CDC Scientists Expose Agency Corruption

CDC Scientists Expose Agency Corruption – Nov. 21, 2016 – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Last month, The Hill published a letter [see below] sent by “more than a dozen” senior Center for Disease Control (CDC) scientists charging the agency with nursing an atmosphere of pervasive research fraud.

The letter to CDC Chief of Staff, Carmen Villar, expressed alarm “about the current state of ethics at our agency.”

The scientists complained that “our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests” and “circumvented by some of our leaders.”

The scientists told Villar that, “questionable and unethical practices, occurring at all levels and in all of our respective units, threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health.”  

The letter charged that staff level scientists “are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right,” and that, “Senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors.”

The scientists complain that the “climate of disregard” at CDC puts “many” agency scientists in difficult positions.

We are often directed to do things we know are not right.” The public record supports SPIDER’s allegations that scientists who insist on research integrity suffer persecution by CDC supervisors.

The recent SPIDER letter highlights the culture of deep-rooted scientific corruption that has metastasized across CDC and become the subject of a decade- long parade of investigations.

Given this long history of deeply entrenched scientific chicanery at the CDC, it’s no surprise that scientists are now complaining.

If Donald Trump is sincere about his promise to “Drain the Swamp” in the federal bureaucracy, he should begin by appointing an honest and able CDC director who can restore transparency, credibility, robust science and regulatory independence at the agency and who will turn around the culture of corruption that has been so damaging to children’s health.  

The CDC is being influenced by corporate and political interests | TheHill – By Carey Gillam – 10/17/16

Concerns about the inner workings of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been mounting in recent months amid disclosures of cozy corporate alliances.

Now a group of more than a dozen senior scientists have reportedly lodged an ethics complaint alleging the federal agency is being influenced by corporate and political interests in ways that shortchange taxpayers.

A group calling itself CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or (CDC SPIDER), put a list of complaints in writing in a letter to CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK). The members of the group have elected to file the complaint anonymously for fear of retribution.

The original letter can be found at https://usrtk.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/CDC_SPIDER_Letter-1.pdf

“It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests… and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception,” the letter states.

“These questionable and unethical practices threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health.”

The complaint cites among other things a “cover up” of the poor performance of a women’s health program called the Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Woman Across the Nation, or WISEWOMAN.

The complaint says there was a coordinated effort within the CDC to misrepresent data given to Congress so that it appeared the program was involving more women than it actually was.

Definitions were changed and data ‘cooked’ to make the results look better than they were,” the complaint states.  

An ‘internal review’ that involved staff across CDC occurred and its findings were essentially suppressed so media and/or Congressional staff would not become aware of the problems.”

The complaint also alleges that staff resources that are supposed to be dedicated to domestic programs for Americans are instead being directed to work on global health and research issues.

And the complaint cites as “troubling” the ties between soft drink giant Coca-Cola Co., an advocacy group backed by Coca-Cola, and two high-ranking CDC officials

Emails also suggested that Pratt has a history of promoting and helping lead research funded by Coca-Cola while being employed by the CDC.  Pratt also has been working closely with ILSI, which advocates for the agenda of beverage and food industries, emails obtained through FOIA showed.

Experts in the nutrition arena have said that the relationships are troubling because the mission of the CDC is protecting public health, and yet certain CDC officials appear to be close with an industry that, studies say, is linked to about 180,000 deaths per year worldwide, including 25,000 in the United States. The CDC is supposed to be addressing rising obesity rates among children, not advancing beverage industry interests.

The SPIDER group complaint ends with a plea for CDC management to address the allegations;

“do the right thing.”  

This sounds like the same situation:  CDC Manipulated Data to Deceive

I’m appalled at the dismal state of affairs at the CDC – this all comes as a great shock to me.

I had assumed  that the government agency tasked with looking after citizens’ health would be promoting what’s in our best interests according to the latest science, acting beyond the reach of politics and financial interests.

It breaks my heart to see how wrong I was.

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3 thoughts on “CDC Scientists Expose Agency Corruption

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