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In a stunning move, a group of respected research scientists, medical doctors, lawyers and journalists, in association with Rethinking AIDS - the group calling for the scientific reappraisal of AIDS are issuing a letter to the highly-respected journal Science, calling for research papers to be withdrawn. But these are not ordinary papers, they are the original papers co-authored by Dr Robert Gallo in which he claimed to have found the 'probable' cause of AIDS in 1984. These papers went on to become the most referenced papers in science, and in turn, papers that referenced those papers now form part of the alleged 'mountain of evidence' that HIV causes AIDS.
Lies, damn lies, and Robert Gallo's research papers
What could be the justification for such a high-profile call that such apparently seminal scientific papers be formally withdrawn from the scientific record? British investigative journalist (and HEAL London member) Janine Roberts discovered during detailed analysis of various papers surrounding Gallo's work that he had committed substantial scientific fraud and completely misrepresented the work actually done by his chief laboratory assistant, Mikulas Popovich. These were not minor 'misunderstandings' that might allow the papers to stand with some correction, as often happens when errors are discovered. In Gallo's case the deception was comprehensive and fundamental. One example of the many distortions in the final published paper was that the phrase in Popovich's original draft of the seminal paper, "Despite intensive research efforts, the causative agent of AIDS has not yet been identified" was removed, and instead Gallo had rewritten it to suggest that they had in fact found the probable cause of AIDS - virtually the complete opposite.
Robert Gallo had also been forced to admit during subsequent investigations that he had not had any retrovirus in previous years despite his claims and instead claimed that he'd found it during the last six weeks before publication of his papers. But Janine's new analysis, all documented in her book "Fear of the invisible" (reviewed here) revealed that he'd sent off samples of material to be turned into HIV tests prior to these experiments, invalidating the notion that the proteins used in all HIV tests have anything to do with HIV. Subsequent evidence has shown that the proteins once thought to be from HIV can all be produced by the body when there is definitely no HIV present.
Furthermore, a letter was received by Robert Gallo's laboratory only a few days before his papers were due to be published, warning him that he had no retroviruses in his sample at all. The letter was from the leading electron microscopist Mathew Gonda, to whom Robert Gallo had sent his samples to obtain pictures for publication. Rather than retracting the papers while the findings were re-examined, as one might reasonably expect a professional and honest scientist to do, Robert Gallo went ahead and published his papers with pictures of cultures instead. Subsequent investigations revealed all other frozen samples supposedly containing HIV also had no retroviruses either. Fresh from his recent snub over the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Luc Montagnier for the purported discovery of HIV, this is a further blow to Robert Gallo's claim to be trustworthy scientist.
All the foundations of the building are crumbly though....
But this does not leave Luc Montagnier and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi in the clear. Over 10 years ago, Luc Montagnier admitted in an interview that he had not purified any virus, and he also admitted that individually the phenomena he regarded as proof were non-specific. Without purification prior to analysis, any claim that one has discovered a genuinely new infectious entity is worthless. Francoise Barre-Sinoussi was the secretary of proceedings at an international symposium held 10 years prior to the appearance of illnesses classified as AIDS where the necessary steps to ensure proof of a brand new retrovirus had been found were agreed by an international panel. Despite Barre-Sinoussi's close involvement in this AND Luc Montagnier's work, these agreed steps to ensure proof were disregarded. The incompetence and dishonesty of both of these groups on either side of the Atlantic is symptomatic of the collapse of the quality of work that passes itself of as science to uncritical journalists in mainstream media.
Theoretically, if science is to work properly, what SHOULD happen now is that Science will look at the evidence and withdraw the paper. It SHOULD also cause a chain reaction of forcing other scientists to re-examine their own papers to ascertain if their own conclusions have been undermined by the removal of Robert Gallo's claims. This is turn should cause a re-examine of even further papers. This won't happen, of course, because there is too much money staked on it, so - like the Leaning Tower of Pisa - they'll just keep propping up the building in which they have invested heavily while the foundations are seen to be crumbling.
The letter to Science can be read here
Update: Semmelweiss Society International endorses call for Gallo's Science papers to be retracted
Semmelweiss Society International (SSI) has added it's voice to calls for the retraction of Robert Gallo's original papers claiming to have found the probable cause of AIDS. SSI was set up to support medical practioners who try to make improvements in patient care but instead come under attack from their own profession. It is named after Dr Ignaz Philip Semmelweiss who discovered that infections from bodies during autopsies were being carried on the hands to women in the labour ward on the unwashed hands of surgeons and thus causing a high rate of death for puerperal fever (or 'child bed' fever). He encountered stiff resistance among many physicians to his effective solution of washing hands.
Earlier in 2008, Celia Farber and Peter Duesberg were given whistleblower awards by the Semmelweiss society for their prolonged and punishing efforts to raise awareness of fraud and corruption in AIDS science. A few key members of the Semmeweis society objected strongly and this led to private investigator Clark Baker being asked by the Semmelweiss society to establish whether criticisms of Farber and Duesberg were valid. He soon discovered not only a dirty war against those who criticise orthodox AIDS science, but also how bad AIDS science was for himself. The report of his investigation is called 'Gallo's Egg' and is very worth reading, as much because it reveals the politics and dirty warfare engaged in by those who support the AIDS orthodoxy as for the science itself.
SSI's endorsement of the call to retract Gallo's original AIDS papers is here