Tuesday, August 12, 2003
::: Bush Admin Accused of Manipulation of Science :::
::: Waxman is on the Case ~ Thank You Henry :::
Another thoroughly disgusting example of results of the policies of
the compassionate conservative, George Bush. The report cited
by Waxman is excellent work by a dedicated servant of the people.
The People, George. Get It!
The excerpts here do not begin to scratch the surface of the contents of
the Report referenced (link-detailed report below) in this post.
Henry Waxman is the burr under Dubya's saddle. And thank god for him.
Waxman, you are a hero.
Waxman On Bush's Tail
Friday 08 August 2003
The Bush administration has repeatedly mischaracterized scientific facts to bolster its political agenda in areas ranging from abstinence education and condom use to missile defense, according to a detailed report released yesterday by Rep. Henry A.
The report identifies over twenty scientific issues affected by the undermining of science, including:
• Abstinence education, where performance measures were changed to make unproven “abstinence-only” programs appear effective;
• Condom use, where information about condom use and efficacy was deleted from CDC’s web site;
• Global warming, where reports by the Environmental Protection Agency on the risks of climate change were suppressed;
• Missile defense, where Defense Department officials presented misleading information on whether a functional system could be quickly deployed; and
• Wetlands policy, where comments from scientists at the Fish and Wildlife Service on the destructive impacts of proposed regulatory changes were withheld.
• Appointing Unqualified Persons with Industry Ties. After dropping three national experts in lead poisoning from the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services appointed several individuals with ties to the lead industry, including a lead industry consultant who had testified that a lead level seven times the current limit is safe for children’s brains.
• Appointing Unqualified Persons with Ideological Agendas. The Department of Health and Human Services nominated as chair of the FDA’s Reproductive Health Drug Advisory Committee an anti-abortion activist who recommends that women read the bible for relief of premenstrual symptoms. The appointee’s principal credential appears to be his opposition to the abortifacient RU-486. The medical journal Lancet described his scientific record as “sparse” and wrote that “[a]ny further right-wing incursions on expert panels’ membership will cause a terminal decline in public trust in the advice of scientists.”
• Stacking Advisory Committees. The Department of Health and Human Services replaced 15 of 18 members of the key advisory committee to the National Center on Environmental Health. Several of the new members were long-time industry consultants. In response, ten leading scientists wrote in Science that “stacking these public committees out of fear that they may offer advice that conflicts with administration policies devalues the entire federal advisory committee structure and the work of dedicated scientists who are willing to participate in these efforts.”
• Opposing Qualified Experts. The Department of Health and Human Services rejected a widely respected expert’s nomination to a grant review panel on workplace safety after it became clear that she supported rules to protect workers from musculoskeletal injuries, rules that the Bush Administration opposes. The head of the panel called the rejection “directly opposed to the philosophy of peer review, which is supposed to be nonpolitical and transparent.”
• Including Misleading Information in Presidential Communications. After banning research on new lines of embryonic stem cells, President Bush assured the American people that research on “more than 60” existing lines cells “could lead to breakthrough therapies and cures.” In fact, only 11 cell lines are now available for research, all of which were grown with mouse cells, rendering them inappropriate for treating people.
• Altering Web Sites. As social conservatives campaigned to require women to be “counseled” about an alleged risk of breast cancer from abortions, the National Cancer Institute revised its web site to suggest that studies of equal weight conflicted on the question. In fact, there is scientific consensus that no such link exists; as the head of epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society had concluded previously, “This issue has been resolved scientifically . . . . This is essentially a political debate.”
• Suppressing Agency Reports. After the White House edited a discussion of global warming in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Draft Report on the Environment, agency scientists objected that the draft “no longer accurately represents scientific consensus on climate change,” and EPA chose to eliminate the discussion entirely. A former EPA Administrator in the Nixon and Ford Administrations commented, “I can state categorically that there was never such White House intrusion into the business of the E.PA. during my tenure.”
The White House quickly dismissed the report as partisan sniping.
"The Administration's political interference with science has led to misleading statements by the President, inaccurate responses to Congress, altered web sites, suppressed agency reports, erroneous international communications, and the gagging of scientists," according to the report, posted yesterday at www.politicsandscience.org. "The subjects involved span a broad range, but they share a common attribute: the beneficiaries of the scientific distortions are important supporters of the President, including social conservatives and powerful industry groups."
White House spokesman Adam Levine said it would take time for the administration to address the specifics of the report. However, he said, "I'm hard-pressed to believe anyone would consider Congressman Waxman an objective arbiter of scientific fact."
Several prestigious scientific journals have editorialized about the Bush administration's dealings in science in recent months, including Science, Nature and the New England Journal of Medicine.
The above report is long and it is truly horrifying. I find it difficult to fathom the current administration could disgust me every single day, but hey skim for yourself ... you decide. It will make you ill with anger