October 18th, 2011 • 9:31 PM
An Update from Dr. Calabrese

On September 20, 2011, University of Massachusetts Amherst issued a press lease which detailed the findings of Dr. Edward Calabrese, an environmental toxicologist whose career research shows that low doses of some chemicals and radiation are benign or even helpful. The release revealed something that had been buried for over 60 years: that one of the fathers of radiation genetics, Nobel Prize winner Hermann Muller, knowingly lied when he claimed in 1946 that there is no safe level of radiation exposure. Shortly after the press release was issued, LPACTV conducted an interview with Dr. Calabrese, which you can find here. The implications for the entire scientific community, and beyond, are immense, and entirely political. We asked Dr. Calabrese for an update on the few weeks since the release, here is what he had to say:

It may be too soon to judge the reaction. It is clear that some people close to Dr. Muller have strongly objected to my characterization of his speech at the Nobel Lecture and follow activities as deceptive, misleading and basically dishonest. However, this is what the historical record clearly demonstrates. While much focus is on Muller, the deception is far deeper than his Nobel Prize comments; they also extend to the subsequent cover up so that his deception would not be exposed and that this ideological views would still be advanced. While these discoveries are exciting and interesting, they are also quite disappointing as Muller and Stern were seen as great men, people of real accomplishment, true leaders of the scientific community. Thus, it gives me no pleasure in revealing their deceptive actions. However, these great men had an important imperfection. They placed their ideology ahead of their science. It has now been exposed.

It should be appreciated that my articles were submitted to two separate and highly regarded journals. Both papers went through the standard and rigorous peer-review process. Both papers were eventually accepted. This is important because my actions were not those of a person acting outside of the "system". No, my actions were to follow the expectations and rules of the scientific process. The language of my papers also conformed to the requirements and expectations of the reviewers and journal editors. In fact, the editors of the paper in Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis indicated in writing that they themselves gave a very careful and detailed assessment of my paper in addition to their external peer-review process. Thus, my actions and those of the journals were fully consistent with what should be expected by leading journals.

It is my expectation that such actions will be appreciated by the scientific and regulatory communities. This is especially important because the findings of this research calls into question the very foundations of all regulatory programs that deal with cancer risk assessment for chemicals, drugs and radiation. The stakes are very high. It will be hard for the scientific and regulatory communities to admit that they have made a mistake on a central pillar of these disciplines...but they have. I hope that they will be able to take a long and objective look at the new findings and will follow the data.....something that Muller and Stern failed to do. Let us hope that history will not repeat itself.

Sincerely,

Ed Calabrese

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