Hank Campbell, in his blog Science 2.0., recently posted an article criticizing the peer review process in some scientific journals.  Mr. Campbell used a PNAS paper on atrazine and amphibians as an example of what he claims to be prevalent peer review abuses.  Part of Mr. Campbell’s article follows:

“And then there are very expensive debacles, I note. The same journal behind the genetics of why you are a lousy gambler and those two papers above, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published a paper in 2002 that got an emergency Scientific Advisory Panel called by the EPA. It claimed feminization of male frogs due to an herbicide. It turned out to be nothing, the authors refused to show their data to the EPA and the EPA ended up giving the herbicide a clean bill of health. How did all that happen? The hand-picked, pre-chosen editor for the paper inside the National Academy of Sciences happens to be a friend of the first author of that paper. Then they teamed up to do the same thing in PNAS again, about the same herbicide, in 2010.

The EPA spends years on issues when they are mobilized. We wasted time and money that could have been spent doing real fact-finding about products. Career scientists inside EPA were forced to stop what they were doing because environmental groups engaged in scare-mongering, all with the claim that the studies in PNAS was peer reviewed.  Sorry, but that’s not peer review, it’s friendly editing, and it doesn’t make the public safer and it does not inspire young scientists, it makes them cynical.”

Click here to read all of Mr. Campbell’s article.