False Testing and Vested Interests

In 1972, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioned its top doctor to conduct a study to provide evidence that Laetrile did not have an effect on cancer.

The results proved the opposite.

The study found that Laetrile inhibited the growth of tumours, stopped the spreading (metastasising) of cancer in mice relieved pain, acted as a cancer, preventative and improved general health.

At the time, Dr Kanematsu Sugiura was the senior laboratory researcher at the Memorial Sloan–Ketting Cancer Center. He reported in his experiments with mice that Laetrile was more effective in the control of cancer than any substance he had ever tested.

This was not acceptable to his superiors. Instead of being pleased at the possibility of a breakthrough, they brought in other researchers to duplicate Sugiura’s experiments to try to prove that they were faulty.

Instead, the follow-up studies confirmed Sugiura’s findings. Undaunted, his superiors called for new experiments, but following procedures which were designed to make the tests fail. Eventually they did, and it was only this failure that was announced to the world.


Ralph Moss, PhD, was a science writer and then the assistant director of public affairs at Sloan–Kettering at the time of the Laetrile tests. When he was ordered by his superiors to release false information about the results of those tests, he held a press conference in November 1977 in protest and was subsequently fired for “failing to carry out [his] most basic job responsibility” (Moss, 1994).

Dr Moss later wrote a book, The Cancer Syndrome, about this scandalous situation, but it hardly raised an eyebrow in the medical world.