BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Seven health associations have demanded the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) reinvestigate tobacco researcher Xie Jianping's academic fraud and revoke his membership, the Health News, a national health-centered newspaper, reported on Wednesday.
The seven associations jointly submitted a letter to the CAE.
The associations include the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, Chinese Medical Association, Chinese Medical Doctor Association, China Association of Health Promotion and Education, China Antituberculosis Association and the Think Tank Research Center for Health Development.
The letter accused Xie of using the obsolete Cambridge Filter Method to assess "low-tar and less harmful cigarettes," and based his academic success on the research of "low-tar cigaretts," including securing a seat in the prestigious CAE.
The Cambridge Filter Method is a test procedure to determine the tar and nicotine content of cigarettes but was later proven to be meaningless because smokers were found to "compensate," or adjust how they smoke, to get the amount of nicotine they need from a cigarette.
The method has long been used by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission but dropped by the body in 2008.
The letter accused the CAE of shunning public challenges, giving no mention of suspicions raised by the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, and turning deaf ears to opinions of more than 100 academy members.
The elite academic body included member Xie Jianping in December 2011, which created controversy among the public and media.
Xie was given the seat for his research on low-tar and herbal cigarettes at an institute under the China National Tobacco Corporation (China Tobacco).
Later, hundreds of academics from the CAE and other institutions tried to persuade Xie to give up his seat, as well as request the CAE to review Xie's membership.
On Feb. 1, the CAE announced the initial investigation results, saying Xie's seat was valid, because the nomination and appraisal procedures conformed with relevant regulations and had been reported to the State Council.
The seven institutions disagree with the CAE, saying if the nomination runs against scientific ethics and spirit, then it is pointless in discussing whether the nomination conforms with procedures.