exist at all. Heavy lifting does not cause back strain. Reported increases in repetitive-motion injusries are caused by feeding frenzies created by doctors, reporters and hysterical workers, a form of mass hysteria...

"Eugene Scalia was the solicitor general of the Labor Department...

"The National Coalition on Ergonomics--a creation of Scalia's that is funded by big corporate interests... claim that the very idea of repetitive-motion injuries in the workplace is "subject to considerable dispute"...

"Whether the injuries are called musculoskeletal disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, or repetitive-motion injuries, the cause is not under "dispute" by those who are not in the pay of big business. The National Academy of Science had already done two studies, ordered by Congress, on the connection between types of work and workplaced injuries. (A second study was necessary because conservative members of Congress didn't agree with the conclusions of the first study...

"...entire industries with miserable records--beef packing among the most notorious. Every bad company operating in the country got a nod and wink from the White House when President Bush joined forces with Eugene Scalia to kill the ergonomics guidelines... President Bush.. has never held a job involving physical labor..." (Ivins, Molly, and Lou Dubose. "The Blues in Belzoni." Texas Observer, 10/10/03, 4-7, 26-29).


"Antichoice politics have also corrupted science: Bush put the kibosh on stem-cell research and has packed crucial expert panels with right-wing ideologues and evangelicals of dubious professional qualifications, of whom Dr. David Hager, who advises women that Christian prayer helps PMS, is only the most notorious" (Editorials. The Nation, May 10, 2004: 3).


"Antichoice politics have also corrupted science: Bush put the kibosh on stem-cell research and has packed crucial expert panels with right-wing ideologues and evangelicals of dubious professional qualifications, of whom Dr. David Hager, who advises women that Christian prayer helps PMS, is only the most notorious" (Editorials. The Nation, May 10, 2004: 3).


Colby Glass, MLIS