British Journal of Cancer Asbestos Article Conflict of Interest

A number of scientists and health defenders made a complaint to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on January 6, 2014, regarding a violation of IARC’s conflict of interest requirements in a paper that IARC published on health risks of asbestos in the British Journal of Cancer.

The paper on asbestos stated that the authors had no conflict of interest. However, the corresponding author for the IARC paper, Paulo Boffetta, was being paid by an Italian company to help the company defeat charges of criminal negligence, causing the deaths of a dozen of its workers from asbestos-related diseases, at the same time as Dr. Boffetta was co-writing the IARC paper in 2011. Dr. Boffetta argued in court in 2011, on behalf of the company, that continued exposure to asbestos causes no additional harm to health.

IARC has now informed the journal editor about Boffetta’s non-declared potential conflict of interests.