Endocrine disruptor researcher faked data

JunkScience.com reports a disturbing incident that seems to be part of a trend. Remember the scare over chemicals, including pesticides, that supposedly acted as endocrine disruptors? Endocrine disruptors purportedly interfered with our bodies' hormonal systems, potentially harming all sorts of growth and developmental processes.

One of the original research papers that got this whole thing started, published in in the journal "Science" in 1996, was eventually retracted. Neither the author nor any other researchers could duplicate the findings. At first, it only seemed that Arnold was guilty of bad science. Unfortunately, it's even uglier than that.

The federal Office of Research Integrity has determined that Arnold "committed scientific misconduct by intentionally falsifying the research results published in the journal Science and by providing falsified and fabricated materials to investigating officials," and that "there is no original data or other corroborating evidence to support the research results and conclusions reported in the Science paper as a whole."

The penalty? A five-year ban on receiving federal grant money. Apparently, grant money has a tendency to corrupt. This case resembles the recent revelation of a California researcher who claimed to have linked power lines to increased cancer risk. More grant money was in the offing, until it was discovered that this investigator had faked much of his evidence.

Despite this news -- as well as abundant subsequent scientific evidence that endocrine disruptors pose little or no threat -- the EPA continues to require the chemical industry to spend millions of dollars screening chemicals for endocrine disrupting properties.

For a more complete account, see www.junkscience.com

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