A Swedish panel of experts investigating research published in the peer review journal Science last year has concluded that a study outlining the effects of plastic microbeads on larval fish was faked and has been retracted. According to Gizmodo, a nine month investigation was conducted by an expert group at Sweden’s Central Ethical Review Board (CEPN) when scientists connected with the manuscript admitted wrong doing ten months ago.
After the researchers confessed, Uppsala University initiated an investigation during August of last year. Despite Uppsala finding no evidence of wrong doing, during September, a group of scientists at Sweden’s Central Ethical Review Board (CEPN) were gathered to further look into the allegations of fraud. The results of their investigation were that the research involved missing data, shoddy research methods, and outright fabrication and that scientists Oona Lönnstedt and Peter Eklöv committed scientific fraud.
The errors committed were not minor either. As Gizmodo points out:
CEPN presented an entire laundry list of deficiencies, including a failure to submit the required documentation to Science, missing data, flawed research methods, questionable timelines, the absence of animal research ethics approval, and a slew of other problems.
The scientists even went so far not only to not perform the stated research for the study, but even most of the evidence was fictitious.
Microbeads have been used in manufactured products (such as certain soaps and cosmetics) since 1972. They are are tiny, solid pieces of plastic-based material that are added to cosmetic and personal care products since microbeads are not only considered safe but also remove dry, dead cells from the surface of the skin and help unclog pores with acne.
A couple of years ago, the United States Congress passed a ban on them that was signed into law by President Obama. This based on allegations and some research that the microbeads may a threat to wildlife and the water supply.
It can only be assumed the reason for the fraud in the Swedish microbead manuscript as a tool to be used by environmentalists to justify banning them in the country in order to help lay the groundwork for outlawing them in Sweden if not all of Europe. The same has been done with neonicotinoid pesticides and even climate change. Fortunately, some of the scientists involved in the testing confessed to wrongdoing.
However, the war on microbeads is one other battlefront for environmentalists to ban a product that helps people (especially women) keep their skin clean. Environmentalists attack cosmetics, fashion and other beauty products as part of their attack on the human ego. To environmentalists, beauty is only skin deep.