Epidemiologist Enstrom makes ‘medical’ journal an offer it can’t refuse

The New England Journal of Medicine recently stepped in it with the publication of bogus study on PM2.5 and death. I have called for the NEJM to retract the study. Jim Enstrom has a different suggestion.

Enstrom’s letter to the NEJM is below. My letter from last week is here.


July 10, 2017

Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D.
Editor-in-Chief, New England Journal of Medicine
Professor, T.H. Chan SPH Department of Environmental Health

Re: Request for Special Article Opposing June 29 NEJM Original Article and Editorial Claiming PM2.5 Deaths

Dear Editor-in-Chief and Professor Drazen,

I am writing regarding the June 29, 2017 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Original Article “Air Pollution and Mortality in the Medicare Population” and your accompanying Editorial “Air Pollution Still Kills.” In order to allow your readers to see evidence of NO relationship between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and mortality, I request that you allow me and potential co-authors to publish a peer-reviewed Special Article, tentatively entitled “Particulate Matter Does Not Kill Americans.” I have very strong evidence that the NEJM has repeatedly published articles and editorials since 1993 that have falsified the relationship between PM2.5 and mortality in the United States. Also, I have strong evidence that you did not reveal an important conflict of interest in the ICMJE Form for your Editorial. Finally, I have evidence that the HEI-funded Original Article did not undergo proper HEI review before you published it.

My extensive evidence of falsification includes five actions by you regarding my NEJM submissions:

1) On November 10, 2004, you rejected my October 12, 2004 NEJM Manuscript #04-3494, “Fine Particulate Air Pollution and Total Mortality Among Elderly Californians, 1980-98” in spite of one positive review of my major epidemiologic study showing NO relationship in the California ACS CPS I cohort.

2) On September 11, 2015, you rejected my September 8, 2015 NEJM Manuscript #15-11655, “Particulate Matter Does Not Cause Premature Deaths,” without any peer review. This manuscript contained detailed evidence of falsification by NEJM regarding PM2.5-related deaths.

3) On June 17, 2016, you rejected my June 7, 2016 NEJM Manuscript #16-07588, “Fine Particulate Matter and Mortality in Cancer Prevention Study Reanalysis,” after it was evaluated by two external reviewers and was discussed among the editors. Although the manuscript received one positive review and you found it interesting, you did not accept it for publication. This manuscript represented the first ever independent analysis of the ACS CPS II cohort and it found NO relationship in this large national cohort.

4) On June 28, 2016, you immediately rejected my June 27, 2016 request for reconsideration of my Manuscript #16-07588, “Fine Particulate Matter and Mortality in Cancer Prevention Study Reanalysis.”

5) In spite of your direct involvement with my above manuscripts, none of the null evidence contained in these now published manuscripts was cited in the NEJM Original Article or Editorial. Also, your Editorial advocated for the scientifically unjustified “imposition of stricter limits on levels of PM2.5.”

Manuscript #16-07588 was published with minor changes as the March 28, 2017 Dose-Response article “Fine Particulate Matter and Total Mortality in Cancer Prevention Study Cohort Reanalysis” (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1559325817693345). Reference 27 of this article documents the above NEJM rejections. This peer-reviewed article contains important evidence that there is NO relationship between PM2.5 and total mortality in the ACS CPS II cohort. This evidence refutes the basic PM2.5 premature deaths finding in the seminal 1995 Pope AJRCCM article that provided the primary epidemiologic justification for the 1997 EPA PM2.5 NAAQS.

If you reject my request for a Special Article, your rejection will add to the extensive evidence by me and others that the NEJM has falsified the relationship between PM2.5 and mortality and refuses to correct this falsification. Evidence of falsification is included in the major ongoing reassessment of the EPA PM2.5 NAAQS. Finally, you should realize that falsification damages the credibility of NEJM.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

James E. Enstrom, Ph.D., M.P.H.
UCLA and Scientific Integrity Institute

7 thoughts on “Epidemiologist Enstrom makes ‘medical’ journal an offer it can’t refuse”

  1. Appreciate all you folks—it’s nice to know that although I’m here in Sillyass Valley–home of the self-anointed self-appointed clueless left–Apple, Ebay, Tesla, HP, Facebook, Oracle, etc. etc.–you know–the True Believers in the ‘science’ of Global Disaster du jour and assaulted daily with condemnation of reality and our new President by the lamestream media——-I’m not alone–thank God!
    Interestingly enough, random surveys conducted by this ol’ cowboy have shown that the populace ain’t as dumb as the ‘leadership’ want us to believe—they haven’t bought it–and have seen right thru all the B. S.–in fact they’re delighted in Mr. Trump and hopeful for the future. Let’s hear it for Common Sense!!!
    Consider a new TV show popped up about 2 weeks ago discussing the fact that the left’s hypocrisy has made most valley resident/employees reluctant to express their political opinions for fear of backlash. Saw it once–I guess our “friends’ saw that it had one showing and stopped it there. (After all, who needs the truth? especially since it conflicts with the “facts we need to believe-or else!” Quite frankly, I think the hypocrisy is about to destroy itself-they just don’t know it yet.
    Miken’s idea of a lawsuit for damages has against the out of control EPA and friends has great merit–since so widespread is the EPA abuse of power that there could and should be thousands of suits–The recovery has great potential–it could be in the billions (yes, Virginia, with a B) even Trillions considering their rampage has gone on for 40+ years with little resistance.
    Talk about intimidation–terrorist tactics–Hard to believe? Believe it! That’ what made them so dangerous.
    O. K.—The bad news: that bunch of loonies was turned loose in1972 with the stroke of a pen by then-president Nixon as an executive order(A bunch of those were unleashed by our Buddy Barak as well)
    They have operated –with impunity, thumbing their snotty nose at the American Public ever since– fielding lawsuits thru their own Kangaroo Court and giving us the finger regularly. Bad, right?
    The Good News: Just as easily as these monsters were unleashed, they can be destroyed by the same method–The stroke of a pen.
    I hope and pray Mr. President to do just that; exposing these monsters to the same torture they’ve wreaked on us all these long painful crazy years.
    The screams from the Lunatic Left will be very annoying–for a while–. Slowly, the few sane ones will see the benefits of a return to our Constitutional Republic and convince the others how wrong they were. It’ll take time, I’m afraid–but, oh so worth it!
    that’s my take, anyway–sure sounds good from here.

  2. As a former resident of Los Angeles, I know the smog problem has been reduced greatly since I moved there in 1964. And kudos for that. However, as years pass I notice standards tightening more and more for not only the amount of pollutants but also the components being restricted.

    In California, we see this tightening of standards in everything, to the point of being ridiculous. The amount of energy to be produced from renewable resources keeps going up and up. New chemical “pollutants” in our water have to be tested – and the maximum amounts of anything we can drink keep going down.

    I see these ever-increasing restrictions as jobs programs for the government employees. The bureaucrats will still be at their desks for many more years if they keep lowering the bars on allowable pollutants. More costs, more monitoring, more testing, more compliance, more counting, more studies, more taxes, more lawsuits – at least until the surviving working population leaves the state because they just can’t stand it anymore.

    This PM2.5 and mortality bunkum is just a drop in the bucket in this state. When they forced businesses to spend a fortune replacing diesel engines, not only in trucks but things like drilling rigs for water wells and other free-standing engines, they created a market for the old engines. Roving buyers from Mexico bought them, what a bonanza, at fire sale prices! Of course, the air quality czars must know those diesel pollutants can cross the borders, they just argue that California leads everyone in fighting for our health.

  3. The NEJM is showing their confirmation bias. Those of us raised in the 60’s when heavy pollution covered all our major cities experienced the strong moral feelings that any air pollution was bad. Smoking became a pariah and the anti-smoking campaign grew to a shrill cacophony. Anti any air pollution is now a part of our DNA.

    What the NEJM is doing is feeding into the bias that has been engrained in our psyche.

    Unless you smoke marijuana that is. The NEJM and others have enough openness to accept smoking marijuana as not creating a problem. How ironic that the pounds of crap inhaled by smoking marijuana is ok for our lungs but the two teaspoons of particulates from PM2.5 we inhale in a lifetime is not.

  4. I’ve a better suggestion than just writing said letter. How about filing a lawsuit for all the losses to businesses caused by relying on this lying information whose standards crippled businesses and increased costs not just to businesses but to us consumers too because of rising costs. How about a class action lawsuit? That would get their attention just as Sarah Palin had the NY Times attention after filing a lawsuit against them for their false story
    claiming Jared Lee Loughner, the mass murderer who on January 8, 2011 in Tucson shot and severely injured U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, his target, and killed six people, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, as well as a nine-year-old bystander, Christina-Taylor Green and injured a total of 13 people, was somehow associated with Palin and her organization. It was an outright lie. A simple google search shows this nut job was an extreme liberal and as far from Palin’s views as it is possible to get. Now the NY Times is ringing its hands saying, “It was an honest mistake.” It is time to hold these liars accountable in ways that will actually hurt and bring them to heel. The New England Journal needs to be held accountable in a way that really hurts.

  5. More congratulations to J.E.E…………..However:
    The situation doesn’t require 100% retraction………
    Only for the case of people in the eastern and central USA under the age of 85, who must have some very weird susceptibility to PM which the rest of the population are immune to………
    LOL again……….

  6. You don’t really expect them to apologize and accept your study do you?
    It’s not your fault they are fools. Unfortunately for us these jackasses have a great deal of influence in public policy.
    All I can say is keep publishing… some of us are listening.

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