ONDCP's Misrepresentation of Research

The US Office of National Drug Control Policy in 2005 was caught by the Washington Post misrepresenting the results of research on syringe exchange programs. According to the Post in its editorial, "Deadly Ignorance":

"An official who requested anonymity directed us to a number of researchers who have allegedly cast doubt on the pro-exchange consensus. One of them is Steffanie A. Strathdee of the University of California at San Diego; when we contacted her, she responded that her research 'supports the expansion of needle exchange programs, not the opposite.' Another researcher cited by the administration is Martin T. Schechter of the University of British Columbia; he wrote us that 'Our research here in Vancouver has been repeatedly used to cast doubt on needle exchange programs. I believe this is a clear misinterpretation of the facts.' Yet a third researcher cited by the administration is Julie Bruneau at the University of Montreal; she told us that 'in the vast majority of cases needle exchange programs drive HIV incidence lower.' We asked Dr. Bruneau whether she favored needle exchanges in countries such as Russia or Thailand. 'Yes, sure,' she responded. 'The Post further noted: 'The Bush administration attempted to bolster its case by providing us with three scientific articles. One, which has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, was produced by an author unknown to leading experts in this field who is affiliated with a group called the Children's AIDS Fund. This group is more renowned for its ties to the Bush administration than for its public health rigor: As the Post's David Brown has reported, it recently received an administration grant despite the fact that an expert panel had deemed its application 'not suitable for funding.' The two other articles supplied by the administration had been published in the American Journal of Public Health. Although each raised questions about the certainty with which needle-exchange advocates state their case, neither opposed such programs."

Source: 

"Deadly Ignorance," The Washington Post, Feb. 27, 2005.
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