Scientific dishonesty

Scientific dishonesty?
Conflict of Interest?
A case for consideration by the jury.
Lars Erik Holm

Lars Erik Holm is the current Medical Officer of Health of Sweden. Prior to this and for most of his working life he has been a significant figure in radiation protection, holding the most senior positions in the ICRP, in the Swedish SSI and in the UN committee on radiation effects, UNSCEAR. His meteoric risk through the ranks of radiation protection agencies began with a study of the effects of radioiodine on thyroid cancer. This study had a major effect on the development of radiation limits for exposure. It set the scene for many regulatory developments, the main one being the setting of a dose rate reduction factor since it was used to argue that doses given over a long period are far less harmful than doses received acutely. It also was claimed to show that internal radiation exposure was far less harmful than external.

The ICRP risk factor for thyroid cancer after radioiodine exposures, based on the Holm study, was shown to be absurd by the increases in thyroid cancer after Chernobyl. But no-one blamed Holm for getting it wrong. I have examined the Holm radioiodine study and referred to it in my first book Wings of Death (1996). But a careful analysis had already been made several years earlier by Dr John Gofman (Gofman 1990). He devoted 11 pages to deconstructing the Holm radioiodine studies and concluded that they were "Fatally Flawed".

I can do no better than refer directly to Gofmanís analysis which follows. For me, and for Gofman, the main problem was that Holm threw out most of his cancer cases on the basis that if they appeared within 5 years of the radioiodine treatment they were pre existing cancers and not caused by the iodine. Thus he ended up with 39 cancers in his study group instead of the roughly 200 cancers that appeared. I will leave the rest of the argument to Gofman. In my opinion, what Holm did was criminal, and the result of what he did was a skewing of the radiation risk model in favour of the nuclear industry. To find such a man to be now in charge of the Swedish Medical system beggars belief. At minimum it represents a conflict of interest. At worst it represents a conspiracy: the falsifying of evidence that internal exposure to radionuclides from contamination causes harm to health in order to permit the development of nuclear energy and financial advantage of the global organisations involved. John Gofmanís analysis in Chapter 22 of Gofman 1990 is here.

Gofmanís CV

Chris Busby: October 2011

Gofman 1990 Radiation-Induced cancer from Low-Dose Exposure: an Independent Analysis. John W. Gofman M.D/, Ph.D. First Edition. Committee for Social Responsibility, Inc. CNR Book Division. Post Office Box 11207 San Francisco California 94101 USA

Holm LE, Wiklund KE, Lundell GE, Bergman NA, Bjelkengren G, Cederquist ES, Ericsson UB, Larsson LG, Lidberg ME, Lindberg RS, et al. "Thyroid cancer after diagnostic doses of radio-iodine: a retrospective cohort study" Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1988 Sep 21;80(14):1132-8.

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