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Conflicts of interest compromise US public health agency’s mission, say scientists

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 24 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5723
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. New York

Scientists at the United States’ public health agency have urged their employers to “clean up this house,” claiming that conflicts of interest are undermining trust in the agency.1

The scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, sent an anonymous letter at the end of August to Carmen S Villar, chief of staff at the CDC’s Office of the Director. They wrote, “It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests.

“This ‘climate of disregard’ puts many of us in difficult positions. We are often directed to do things we know …

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