insight: science for hire - trial over plastic exposes disclosure deficit - empty plastic drinking bottles
NEW YORK (Reuters)-
By 2012, Eastman Chemical seems to be in a perfect position in the production of beverage bottle plastics.
Concerns about a widely used chemical called biphenol. BPA)
Wal-Mart has become so great that it no longer sells plastic baby bottles and child suction cups made with it, and consumer groups are calling on regulators to ban it.
Some medical groups have warned that the similarity of biphenol a to estrogen may disrupt the human hormone system and pose health risks to the fetus and newborn.
Kingsport, Tennessee-based chemical company has been selling its Tritan, branded as hard transparent plastic, as a substitute for BPA for five years.
It tells potential customers that Tritan does not contain BPA and any other estrogen-like chemicals.
In support of this statement, the company noted that "the third independent
Party test, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, published by Elsevier.
With more and more manufacturers and retailers abandoning BPA, some want to make sure to review Eastman's safety statement on Tritan independently.
For example, the Whole Foods office, an upscale grocery store in Austin, Texas, asked Eastman if it funded "any of these labs" that determined that Tritan had no estrogen properties, according to an email from Eastman chemist emit O'Brien, he disclosed this in a lawsuit.
"I mentioned we didn't, and they were happy with the answer," O'Brien said in the email . ".
Eastman won't ask Brian for comment.
A spokesman, Libba Letton, said that because an employee of the Whole Foods company "received a subpoena in this case", "we cannot comment on this.
"In fact, the four laboratories that test Tritan for their peers --
The review paper in the journal aisweier received funding from Eastman, but it was not publicly disclosed.
Nor has Eastman's marketing materials or papers been reported: The lead author of the study analyzed data from four laboratories, and Eastman paid for the work.
Eastman's financial relationship with the four "independent" Laboratories was found in a lawsuit filed by the company against two chemical testing and consulting companies that questioned the safety of Tritan.
In the case that started in Austin this week, Eastman claimed that PlastiPure Inc. and CertiChem Inc. mistakenly described Tritan as having hormones
To sell their services, destroy the properties similar to BPA.
It's not clear yet that Eastman is sponsoring its pro-
The Tritan study will conclude in this case.
But the link between Eastman and the scientists who made this advantageous study raises questions in some scientists and businesses about the company's description of the study as independent.
Eastman spokesman Maranda Demuth said that although the company commissioned the laboratory to conduct the study, "there is no role or input in the analysis of the test or results.
Elsevier confirmed to Reuters that before the lead author who published the paper and his co-authorauthors -
Scientists from four laboratories
According to the editors, Eastman paid them to do the analysis and write it down.
But the paper has a note that says "The author has not declared a conflict of interest" and that there is no "confirmation" section, and researchers usually point out who funded their work.
Therefore, the reader is unable to understand the Eastman connection, which is information that scientists usually use to judge the merits of research methods and conclusions.
Tom Reller, vice president of Global Corporate Relations at Elsevier, said the reason for the secrecy was "They (the authors)
Since Eastman is not involved in design, analysis, or data interpretation, I feel that there is no conflict.
He said the Wall Street Journal editor, who declined to comment to Reuters, accepted the author's statement, but he declined to explain whether the final decision to disclose the funds information through a "conflict" statement was the author or the editor.
The frequency of reporting conflicts of interest in the Elsevier journal is not obvious.
Some of the less prominent scientific and medical journals have accepted ways for authors to decide whether they have conflicts of interest that should be disclosed.
By contrast, leading scientific journals tell authors that any financial relationship with the interested party in the study must be disclosed to the reader. U. S.
The law requires scientists to disclose their relationship with pharmaceutical companies when publishing research reports.
"It is not up to the author to decide what conflict is," said the doctor.
Jerome qasil of the University of taftz, a former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, is also the magazine's longtime leader in disclosing this conflict to readers. (
He was not involved in the Eastman lawsuit. )
"There is a conflict when there is double loyalty," Kassirer said . " He believes that both Journal editors and authors are likely to be as transparent as possible in terms of funding.
He said disclosing the payments made by the parties involved and then telling the Wall Street Journal that such compensation was not a conflict of interest, "It was a very unusual way of doing things . ".
CertiChem and PlastiPure, founded by George Bittner, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas, published a paper in the journal Environmental Health outlook in 2011 (EHP)
According to the report, many
BPA plastics like Tritan have estrogen activity, especially after exposure to the sun or cleaning with detergent.
EHP is published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. S.
National Institutes of Health.
Tritan is a polymer composed of three molecular building blocks; none are BPA.
The authors found that they used, among their own stocks, other economic relationships CertiChem and PlastiPure, as shown in the first page of the document.
Following this study, the consulting firm PlastiPure advises the company on how to synthesize new or existing plastics to make hormonesactivity-
Free, tell the customer and assert in the brochure promoting its services that, according to the study reported by EHP, Tritan is not estrogen-activity-free.
Eastman's opposite statement is that Tritan is not estrogen-like, which is supported by the 2012 study of Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Based on tests from two universities and two commercial laboratories, the authors conclude that the three molecules that make Tritan "do not constitute. . .
Estrogen risk to humans.
According to court documents, Eastman paid consulting firm Thomas Osimitz, a drug scientist at science strategy, $10,000 to collect data and write papers.
Rick Harrison, the company's lawyer, said at the pre-trial hearing that the rest of the authors were laboratory scientists, and they all received payments from Eastman.
The total value of the four laboratory contracts that funded scientists to test on Tritan could not be determined.
"There is a statement. . .
"The authors said they were involved and writing papers funded by Eastman," Harrison told Judge Sam Sparks . ".
"These have never been made public.
"Gary seller, a colleague
Author of the Food and Chemical Toxicology paper, director of the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the University of Tennessee, one of the laboratories providing Tritan data, Eastman sponsored the testing of the data provided for Osimitz research.
Eastman acknowledged this.
"The work was done under the contract," Sayler told Reuters . ".
"Just normal wages and supplies.
No one is supported on anything above the normal wage rate.
Researchers at three other labs declined to comment on the ongoing lawsuit, or did not respond.
Despite the efforts of the United StatesS.
Members of the research group say lawmakers and scientists differ greatly in how researchers, journals and companies interpret disclosure requirements in order to make research more transparent.
"Many journals don't even ask about conflicts of interest," said Sayler . " He himself is also an editor of The Journal of Environmental Research.
"Normally, if you just Report enough research funding. . .
As far as I am concerned, this is not a fiduciary responsibility.
We will not become rich because of this.
"The documents in the Austin trial indicate that Eastman was involved in the design of the Osimitz study, although the study was conducted far away from headquarters, despite the author's claim to the contrary.
According to an expert report he submitted to the Texas court, Eastman toxicologist James Deyo worked with a laboratory to "develop the appropriate dose level of the Tritan monomer ", for laboratory animals in the test, the goal is to determine whether Tritan imitates human hormones.
When asked about the difference between Deyo's statement and Eastman's qualitative study as "independent", spokesman Demuth said the company "in addition to publicly published comments and
Deyo also said he helped develop the "agreement" for the study"
Basically, how will it proceed.
Both the dose level and protocol may affect the experimental results.
Eastman insists that since these four laboratories are not part of the company themselves, their work can be accurately described as an independent "third party ".
Three days before the start of the trial, Osimitz told Reuters that the disclosure form of the aisiweier Daily was "very confusing ".
"He refused to pre-
The publication review process, but he said he had just submitted a correction to the Wall Street Journal's statement "The author declared there was no conflict of interest.
"Eastman paid for the work," he said . "
"There is no doubt about this.