Has the Gates Foundation created a malaria 'cartel'?

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has come under a rare attack for its contributions to research efforts targeted at malaria. The world's top malaria scientists are "locked up in a 'cartel' with their own research funding being linked to those of others within the group," according to a memo written by WHO malaria chief Dr. Arata Kochi, which was obtained by The New York Times. Now the scientists have a vested interest in protecting each other's work, making it difficult to gain a truly independent view of the science. The memo was circulated recently among the heads of health agencies, asking if they could detail similar types of struggles with the foundation.

The Gates Foundation, not surprisingly, rejected the argument, saying that no researchers are being held captive and that the foundation actively encourages external review. But there's no doubt that the foundation has proven enormously influential in malaria research, pumping $1.2 billion into the field since 2000. That money has gone to fight the disease in the field as well as fund a network of labs working on new therapies.

- read the article in The New York Times

ALSO: President Bush has been touting the results of a $1.2 billion program to cut the number of cases of malaria in Africa. Report

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