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IBM responds in study dispute

In Science, the company says data for worker mortality study were inadequate

Alison McCook(abmccook@yahoo.com)

This week's issue of Science carries a letter from IBM presenting its side of an ongoing controversy triggered when an occupational medicine journal refused to publish a study reporting high cancer mortality in workers at the computer firm's semiconductor plants.

Last month, other researchers who were slated to contribute to a November issue of Clinics in Occupational and Environmental Medicine withdrew their submissions in protest over the Elsevier publication's refusal to include the article by Richard Clapp.

IBM spokesperson Chris Andrews told The Scientist that Clapp gained access to company data as part of a recently resolved court case in California between IBM and former employees diagnosed with cancer. Clapp, an epidemiologist at the Boston School of Public Health, was asked to review the data and testify on behalf of the plaintiffs. However, the judge eventually forbade Clapp from testifying, and the plaintiffs lost the case earlier this...

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