Food & Water Watch (FWW) has released an April 2015 report alleging that the scientific research used by federal agencies to evaluate animal drug safety “is very heavily influenced by corporate drug companies.” In particular, the report alleges that there were “virtually no independent, peer-reviewed” safety studies on one drug used as a growth promoter that was eventually withdrawn from the marketplace.

“Most of the available research examined commercial dimensions of Zilmax, such as the drug’s impact on beef qualify, and more than threequarters of the studies were authored and/or funded by industry groups, almost all of which were published in scientific journals sponsored and edited by industry groups,” opines FWW in an April 8 press release. “Many academic journals have failed to establish or enforce rules requiring scientists to publicly disclose financial conflicts of interest, which has allowed deeply conflicted research to distort the scientific discourse.”

Citing these issues, the consumer watchdog has urged Congress “to instruct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to dramatically revamp its animal drug approval process to be based primarily on independent science, instead of depending entirely on research furnished by drug sponsors.” The report also calls on agricultural journals to disclose all funding sources and publish the full names, financial ties and affiliations of their authors and editors. See Food & Water Watch News Release, April 8, 2015.