In 2013, the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency, IARC, appointed Sergey Kashansky, a pro-asbestos Russian government official, as a collaborating scientist on the IARC Asbest Study. Outraged scientists from the US, Canada and India, including retired US Assistant Surgeon General Richard Lemen, co-authored a 12 November 2013 protest letter to IARC director-general Christopher Wild. The letter noted: “It is, in our view, a dangerous precedent and entirely unacceptable that IARC has appointed as a collaborating scientist a person who works with the asbestos industry to defeat the efforts of the WHO to protect public health by ending the use of chrysotile asbestos.”
J Schüz, SJ Schonfeld, H Kromhout, K Straif, SV Kashanskiy, EV Kovalevskiy, IV Bukhtiyarov, V. McCormack. A retrospective cohort study of cancer mortality in employees of a Russian chrysotile asbestos mine and mills: Study rationale and key features, Cancer Epidemiology, volume 37, issue 4, pages 440–445, August 2013.