Spat between medical journals in England

March 16, 2007

A British medical publication has called on researchers to boycott another British medical journal, the Lancet, over its parent company's "warmongering."

"It's an unresolvable conflict that a business promoting health is making money out of a business that is damaging health," Fiona Godlee, editor of the BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, said in the Financial Times of the unusual boycott call to journal authors.

Reed Elsevier, the publishing group that owns the Lancet, also has an international arms fair division, which holds about 10 arms fairs per year, company spokesman Patrick Kerr said. Lancet Editor Richard Horton wrote about Reed Elsevier's weapons promotions activities in 2005, the Financial Times reported.

Kerr said Reed Elsevier respects the editorial independence of its journals, the Financial Times reported.

"We do not see any conflict between our connections with the scientific and health communities and with the legitimate defense industry trade exhibitions we run," he told the newspaper.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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