Retractions to Make Your Head Spin
What should we make of a stream of retractions from peer-reviewed publications in nutrition and obesity? Weekly Obesity and Energetics Offerings include a section on scientific rigor and scholarly dialogue where noteworthy retractions may be found. The one that grabbed our attention this week, of course, was the retraction of a viewpoint co-authored by Joaquin Barnoya and Marion Nestle criticizing the credibility of nutrition research funded by industry and conflicts of interest that arise from such funding.
The retraction was necessary shortly after publication of this viewpoint because of factual errors and a conflict of interest undisclosed by Barnoya. The irony is hard to ignore, but Retraction Watch noted praise for Nestle from Yoni Freedhoff (an outspoken critic of conflicts of interest):
— Yoni Freedhoff, MD (@YoniFreedhoff) November 25, 2015
Without a doubt, every retraction that comes our way is a good thing — it’s visible evidence of integrity and accountability in the scientific literature. Conflicts of interest are a fact of life. Conflicts that cause the greatest problems are those that are undisclosed.
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November 30, 2015