Top Scientists Ask
Medical Journal Science
Retract Original AIDS Papers
SAN FRANCISCO (Rethinking AIDS) Dec. 9, 2008—The international
nonprofit scientific organization Rethinking AIDS gave its full support today to
37 senior researchers, medical doctors and legal professionals who are
requesting that the medical journal Science withdraw four seminal papers
on HIV authored by Dr. Robert Gallo—papers widely touted as proof that HIV is
the "probable cause of AIDS." An online posting of the letter can be found
"With new findings that
undermine the scientific integrity and veracity of Gallo's four papers, the
entire basis of the theory that HIV causes AIDS may now be questioned," says
Rethinking AIDS president David Crowe.
The letter to the journal comes at
a time when the microbiology world is abuzz about Gallo's omission from the 2008
Nobel Prize in medicine for the discovery of HIV, contrary to an international
agreement that the two teams should share credit. French scientists Drs. Luc
Montagnier and Francoise Barré-Sinoussi are instead to be given the award, a
decision that also implicitly questions the scientific integrity of Gallo's
claim of the discovery. Montagnier, however, admitted
on camera more than a decade ago that his experiments
did not purify any virus.
The four papers were originally published on
May 4, 1984, a few days after a press conference by Gallo announcing he had
discovered the "probable cause of AIDS." Now, a British investigative journalist
has shown that Gallo's claim was based on last-minute alterations to documents
that make false claims about the results of his lab work and research
experiments. The letter to Science sent by the 37 experts on Monday, Dec.
1, 2008, includes a copy of Gallo’s handwritten changes to the article, a letter
from an electron microscopy expert indicating that Gallo’s samples did not
contain any virus, and a letter from Gallo to a researcher verifying that HIV
could not be purified directly from human materials.
conclusion prompting the letter to Science was made by journalist Janine
Roberts, author of Fear of the Invisible, a book that examines the origin of
several disease theories. "I was shocked when I read the original draft of the
key scientific paper now widely cited as proving HIV causes AIDS," says Roberts.
"Gallo's handwritten last-minute changes had reversed what the scientists in his
lab had originally concluded. This demonstrates a stunning disregard for the
scientific process and a very disturbing breach of public trust."
clear that the seminal research published on HIV contained unjustified claims
and alterations. In 1993, governmental investigators determined Gallo had so
poorly recorded his key and much-cited experiment that it was impossible to
repeat and verify it.
In the early 1990s, several highly critical reports
on the research underlying Gallo's papers were produced as a result of
governmental inquiries working under the supervision of scientists nominated by
the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. The Office of
Research Integrity (ORI) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
concluded that the lead paper of the four was "fraught with false and erroneous
statements" and that the “ORI believes that the careless and unacceptable
keeping of research records . . . reflects irresponsible laboratory management
that has permanently impaired the ability to retrace the important steps taken."
Further, a Congressional Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations produced a
staff report on the papers, containing scathing criticisms of their
Rethinking AIDS — an international group of more
than 2,600 scientists, doctors, journalists, health advocates and others —
offers several eminent medical and scientific experts to comment on this and
other AIDS issues currently in the news:
de Harven, M.D.*
Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
Member and professor in cell biology, Sloan Kettering
Institute, New York, 1956-1981. Isolated and obtained the first electron
microscopic studies of the murine Friend leukemia virus, and retroviral budding.
Frequent critic of the "isolation" of HIV, and past president of Rethinking
AIDS. Dr. de Harven can comment on the science of retrovirus
Author, Fear of the
Invisible, a recent book exposing the fraud in the drafting of one of the
original 1984 Science articles by Robert Gallo.
Web site: www.fearoftheinvisible.com
Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Mountain time zone)
Public Relations Chairperson
U.S. (Eastern time zone)
*Rethinking AIDS board member.
Rethinking AIDS: The Group for
the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis ("RA" or "the Group") was
formed in 1991 to express the concerns of a growing number of renowned
scientists and medical doctors about HIV research and the resulting human rights
abuses. In 1995, by a letter published in Science, the Group called for a
thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against the HIV/AIDS
hypothesis and recommended that critical epidemiological studies be
Among RA's founders and key members are University of
Toronto professor emeritus and former cancer researcher Dr. Etienne de Harven;
Harvard microbiologist Dr. Charles Thomas; 1993 Nobel laureate for chemistry Dr.
Kary Mullis; Nature/Biotechnology co-founder Dr. Harvey Bialy; University of
California at Berkeley molecular biologist Dr. Peter Duesberg and the late Yale
mathematician Dr. Serge Lang, both members of the National Academy of Sciences;
physicist Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos of the Royal Perth Hospital in Australia;
and Glasgow University professor emeritus of public health and World Health
Organization consultant Dr. Gordon