OTTAWA — Ranjit Kumar Chandra, a former researcher at Memorial University in St. John's who has been accused of scientific fraud, has been stripped of his membership in the Order of Canada.
Chandra was made an officer of the order, the second-highest level in the honour system, in December 1989.
The announcement of the loss of his status was published in this week's Canada Gazette, although the order was made in early December.
Last fall, the BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journal — retracted a 1989 Chandra paper about the role of breastfeeding and formula in infant eczema after the data involved was questioned.
The journal called the case a major failure of scientific governance.
Ordered to pay $1.6 million
In July 2015, Chandra lost a libel suit against the CBC over a 2006 three-part documentary that examined allegations of fraud against the researcher.
The CBC says Chandra was ordered to pay $1.6 million in costs.
Chandra once called himself "the father of nutritional immunology," but his career began to unravel in 2002 when he submitted another paper to the BMJ, which questioned some of the research.
He left Memorial that year.
His website says he's now president of the Nutritional Immunology and Allergy Center in India.
He is also listed as chairman and managing director of Peridot Life Sciences, of Gurgaon, India, which calls itself a research-based pharmaceutical company that specializes in the field of nutritional immunology.
A rare occurrence
Removal from the Order of Canada has only happened in a handful of cases since the honour was established in 1967, usually as a result of criminal convictions.
Those stripped of membership include disgraced lawyer and hockey agent Alan Eagleson, theatre producer Garth Drabinsky, former newspaper baron Conrad Black and cross-country amputee runner Steve Fonyo.
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