Monday, August 07, 2006

Political Science

Whether it's the FDA or the EPA or public policy on climate change - the Government and esp. the Bush Administration has been suppressing science in favor of their agenda. Their policies are putting all of us - as well as all of the life on the planet at risk in favor of corporate interests.

Recently from the Union of Concerned Scientists:
Evidence of Political Interference

Voices of Scientists at the FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), now in its hundredth year, is responsible for protecting and advancing public health through the regulation of drugs, food, medical devices, cosmetics, and the blood supply—including products that, according to the FDA, account for 25 cents of every American consumer dollar spent. 

In 2006, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) distributed a 38-question survey to 5,918 FDA scientists to examine the state of science at the FDA. The results paint a picture of a troubled agency: hundreds of scientists reported significant interference with the FDA’s scientific work, compromising the agency’s ability to fulfill its mission of protecting public health and safety....

From :

Literally tens of millions of Americans have been harmed by FDA negligence over the last decade, and well over one million have been killed by FDA-approved prescription drugs -- many of which were approved based on fraudulent scientific data the FDA conveniently chose to overlook. Through its abandonment of public safety and scientific integrity, the FDA has now become the single greatest threat to the health and safety of the American people, dwarfing any threat posed by terrorists....

Medical journal reveals that 70 percent of drug decision-making panel members have financial ties to industry.


There have been reports in the past of the "White House" altering scientists reports on global warming - and that the US withdrew from a "crucial United Nations commitment to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions":

The documents show that Washington officials:

· Removed all reference to the fact that climate change is a 'serious threat to human health and to ecosystems';

· Deleted any suggestion that global warming has already started;

· Expunged any suggestion that human activity was to blame for climate change.

Among the sentences removed was the following: 'Unless urgent action is taken, there will be a growing risk of adverse effects on economic development, human health and the natural environment, and of irreversible long-term changes to our climate and oceans.'

Another section erased by the White House adds: 'Our world is warming. Climate change is a serious threat that has the potential to affect every part of the globe. And we know that ... mankind's activities are contributing to this warming. This is an issue we must address urgently.'

'Every year, it (local air pollution) causes millions of premature deaths, and suffering to millions more through respiratory disease,' reads another statement removed by Washington.

Agency Abuses: The Environment

• Mountaintop Removal Mining: Administration officials intentionally disregard extensive scientific study on mountaintop removal in Appalacia  

• Climate Change: Administration officials undermined science behind climate change by suppressing reports and publicly misrepresenting scientific consensus

• Mercury Emissions: White House suppressed information about the impact of mercury on public health

• Multiple Air Pollutants: The Environmental Protection Agency withheld an analysis showing the benefits of a bipartisan alternative to President Bush's Clear Skies Act

• The Endangered Species Act: Administration officials are manipulating the scientific underpinnings of the policy making process

• Forest Management: A "review team" primarily composed of non-scientists overruled a science-based plan for managing old-growth forest habitat and reducing fire risk

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