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Opinion: BMJ should retract flawed research paper on chronic fatigue syndrome

Few journals have been more admirable than The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) and some of its sister publications under the BMJ brand in highlighting issues of direct significance to health care consumers. So it is baffling — and troubling — when BMJ editors fail to take appropriate action to address unacceptable lapses in high-profile research they have published.

For years, the reading list for my journalism class on public health and medicine at the University of California, Berkeley, included groundbreaking articles in The BMJ on “disease-mongering” — how pharmaceutical companies have manipulated and misrepresented research data to expand existing diagnostic categories and create new ones. I have also appreciated BMJ’s campaign for open access to trial data and its forays into investigative journalism.

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