Re: Sponsorship by Big Oil, Like the Tobacco Industry, Should be Banned by the Research Community
To the Editor:
Epidemiology routinely requests that authors state all possible conflicts of interest, including financial, consultant, institutional, and other relationships that might lead to bias or a conflict of interest. The copyright transfer form also includes a section on the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest based on the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” (www.icmje.org/update.html).
We believe that it was improper that S. Stanley Young, PhD, in his letter to the editor1 regarding the commentary Sponsorship by Big Oil, Like the Tobacco Industry, Should be Banned by the Research Community2 failed to declare his relationship to the Heartland Institute. The website for the Heartland Institute (https://www.heartland.org/about-us/who-we-are/s-stanley-young) identifies him as a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute. We note that he also is a contributor to their report Climate Change Reconsidered II Fossil Fuels,3 which he misleadingly claims in his letter to be “authoritative.” The Heartland Institute describes itself as a “free-market think tank” and is funded, in part, by fossil fuel companies and promotes their interests. We ask that you please publish a correction to inform your readers of his ties to the Heartland Institute and its funding by the oil industry.
1. Young SS. Re: sponsorship by big oil, like the tobacco industry, should be banned by the research community-letter 2. Epidemiology. 2020;31:e1–e2.
2. Kogevinas M, Takaro T. Sponsorship by big oil, like the tobacco industry, should be banned by the research community. Epidemiology. 2019;30:615–616.
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3. Bast JL, Bast DC, eds. Climate Change Reconsidered II Fossil Fuels. 2019:The Heartland Institute; 756. (climatechangereconsidered.org/climate-change-reconsidered-ii-fossil-fuels/