Journals Warned to Mind the Message

Frontlines | Journals Warned to Mind the Message UK medical researcher professor Ian Roberts has added new accusations to his earlier one, in which he said that medical journals helped spread US propaganda during the Iraq war. Roberts, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, originally launched his campaign in a January 2003 letter published in the British Medical Journal (http://bmj.com/cgi/eletters/326/7382/230#29063). "I said then there was an exaggeration of the public

Phillip Hunter
May 4, 2003

Frontlines | Journals Warned to Mind the Message

UK medical researcher professor Ian Roberts has added new accusations to his earlier one, in which he said that medical journals helped spread US propaganda during the Iraq war. Roberts, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, originally launched his campaign in a January 2003 letter published in the British Medical Journal (http://bmj.com/cgi/eletters/326/7382/230#29063). "I said then there was an exaggeration of the public health risks of bioterrorism under the narrow UK/ US definition [i.e. deliberate attempts to spread infection, for example, through contamination of water supplies]," says Roberts in an interview with The Scientist. "But [since then], they have also propagandized by forgetting that any malevolent action which causes infection should be considered as a biological weapon, including sanctions which starve the population."

Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, says its position changed during the Iraq...