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FLASHBACK: Medical doctor loses license after lying in false testimony for chemical front group


Flame retardants

(NaturalNews) A former doctor who profited handsomely by lying before the courts about flame retardant chemicals has gotten off easy by voluntarily giving up his medical license. The Chicago Tribune reports that David Heimbach, who already retired several years ago, has agreed to forfeit his medical license in exchange for not facing further prosecution for his crimes.

A multi-year investigation by the Tribune exposed Heimbach for his pivotal role in keeping dangerous flame retardant chemicals on the market, despite copious evidence proving that they don't even work. Pretending to be an unbiased burn expert, the former head of the burn center at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, accepted a large cash sum from an industry front group to fake statistics on burn victims, effectively maintaining their use in furniture and other consumer products.

"State officials had alleged that Heimbach, whose activities were exposed in a 2012 Tribune investigation, fabricated testimony and falsely presented himself as an unbiased burn expert when, in fact, he had been paid $240,000 for his help," wrote Sam Roe and Patricia Callahan in a recent piece for the Tribune.

"Heimbach and manufacturers have defended flame retardants, which are added to furniture cushions, despite research that shows they don't provide any meaningful protection from home fires."

Heimbach made up stories about babies burning to death to promote deadly chemicals

The Tribune is largely responsible for bringing at least some justice to the case. Investigative reporters at the paper unearthed the fact that Heimbach's claims before courts in both California and Alaska about infants being burned while sitting on cushions not treated with flame retardant chemicals were completely false.

"Heimbach told lawmakers in California and Alaska gripping stories of babies suffering fatal burns while on cushioning without flame retardants. But the infants as he described them did not exist," explains the Tribune.

"Heimbach, former president of the American Burn Association, initially told the Tribune that his testimony was meant to be anecdotal and that he 'wasn't under oath.' Later, through his attorney, he said he intentionally changed the facts to protect patient privacy."

Fines, jail time are what Heimbach deserves for committing perjury

Technically speaking, Heimbach committed perjury, the consequences of which should include fines, jail time and possibly even the death penalty. In this case, Heimbach's lies resulted in dangerous chemicals that should have been banned staying on the market, putting untold millions of children at risk of disease or death.

When the Medical Quality Assurance Commission of Washington decided to get involved, pressing charges against Heimbach for conspiring with an industry front group to defend and promote flame retardant chemicals, Heimbach decided to call it quits. By forfeiting his license, he will avoid facing further charges and will skirt any possibility of having to pay a fine or serve jail time for his greed.

"In its charges, the commission cited Heimbach's work for Citizens for Fire Safety, an organization the Tribune exposed as a front group founded, funded and controlled by the three largest manufacturers of flame retardants," explains the report.

"When states considered laws that would ban or limit the use of flame retardants, Citizens for Fire Safety stirred the public's fear of fire and downplayed the health risks linked to the chemicals, such as cancer, neurological deficits, developmental problems and impaired fertility."

You can read the full Chicago Tribune expose on David Heimbach, entitled Playing With Fire, here:
http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.chicagotribune.com

http://articles.chicagotribune.com

http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

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