A 2001 paper following up on a study by a prominent Canadian scientist showing striking cognitive benefits for people over 65 who took a daily multivitamin mineral supplement—which has been cited more than 350 times since its publication in 1992—has become the center of an increasingly vituperative exchange of claims and counterclaims about research data.

Ranjit Kumar Chandra—who worked for 27 years as a nutritionist at Canada's Memorial University and the Janeway Child Health Center in St. John's, Newfoundland, and Labrador before retiring in August 2002—published the original study in the Lancet. The British Medical Journal rejected a follow-up to the Lancet study submitted in late 2000. It was accepted by Nutrition, where it was published in September 2001.

The BMJ's editor, Richard Smith, then wrote the editor of Nutrition, Michael Meguid, to inform him of the BMJ's rejection and that the BMJ's unidentified...

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