Ethics, morality, and conflicting interests

How questionable professional integrity in some scientists supports global corporate influence in public health

X Baur, L Budnik, K Ruff, D Egilman, R Lemen, Colin SOSKOLNE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Clinical and public health research, education, and medical practice are vulnerable to influence by corporate interests driven by the for-profit motive. Developments over the last 10 years have shown that transparency and self-reporting of corporate ties do not always mitigate bias. In this article, we provide examples of how sound scientific reasoning and evidence-gathering are undermined through compromised scientific enquiry resulting in misleading science, decision-making, and policy intervention. Various medical disciplines provide reference literature essential for informing public, environmental, and occupational health policy. Published literature impacts clinical and laboratory methods, the validity of respective clinical guidelines, and the development and implementation of public health regulations. Said literature is also used in expert testimony related to resolving tort actions on work-related illnesses and environmental risks. We call for increased sensitivity, full transparency, and the implementation of effective ethical and professional praxis rules at all relevant regulatory levels to rout out inappropriate corporate influence in science. This is needed because influencing the integrity of scientists who engage in such activities cannot be depended upon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-175
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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