For those of you just tuning in, Cochrane is an international network of scientists promoting evidence-based medicine.  In early September, the board, by a narrow majority, ended the membership of Cochrane founder, Peter C Gotzsche.  Then, four board members promptly resigned in protest.  The trouble started brewing for Gotzsche when he spoke out against a favorable Cochrane analysis of the HPV vaccine because he felt it overlooked side effects.  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/09/18/evidence-based-medicine-group-in-turmoil-after-expulsion-of-co-founder/

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/11/08/peter-c-gotzsche-cochrane-no-longer-a-collaboration/

Cochrane—no longer a Collaboration

by Peter C Gøtzsche

November 8, 2018

Peter C Gøtzsche discusses his expulsion from the Cochrane Collaboration

My expulsion from Cochrane’s Governing Board and the Cochrane Collaboration is well known.

As one of its founding fathers, I had great aspirations for the charity and have realised many of them. I have published many important Cochrane reviews, e.g. on mammography screening and health checks, contributed to developing the methods and reporting of research, and documented the harms of overuse of drugs. My greatest contribution to science was to get access to clinical trial data at the European Medicines Agency, a feat that many people said would be impossible. [1]

When CEO Mark Wilson dropped the word “collaboration” from the charity’s registered name, it was a sign of things to come. Wilson changed the organisation from a grass roots scientific organisation, where centres worked autonomously and embraced diversity, into a highly centralised business, focused on ”brand” and “logos,” with “one voice, one position.” I could not abide by this oppressive culture.

When Iain Chalmers started the Collaboration 25 years ago, he wrote in the invitational letter to 50 people, including me, that the collaboration is

”committed to opposing any tendency for it to become dominated by any nation, institution, or individual.” Unfortunately, Cochrane has gone in that direction.

Academic freedom has gone, scientific debates are unwelcome, and transparency is a thing of the past. Cochrane’s public statements deny this, but I am a witness on the inside and Cochrane’s show trial against me is illustrative. [2,3]

Eighteen months ago, I was elected to Cochrane’s Governing Board with the most votes of the 11 candidates. My aim was to stop the rot—what I saw as a moral slide—and I challenged the leadership on core issues and on the way it was managing the charity.

I wrote a policy a year ago that would prevent Cochrane authors from having a commercial interest in the interventions they were assessing. The Cochrane leadership stalled.

I tried to block the CEO from micromanaging centres, so researchers could be free to operate autonomously with their own funding, but failed.

I tried to uphold Cochrane’s values of publicly challenging science. But when my team challenged Cochrane’s HPV vaccine review, we came under heavy criticism.This was scientific censorship. [2, 4, 5]

The Board and the CEO believe that public debates undermine Cochrane’s reputation. I disagree. Scientific debates further science, to everyone’s benefit.

Cochrane no longer lives up to its core values of collaboration, openness, transparency, accountability, democracy and keeping the drug industry at arm’s length.

In my view, the Board and the CEO should resign. They should resign from their posts and call for independent elections to be held and respect the requests from 31 centre directors and many others for an independent investigation of the “process” against me. It’s the only way to restore this great organisation to what it once was.

The ultimate excuse for ousting me from Cochrane was my “seriously bad behaviour.” If questioning our leadership, holding the drug industry to account and criticising bad science qualifies as “seriously bad behaviour,” then I am proud to own it.

I have submitted a complaint to the Charity Commission and hope the Commission and the funder of the UK groups will help to accomplish highly needed changes in the leadership and set-up of Cochrane.

Peter C Gøtzsche is a Danish physician and medical researcher

Competing interests: None declared.

References:

1 Gøtzsche PC, Jørgensen AW. Opening up data at the European Medicines Agency. BMJ 2011;342:d2686.

2 Demasi M. Cochrane – A sinking ship? 2018; 16 Sept. https://blogs.bmj.com/bmjebmspotlight/2018/09/16/cochrane-a-sinking-ship/.

3 Hammerstein D. Regenerate Cochrane to strengthen the production of trusted evidence for the common good of public health. 2018; 8 Oct. http://www.nogracias.eu/2018/10/08/regenerate-cochrane-to-strengthen-the-production-of-trusted-evidence-for-the-common-good-of-public-health-by-david-hammerstein/.

4 Jørgensen L, Gøtzsche PC, Jefferson T. The Cochrane HPV vaccine review was incomplete and ignored important evidence of bias. BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine 2018; 27 July. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjebm-2018-111012.

5 Jørgensen L, Gøtzsche PC, Jefferson T. The Cochrane HPV vaccine review was incomplete and ignored important evidence of bias: Response to the Cochrane editors. https://ebm.bmj.com/content/early/2018/07/27/bmjebm-2018-111012.responses#the-cochrane-hpvvaccine-review-was-incomplete-and-ignored-important-evidence-of-bias-response-to-the-cochraneeditors 2018; 17 September.

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**Comment**

“Science” has become little more than big pharma propaganda.  Here’s why:

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/01/28/sit-down-science/  Industry funded “science” has tainted our world and turned science-based evidence into science-biased propaganda. Universities are laundering money through foundations to intentionally hide relationships, while scientists secretly nurture their relationships with corporate executives.  Negative outcomes go unpublished, the peer review process is so weak only studies that challenge industry interests are heavily scrutinized (usually by scientists hired by corporate public relations firms). Media is paid handsomely to ensure the public that “the science is settled,” especially when corporate liability is a primary concern.  Raw data is held captive, conflicts of interest are not fully disclosed and studies are designed to specifically obtain a desired outcome.

This is also happening regarding Lyme/MSIDS research:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/01/13/lyme-science-owned-by-good-ol-boys/

  • Sin Lee, a pathologist and scientist who directs Milford Molecular Diagnostics, has received numerous publication rejections when he attempted to rebut the oft repeated dogma that has ruled the medical world for decades regarding tick borne illness.  

 

  • Marcia Herman, Giddens, adjunct professor at Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina states, “There has never been a well-designed study to examine this issue,” in regard to 80% getting the EM rash.  Yet, the rash is still the gold standard in diagnosis.

 

  • Christian Perronne, physician on the infectious diseases faculty at the University of Versailles-St Quentin, France, states, “If you try to publish a little bit different from the guidelines, it’s anti-science.”

 

  • Lyme literate physician Raphael Stricker goes on record, “The primer propagates one of the biggest myths about Lyme disease diagnosis instead of acknowledging the dreadful state of 30-year-old Lyme serology and the need for better testing.”

 

  • Benjamin Luft, one of the physicians who wrote the original Lyme guidelines in 2000 admitted that he now agrees that Lyme disease can persist making it infinitely more difficult to treat as time progresses and that the cabal’s continual emphasis on “false positives” is a red herring – that early treatment has great benefit.

 

  • Raymond Dattwyler, a 1994 CDC panelist that helped write the LD guidelines, stated, “Twenty years ago I would’ve said they’re fine. Now I say,

‘oh shit, we were wrong.’ It doesn’t look as good as we thought it was.”

Yet, The Cabal continues to play cacophony but insists it’s music.

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We are sick, not stupid.