Brian Peskin: Corruption Personified

by Steven Carney on February 10, 2015

This is post #118 on the site, about the ongoing corruption of Brian Peskin, the anti-fish oil con man and his greedy, corrupt publisher, SCIRP.org. Note: if you came here from another domain, welcome (see new update below).

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I have debunked all 3 of Brian Peskin’s pseudo-scientific reviews (see links below), and I can say that he is unqualified to publish credible scientific research. He is biased against fish oil because he markets competing omega 3/6 oils. He ignores all the newer human studies that show benefits for fish oil because he is driven by his business and financial interests. He attacks fish oil based on poorly done, low-credibility lab and animal studies that falsely claim fish-oil harms.

Brian Peskin abuses science and its process for his personal financial interests. He is a serial grandstander and fraud, as he attempts to sell his omega-3/6 snake oils as a cure for cancer and heart disease (see Peskin Pharma link below).

And unfortunately, he has the continued support of a cash-and-carry, junk publisher called Scientific Research Publishing (a true misnomer if there ever was one). Their website is SCIRP.org and they are a corrupt publishing company based in China. It’s clear that their real goal is making money, not the advancement of science. I have no doubt, SCIRP is a corrupt company (and a perfect match for Peskin’s junk science reviews).

And in spite of their claims of being a “peer reviewed” publisher, and one that follows the international COPE guidelines for publishing ethics, the behavior of SCIRP.org and their staff and journal boards tells a different story: Their peer review is an insignificant marketing ploy and they could care less about the COPE guidelines (the second link below provides complete details of SCIRP’s corruption and fraud).

I’ve sent SCIRP.org many messages with content from the debunking links below. These messages go back to early November, 2014 (now over 3 months ago). Those debunking posts clearly demonstrate that Peskin’s reviews are a fraud, and that he is guilty of clear scientific misconduct. No matter! SCIRP.org has refused to take any action or respond to my recent messages, a clear violation of their claimed professed guidelines and standards.

In fact, they insisted I should send them a check to even review my formal complaint (again, in complete violation of their professed publishing guidelines). Science doesn’t work that way, but is shows how deeply corrupt Scientific Research Publishing really is.

Not a Professor, Doctor or Scientist

For the record, Brian Peskin is NOT a scientist, a professor or a doctor in the way he uses the terms (and he isn’t allowed to use those terms, see quotes below, item numbers 26 and 28). He was only an assistant professor for a single academic term in 1998-1999; he was never a full, tenured professor.

What’s more, Brian Peskin does not have formal education in nutrition, medicine, anatomy, physiology, or disease development/prevention, yet he claims expertise in nutrition, medicine, heart disease, cancer, vision and other diseases. And you guessed it: He falsely claims fish oil causes heart disease and cancer, and that fish oil will also age you and make you blind, all unfounded, nonsensical claims!

Brian Peskin has a permanent injunction against him from the Attorney General of Texas because he misrepresented his credentials and made illegal medical claims for supplements he manufactured, including a recall of his products. Apparently he has learned nothing, even after he had to pay $100,000 in fines for these unlawful acts (see more details in links below)! He appears to be in violation of his injunction on a daily basis! Below are a few excerpts from his injunction.

Permanent Injunction against Brian Peskin

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that Defendants Perkins Management, Inc., dba Maximum Efficiency Products, and Brian Scott Peskin, their successors, assigns, officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and any other persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of this order by personal service or otherwise shall be permanently restrained from engaging in the following acts or practices:

16. Representing, expressly or by implication in any labeling or advertising of food products, that such products will mitigate, treat, cure, or prevent specific classes of diseases, as well as performing any role in the human body’s response to a disease, which subjects such products to regulations as a drug;

17. Labeling and advertising products of any kind as drugs without prior FDA approval;

20. Introducing or delivering for introduction into commerce any new drug without a new drug application being approved by the FDA as required by TFDCA § 431.114;

25. Including health claims on the label or in labeling that expressly or by implication characterize the relationship of any substance in a food product to a disease or health-related condition other than those which are complete, truthful and not misleading in regard to the product and have been approved by the FDA;

26. Representing expressly or by implication, in any advertising of any product, that Defendant Brian Scott Peskin is a “Professor,” or “Doctor,” or that Brian Scott Peskin is the “holder of the Emeritus Life-Systems Engineering Chair, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Texas Southern University;”

28. Exaggerating, expressly or by implication, the credentials, expertise, or educational background of Brian Scott Peskin or any other person, employee, associate, or agent of Defendants associated in any way with the manufacture, production, marketing, distribution, or sale of any food or drug related product;

Now if you look up Brian Peskin and his work, including his peskinpharma site, you will clearly see that he is routinely doing things he is barred from doing (see these links and links below):

http://www.quackwatch.com/11Ind/Peskin/injunction.html

See Peskin’s flagrant violations for unlawful medical claims and other violations here and in the other links:

http://www.peskinpharma.com/

Brian Peskin’s claims are a consistent source misinformation, providing the public with unfounded and inaccurate claims that fish oil is harmful or causes disease. Because of his bogus marketing claims, he has undoubtably harmed the lives and health of millions around the globe. Sadly, many believe his hype and are taken in by his antics and theatrics. Like any snake-oil salesman, he has mastered the art of deception and con! He is a true flimflam man!

Detailed debunking links

These are links to detailed debunkings of Peskin’s pseudo-scientific reviews, published by vanity publishers who are hungry for author cash, but poor at scientific publishing (the first link is about a junk review he published through Hindawi, which they had the common sense to retract a few months ago):

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/peskins-fish-tale-a-whopper

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/more-peskin-fish-tales

Based on reviewing his work in significant detail, his lack of broader education in nutrition, anatomy, and disease development is obvious; he has no perspective on the critical subjects he claims expertise in. The sweeping deficits of education and understanding are glaringly obvious throughout his work. I think Brian Peskin should be in prison for all his fraudulent activity!

A look behind the curtain reveals the truth about Brian Peskin: his entrenched bias against fish oil is self-serving and deeply irrational; it’s not supported by credible research or the vast majority of scientific studies. What Peskin has done, to support sales of his alternative EFA omega-3/6 oils, is to relentlessly attack his omega-3 competitor (fish oil), which also brings him lots of attention. He clearly basks in that attention and seems to crave the spotlight day and night. He has numerous sites and videos up, and he has brought gullible doctors into his world of snake oil (see list below)!

Peskin lives in the past

Peskin lives in the past, especially in the 1920s and 1930s where he bases his work on that of Otto Warburg, the biochemist. With the passage of 80 or 90 years Warburg’s work is seen in a different light; his observations that cancer cells proliferate in a low-oxygen environment are no longer seen as the cause of the disease (there are many lifestyle, age and genetic factors that are known to play a direct role).

So Peskin is wrong at every turn, from his boldest claims to the small details, each debunked in the previous links. For comparison, Peskin’s claims are akin to saying that an alarm clock is the cause of the sunrise. Of course that’s not true!

In spite of many discoveries about cancer risks and causes over the 9 decades since, Peskin is undaunted, putting his entrenched fish-oil bias and business interests ahead of all other concerns, including the truth. He has turned a decades-old, merely associative observation of cancer development into the sole cause of this complex and multi-faceted disease! How like a classic snake-oil salesman Peskin is!

Junk journals want cash

Most shocking is that his self-serving, pseudo-science reviews and proclamations have been embraced and published by cash-and-carry junk journals. For several years, our entire world has been flooded with hundreds of junk science publications done by Hindawi and Scientific Research Publishing (SCIRP.org), the very journals Peskin used. They will publish anything for a credit card payment of $1,000-2,000 dollars. These corrupt journals have givien birth to a Tsunami of fraudulent research which has spread like a cancer, as those fraudulent studies get cited and used by other fraudsters and crackpots.

Although Hindawi showed some class and restraint by retracting the crackpot review Peskin paid for, he still has 2 more junk reviews up through SCIRP.org. Like the Hindawi review, they are works of flimflam and science fiction. I’ve tried to get SCIRP to retract Peskin’s reviews but they wanted money to review my complaint. I finally got the editor-in-Chief of their Food and Nutrition Sciences journal to read my debunking. It was sent along to the main SCIRP people and they are letting Peskin submit his junk review again, and they have left his initial junk review up and intact!

That was 3 months ago and I’ve heard nothing since, his original junk reviews still up, with no notification that they are being reviewed. These are little more than corrupt thieves all around (funny how corrupt people gravitate to each other), as SCIRP claims they do a peer review and that they follow the COPE research guidelines for publishing. Those guidelines say a review that’s shown to have errors should be retracted ASAP, not left up on their website for months. I now believe the entire process is a lie, and they are engaging in new levels of fraud in research as fraud becomes an established part of their daily operations.

SCIRP.org corruption links

Here are a few links that outline some of the issues and corruption surrounding SCIRP.org and their status as a predatory publisher:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_Research_Publishing

http://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/2919/experiences-with-scientific-research-publishing-scirp-journals

http://scholarlyoa.com/2014/07/31/is-scientific-research-publishing-scirp-publishing-pseudo-science/

https://sites.google.com/site/fakeresearchjournalpublishers/

http://fakeconferences.blogspot.com/2012/04/those-fake-ieee-conference-of-scirp.html

http://possibleexperience.blogspot.com/2012/04/continuing-adventures-in-fake-academic.html

More Peskin corruption and his gullible friends

Peskin often makes absolute, bold claims based on weak, often associative, retrospective studies that prove nothing at all, as they are not considered credible evidence. His citations are terrible; most are decades old (even 50 years or more), and largely based on mouse and rat studies (those rarely apply to humans, see second link for numerous links on that issue). He includes a few, small human pilot studies, considered to be preliminary as the numbers are often a few dozen, too small to be credible or applicable to large numbers of subjects.

None of his weak studies are conclusive or good proof but as Peskin has no formal education in nutrition, physiology or medicine, he lacks the broad health, nutrition and disease background to understand the research he cites or what makes a good study. To him, any form of oils derived from fish are fish oils, even those fish or oils that humans never eat. His amateurish reviews are so obviously ungounded in real science, his writings are really fiction, dressed up to look like science.

Even more disturbing is that he has a following of doctors and health sites who all believe his snake-oil sales pitches as he strives to drive people who take perfectly healthy fish or fish oil supplements to buy his omega-6 oils. And that another problem, he’s in the omega-3 business and his “science” is all about attacking the competition to sell more of his own omega-6 oils!

Due to their high degree of scientific ignorance and lack of thoughtful analysis, the following professors and medical doctors are hereby inducted into my new Hall of Shame for supporting Brian Peskin and his junk science about fish oil:

  • Dr. Bart Kay
  • Dr. Robert Rowen
  • Dr. David Brownstein
  • Dr. David Sim
  • Dr. Amid Habib

Congratulations to you all! Each of you has supported Peskin and his bogus work! Your scientific incompetence has earned you a spot on the Hall of Shame roster for all time, and anyone reading this can see how unprofessional and untrustworthy you are. You’re on the Peskin misinformation team, and I can only condemn you for your contribution to a campaign of fraud and misinformation on a global scale.

Are you in the scientific community?

If you are in the scientific or research community, it’s time to stand up to the fraud that now permeates research. And know this: even the major medical journals are guilty. All these claims of “peer review” have been shown by many to be nothing but a cursory exercise in scanning for typos and page turning, allowing the dissemination of exaggerated claims that demonize supplements or glorify dangerous drugs.

My SCIRP.org/Peskin rebuttal points from November, 2014 post

What I clearly showed in Peskin/SCIRP rebuttal (the second debunking link above):

1. I expose several of Peskin’s many business activities that are directly behind his biased reviews.

2. I expose his misrepresentation of the SELECT trial and it’s general meaning/findings.

3. I expose the false science behind his claim that the country that uses the most fish oil has the most prostate cancer.

4. I expose Peskin’s false logic and proclamations about fish oil as a cause of prostate cancer by including the true risks and causes for prostate cancer using credible sources.

5. I include numerous comments from cancer experts regarding the false conclusions behind SELECT, including numerous debunking links.

6. I expose Peskin’s history of fraud and misrepresentation.

7. I provide information and links about research misconduct and the COPE guidelines, which Peskin and SCIRP are both in violation of.

8. I expose the bias behind Peskin’s IOWA experiment and provide numerous links that undercut his claims.

9. I provide numerous study and article links that undercut Peskin’s false claims that fish oil increases inflammation or easily oxidizes at room temperature or in humans.

10. I include numerous summaries and links to decades-old safety and testing programs for fish oil supplements.

11. I provide numerous examples of Peskin’s bias, misrepresentations, distortions, manipulations and false statements throughout his reviews exposed Peskin’s, including his use of false or conflicting citations.

12. I include a separate file that showed the failure to respond in a professional way to my initial complaints, including the FNS (Food and Nutrition Science) board’s lack of cooperation.

It’s time to take out the garbage! It’s time to boycott all of Brian Peskin’s flimflam work and claims, including the journals who publish his work and so-called doctors who support him.

Also, feel free to contact the State of Texas and the FDA regarding Peskin’s unlawful activities! If enough people complain, I’m confident appropriate action will be taken!

Update: 3/27/15: Today, Scientific Research Publishing (SCIRP.org) finally decided to retract the 2 anti-fish oil studies they published by Brian Peskin. It took about 5 months and numerous e-mails, debunking posts and updates. They concluded that Peskin’s reviews were biased, unreliable and contained self-plagiarism; their summary also says that his reviews did not meet their standards. Of note is that Peskin claimed that he is a Chief Research Scientist, in violation of the Permanent Injunction terms contained in the link below (I still think SCIRP needs better screening of their authors and a more rigorous peer review system, and I made some initial suggestions to them about those issues).

© 2015 by Steven Carney/End Sickness Now

{ 2 comments }

hilton February 13, 2015 at 9:32 PM

I’m impressed. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, you have hit the nail on the head. The Peskin issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about.

i’m very happy I found this post during my hunt for this information.

derick February 15, 2015 at 5:19 AM

There is certainly a great deal to know about this fish oil and science issue.
You made some good points!

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