Fluoride Action Network

Harvard’s Statement on Chester Douglass/Scientific Misconduct

Statement Concerning the Outcome of the Review into Allegations of Research Misconduct Involving Fluoride Research

BOSTON-August 15, 2006-The Harvard Medical School and School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) review of Chester Douglass, DMD, PhD, professor of oral health policy and epidemiology at HSDM, has concluded that Douglass did not intentionally omit, misrepresent, or suppress research findings of a graduate student surrounding federal grant work looking at potential links between fluoride in drinking water and osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

An Inquiry Panel and the Standing Committee on Faculty Conduct, both comprised of senior faculty from a range of fields, each conducted reviews and found that Douglass did not commit research misconduct. The committees did not examine and took no position on the question of whether or not there is a correlation between fluoride in drinking water and ostesarcoma.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office for Research Integrity (ORI) has oversight authority for misconduct reviews and processes that govern the handling of inquiries. The ORI has reviewed the record from the Harvard inquiry and has determined that further investigation is not warranted.

The review also looked at whether or not Douglass violated school and federal conflict of interest guidelines by serving as editor of the quarterly newsletter The Colgate Oral Care Report. The two review groups found that Douglass’s editorship of the newsletter did not constitute a conflict of interest under school and federal guidelines.