Drug Researchers Routinely Risk Public Health by Withholding Info: Study

January 12, 2012

It's about ethics, say the editors of a key medical journal. Should drug researchers be allowed to withhold information about the health effects of the drugs they are studying? It's a common practice, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers even do it when the work is government-funded.

Environmental reporters could (or should) be asking similar questions. Is research about the health effects of pesticides ever withheld from the public and press (effectively, yes)? Is information about the health effects of potentially toxic chemicals found commonly in commercial products ever withheld (yes, indeed)?