Toxicologist should be censured, says group

Environmental watchdog group says toxicologist deserves penalty for involvement in retracted paper; scientist says he was honoring now-deceased study author's wishes

Melissa Lee Phillips
Aug 1, 2006
An environmental watchdog group is requesting censure of a toxicologist for his role in a recently retracted paper, which disputed a link between toxic chromium and cancer. The scientist, according to the Environmental Working Group, helped to conceal corporate funding for the paper, and then used the study's conclusions to argue against stricter chromium water standards.In an Email letter sent to the president of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), the EWG said that society member Dennis Paustenbach, CEO of San Francisco-based consulting firm ChemRisk, violated the Society's Code of Ethics.The Society of Toxicology should censure Paustenbach, EWG senior vice president Richard Wiles told The Scientist, "so that it's clear that there's some price to be paid for deliberate fraudulent activity and then using fake science to weaken public health protections." For instance, some type of "serious statement" condemning Paustenbach's behavior might be an appropriate deterrent to others.Paustenbach,...