On March 31 2015, hundreds of physicians from across the globe submitted a complaint to the Senior Management and Board of Reed Elsevier concerning “egregious editorial misconduct at The Lancet that is unacceptable in general and also gravely violates your own published Editorial Policies”.
The signatories include 5 Nobel laureates, 4 knights and a Lord.
The letter protests "the grossly irresponsible and damaging editorial misuse of The Lancet for
political purposes" as well as the "abject failure of the owner/publisher, Reed Elsevier, to enforce appropriate
ethical standards of editorship.", citing as examples, the publication of the fraudulent MMR vaccine article, as well as last years "Open Letter to Gaza"
The Lancet, owned by Reed Elsevier, is one of the major general medical journals. It has been misused by its editor-in-chief, Dr Richard Horton, as a vehicle for his own eclectic personal and political agenda, at times characterized by flagrantly irresponsible publications. The worst examples of this are the MMR vaccine scare of 1998 and “An open letter for the people in Gaza” by Manduca et al published on July 22, 2014.
There's been more.
In 1998, it was revealed that scientists received $156,000 from the tobacco industry to write letters disputing the carcinogenicity of second-hand smoke The Lancet published one of these letters in 1993. Gio Batta Gori was paid $4,000 by the tobacco industry to criticize the EPA report on second hand smoke- his letter was published in the April 10, 1993 Lancet, with no disclosure of his industry ties.
Other sources reported that there were representatives from the tobacco industry employed by the Lancet. From the Daily Telegraph, May 14 1998
Concerned Academics for editorial Ethics describes how the Lancet
...has become a vehicle for publication of deliberately false material which deepens polarisation between Israelis and Palestinians, and does nothing to promote either global health or the health of those involved in this conflict.
The most recent example of such a diatribe, “An open letter for the people in Gaza” by Manduca et al contains false assertions, unverifiable dishonest ‘facts’, many of them libellous, and glaring omissions while deliberately concealing the grossest possible conflicts of interest of its authors, as acknowledged by The Lancet’s Ombudsman.
Two of the authors (Manduca and Swee Ang) promoted an anti-Semitic video by American white supremacist David Duke. Chalmers, another co-author, has publicly spoken of how “Zionists” have “control in so many different domains.” These blatant anti-Semitic messages and speeches are well documented and readily accessible.
Concerned Academics have asked Reed Elsevier to behave ethically by
retracting the Manduca letter, apologizing for its publication and ensuring that
any further editorial malpractice at The Lancet is prevented.
Read the full text of the Open Letter to the Lancet here Read an evidence-based analysis of the nature and impact of Israeli public
health policies practices in the West Bank and Gaza here.