Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Don't Let the Door …
Another reminder of why we won't miss him when he's gone:
Another organization, the Union of Concerned Scientists, has documented hundreds of instances of political interference throughout government agencies charged with researching — and then regulating — issues of public and environmental health and safety. This past spring, UCS followed up earlier investigations at the FDA, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with a survey of scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency. Of the 1,586 staff scientists who responded to a questionnaire, 889 said they had experienced some political interference.
Two-hundred and eighty-five said they had experienced “selective or incomplete use of data to justify a specific regulatory outcome.” And 224 said they had been “directed to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information from an EPA scientific document.”
“What we’ve seen under President Bush,” said Michael Halpern, program manager of UCS’s Scientific Integrity program, “is a culture of secrecy and suppression where if scientific information doesn’t fit with predetermined policy decisions they wanted to put forward, that scientific information was summarily distorted, suppressed or misused to justify the decisions they wanted to make.”