FDA's Favorite Scientist Accused of Sexual Misconduct
FDA's Favorite Scientist Accused of Sexual Misconduct
If you've read anti-vaping reports, you've come across the name Stanton Glantz. He's of the "abolitionist" stance regarding vaping. His claims inculcate that "vaping is just as bad for the heart as smoking... using an e-cigarette makes it less likely that a smoker will quit."
Glantz is a widely quoted figure in the anti-vaping world by organizations like Tobacco Free Kids, and The Real Cost. Glantz is the voice behind one of the most well known and favorite studies among the FDA head Scott Gotlieb. The study claims vaping is a gateway to smoking, stating about a report on teenagers, that “few of those surveyed understood that e-liquids contained nicotine. Worse, 52% of them admitted to having tried vaping, when they had never tried cigarettes or tobacco products.”
This study omits that many E-Liquids available on the market do not contain nicotine, and the study does not state whether or not minors did pick up smoking as an effect from trying vaping. It also fails to acknowledge the statistical data conducted by the CDC suggesting that teenage smoking is on the decline.
Glantz’s background is not in medicine, despite calling himself a “Professor of Medicine”. He can get away with this title as he works in the cardiology department of UCSF, which allows for him to take on the same title as others in this department, despite the fact he has no medical qualifications or training. His qualifications are in medical engineering. His original papers did center around his background at first but slowly transitioned into removing this all together as his popularity surged in anti-tobacco groups in the mid 1980’s.
So what does this have to do with sexual misconduct? Well it all relates back to this idea of the abuse of power. Glantz rose to moderate fame and government recognition with little to no requirements, and became renowned in this field of study. He received grants of up to $20 million to continue his research in his new tenured position.
A particularity damning quote from Glantz about tenure: “You can rape the Vice Chancellor’s daughter and still have a job”.
His definition of tenure took effect on his accusers Eunice Neeley and one other who has not made her name public.
Based on the claims from the accusers, it appears that Glantz's attitude toward sexual misconduct was lax.
“There was no reason to mention coitus, and especially no reason to make a physical demonstration, and this made Neeley uncomfortable.” Says the complaint reports in 2017, wherein she describes situations of them alone in rooms, him leering at her breasts and describing their work with overly sexualized metaphors. In one such instance he used sex as a metaphor, taking one hand to represent a penis, and the other, a vagina and “put one hand into the other hand, to make a visual demonstration of this metaphor.”
He also made racially insensitive remarks to Neeley, who is African American, as he described in explicit detail an orgy scene in a movie that she “had to have seen because all of the main characters are black.”
After Neeley’s complaints of Glantz reached the man himself, he became less flirtatious, leering, and sexual, and more racially insensitive. He instructed colleagues of Neeley to oversee all of her work because, “he wanted the paper to be foolproof."
The support from the director of UCSF’s Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination department was lacking as they aimed to fix her situation by having Glantz’s interactions with her be restricted to email so, “he will not stare at your breasts." Then came a new form of harassment.
Record states that Glantz refused to publish Neeley's papers, and having her name removed as senior author on studies. He did this without warning or notification, according to Neeley's formal complaint.
The validity of Glantz's claims
Another accuser is Dr. Michael Siegel, a tobacco control expert and former protégé of Glantz. Although his accusations are not of racial or sexual misconduct claims, but rather claims that Glantz is mistreating the validity of science itself. He has come forward harshly criticizing Glantz’s role and stance that vaping is causing more smoking. Siegel claimed Glantz was “no longer playing by the rules of science” and “ lying”. Possibly in effort to maintain his famed status within the FDA.
So why does this matter to the vaping community that this enemy of vaping is more than just an unqualified fear mongerer? He is a serial harasser. And he is touted as a voice of truth and reason by anti-vaping organizations and the FDA who claim to have the moral high ground in the world, who only aim to protect. When in reality these agencies only continue to protect and validate a man with seemingly no moral backbone or regard for human decency.
This hypocrisy is damaging to the claims he makes about vaping not just due to his non-existent background in medicine, but due to the entire negativity surrounding all of the sexual misconduct cases coming up in recent days. The protection of sexual predators by large organizations like media groups and political parties is dangerous for future victims, and damning to the integrity of future decisions and claims made by these individuals and the interests they represent.
If the FDA and their anti-vaping friends continue to support such a flawed individual with inconclusive evidence and a history of sexual and racial misconduct in his work in order to support their agenda, what’s to stop them from backing claims by any other worse individual with a false title of superiority and even less evidence supporting their claims?
And with their seemingly endless funding (as evidenced by the $60 million dollar new campaign ads) they have more than enough money to give to "researchers" like Glantz and have them become a well known voice and spread their falsehoods around the world.
Where does their decency fall into place when they only wish to perpetuate their crafted mythology of anti-vaping to help deepen the pockets of Big Tobacco where they receive their funding and support from?