The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases just confirmed a grade I recommendation for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) screening despite growing controversy. Why should HCC be an exception in the long list of other cancers where the feasibility and the efficacy of screening were investigated by randomized trials? Only 12.0% of United States patients are screened, a fact that precludes efficacy, and there are no relevant figures on the benefit-risk ratio. The ethics of belief is a treacherous reef. Screening is not just performing a test, but is a public health issue: a national program is needed to ensure minimal participation, quality controls and evaluation of the results to improve the process. There are also serious concerns regarding undisclosed potential conflicts of interest.