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Science vs Industry

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This page documents examples of where industry and science conflicted or colluded with each other in ways that were not of interest to the people or the truth.


Industry Collusion and Manipulation

  • Court documents reveal Monsanto's efforts to fight glyphosate's 'severe stigma'. Social Sharing. Canadian firm hired to recruit scientists to publish studies that ultimately defended Roundup's key ingredient.The documents also reveal communications between Monsanto and a Canadian firm hired to recruit scientists to publish studies that ultimately defended glyphosate — some of which were secretly reviewed by Monsanto prior to publication. All those papers, as previously reported by CBC/Radio-Canada, were also used as part of Health Canada's re-approval process of glyphosate in 2017.[1]
  • Fired Quebec scientist blew the whistle on pesticide lobby influence.[2]
  • Rush To Produce, Sell Vaccine Put Kids In Philippines At Risk. "What bothers me most about this story is risk communication," says Rodriguez, who studies dengue in South America. "There was a lot of uncertainty from the beginning [about the vaccine's safety]. That needed to be communicated explicitly. You need to be honest about what evidence is out there." In April, the Philippine government indicted 14 government officials over the deaths of 10 children who received the Dengvaxia vaccine. The government said the officials acted with "undue haste" in procuring the vaccine and launching the mass immunization campaign. The Philippine Department of Justice said the campaign started before the clinical trials were finished. In some instances children were given the vaccine by untrained health workers and allegedly without a proper physical beforehand. Some children allegedly had preexisting medical conditions that made the immunization dangerous. But these children were still inoculated, the government found. Six Sanofi officials were also indicted for not properly helping children who had serious reactions to the shot.[3]
  • Radium Girls - information on industry using women to handle toxic materials and covering it up.[4]
  • Monsanto secretly ran “Let Nothing Go” campaign that paid internet trolls to post pro-Monsanto comments all across the internet[5]
  • EU regulators based a decision to relicense the controversial weedkiller glyphosate on an assessment plagiarised from industry reports, according to a report for the European parliament.[6]
  • Judge in Roundup maker’s first federal trial had banned discussion of the company’s alleged manipulation of science. Monsanto is facing its first federal trial over allegations that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer, but a US judge has blocked attorneys from discussing the corporation’s alleged manipulation of science. In an extraordinary move in a packed San Francisco courtroom on Monday, US judge Vince Chhabria threatened to sanction and “shut down” a cancer patient’s attorney for violating his ban on talking about Monsanto’s influence on government regulators and cancer research.[7]
  • A broad new scientific analysis of the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate herbicides, the most widely used weedkilling products in the world, has found that people with high exposures to the popular pesticides have a 41% increased risk of developing a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[8]
  • IARC responds to the claims its study claiming Glyphosate was probably carcinogenic, was incorrect and says media distorting actual reports. From reading, the IARC claims are based on the review of more than 1000 independent scientific studies. The idea that one particular study contradicts their overall findings and should be used to dismiss the IARC study is absurd. IARC also calls attention to concern over industry badgering scientists to reveal their findings prior to publication and peer review.[9]
  • The world’s most used weedkiller damages the beneficial bacteria in the guts of honeybees and makes them more prone to deadly infections, new research has found. Previous studies have shown that pesticides such as neonicotinoids cause harm to bees, whose pollination is vital to about three-quarters of all food crops. Glyphosate, manufactured by Monsanto, targets an enzyme only found in plants and bacteria. However, the new study shows that glyphosate damages the microbiota that honeybees need to grow and to fight off pathogens. The findings show glyphosate, the most used agricultural chemical ever, may be contributing to the global decline in bees, along with the loss of habitat.[10]
  • Court Orders EPA To Ban Chlorpyrifos, A Pesticide Linked To Brain Damage In Kids.[11]
  • A federal jury today convicted a Birmingham lawyer and an Alabama coal company executive in a scheme to bribe a state legislator to use his office to oppose Environmental Protection Agency actions in north Birmingham, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman.[12]
  • When Trump administration officials opposed a WHO breast-feeding resolution, they followed a long history of policymakers listening to baby-formula manufacturers.[13]
  • Monsanto 'bullied scientists' and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court[14]
  • Why Trump's new CDC director is an abysmal choice: Redfield worked closely with the Christian organization, Americans for a Sound AIDS/HIV Policy. The group maintained AIDS was "God's judgment" against homosexuals, spread in an America weakened by single-parent households and loss of family values.[15]
  • After more than 40 years of widespread use, new scientific tests show formulated weedkillers have higher rates of toxicity to human cells.The tests are part of the US National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) first-ever examination of herbicide formulations made with the active ingredient glyphosate, but that also include other chemicals. While regulators have previously required extensive testing of glyphosate in isolation, government scientists have not fully examined the toxicity of the more complex products sold to consumers, farmers and others. Monsanto introduced its glyphosate-based Roundup brand in 1974. But it is only now, after more than 40 years of widespread use, that the government is investigating the toxicity of “glyphosate-based herbicides” on human cells.[16]
  • Popular article (that made the front page of a high-ranked subReddit) entitled, "Millennials 'have no qualms about GM crops' unlike older generation" was in actuality, a "study" commissioned by the Agricultural BiotechnologyCouncil, which is an industry lobbying group. The Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC) is a UK corporate lobby group funded by major biottechnology companies and run from the offices of a PR company, Lexington Communications. On its website, ABC lists members as comprising: BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, Pioneer (which is part of DuPont), Monsanto, Syngenta. "In typical astroturf fashion they try to draw some kind of connection with "Millennials" to give themselves credibility."[17][18]
  • Under Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has dramatically shifted away from its stated mission to “protect human and environmental health.” Instead, the agency is clearly favoring the interests of the polluting industries that it is mandated to regulate, according to a study.[19]
  • Weedkiller found in granola and crackers, internal FDA emails show. The FDA has been testing food samples for traces of glyphosate for two years, but the agency has not yet released any official result. Other findings detailed in the FDA documents show that in 2016 Chamkasem found glyphosate in numerous samples of honey. Chamkasem also found glyphosate in oatmeal products. The FDA temporarily suspended testing after those findings, and Chamkasem’s lab was “reassigned to other programs”, the FDA documents show. The FDA has said those tests were not part of its official glyphosate residue assignment.[20]
  • "Eating Pasta Linked to Weight Loss in New Study," Newsweek reported this month, racking up more than 22,500 Facebook likes, shares, and comments. The happy news also went viral on the Independent, the New York Daily News, and Business Insider. What those and many other stories failed to note, however, was that three of the scientists behind the study in question had financial conflicts as tangled as a bowl of spaghetti, including ties to the world’s largest pasta company, the Barilla Group. At least 10 peer-reviewed studies about pasta published since 2008 were either funded directly by Barilla or, like the one published this month, were carried out by scientists who have had financial ties to the company.[21]
  • Senate Confirms Climate Change Denier To Lead NASA, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) will take over control of the space agency after seven-month standoff. Bridenstine will become the first elected official to hold the NASA administrator job. He joins a Cabinet already loaded with people who question the near-universal scientific consensus that climate change is real and that human activity is the primary cause. The final vote ― which was 50-49 along party lines ― came one day after the Senate narrowly advanced Bridenstine’s nomination, thanks to an about-face from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and a key vote from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Rubio[22]
  • Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued agricultural giant Monsanto on Monday, alleging the company concealed dangers posed by a toxic chemical compound it manufactured for nearly a half century. In the suit, filed in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in Cincinnati, prosecutors argued that the company should pay for the clean-up of what it says are dozens of rivers, lakes and other water bodies contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.[23]
  • The world’s most widely used insecticides pose a serious danger to both honeybees and wild bees, according to a major new assessment from the European Union’s scientific risk assessors. The conclusion, based on analysis of more than 1,500 studies, makes it highly likely that the neonicotinoid pesticides will be banned from all fields across the EU when nations vote on the issue next month.[24]
  • DuPont vs. the World: Chemical Giant Covered Up Health Risks of Teflon Contamination Across Globe[25]
  • GOP senators who pushed Trump to ditch Paris deal took over $10 million from fossil fuel industry.[26]
  • With backing from a sugar lobby, scientists promoted dietary fat as the cause of coronary heart disease instead of sugar, according to a historical document review published in JAMA Internal Medicine.[27]
  • Oregon sues Monsanto, alleges company knowingly sold toxic PCBs for decades.[28]
  • Government scientists blocked from the biggest meeting in their field[29]
  • Internal FCC Report Shows Republican Net Neutrality Narrative Is False[30]
  • The Slow Demise of Asbestos, the Carcinogen that Gave ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Snow[31]
  • Trump reverses ban on Nazi created pesticide after receiving huge donation from chemical company[32]
  • Sugar industry withheld research effects of sucrose 50 years ago, study claims Researchers say negative health impacts of sucrose could have been combated sooner had research been released – but industry bodies dispute the findings.In 1967, when scientists were arguing over the link between sugar consumption and increased risk of heart disease, researchers now claim that the International Sugar Research Foundation (ISRF) withheld findings that rats that were fed a high-sugar diet had higher levels of triglycerides (a fat found in the blood) than those fed starch. In a move researchers from the University of California at San Francisco have compared to the tobacco industry’s self-preservation tactics, the foundation stopped funding the project.[33]
  • As cigarette sales decline worldwide, the tobacco giant Phillip Morris Inc. is scrambling to restructure and embrace potentially more profitable “smoke-free” products. The revamp involves setting up an $80 million foundation called the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. The World Health Organization rebuked Phillip Morris and accused it of being disingenuous about consumer health, citing decades of research meddling and deceptive marketing. It declared it would have nothing to do with the foundation and warned governments the world over to do the same.[34]
  • Monsanto banned from European parliament: MEPs withdraw parliamentary access after the firm shunned a hearing into allegations that it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate used in its RoundUp weedkiller.[35]
  • Coca-Cola secretly spent $1.5 million to fund an entire network of academic researchers whose goal was to shift the national health conversation away from the harms of sugary beverages. Instead, their research focused on the benefits of exercise—i.e., the health risks of sedentary and inactive lifestyles.[36]
  • Union of Concerned Scientists complains that the Trump administration's "Chief Scientist" at the USDA is not a scientist: Sam Clovis—a conservative talk radio host, Trump campaign co-chair, and climate denier with no training in science—for the role of chief scientist at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). [37]
  • Almost All of FCC’s New Advisory Panel Works for Telecoms, most of which are against Net Neutrality.[38]
  • Court evidence reveals Monsanto involved with published Scientific Studies Without Disclosing Conflicts of Interest to publishers.[39]
  • Internal Emails Show Monsanto Made Substantial Contributions to Published Expert Panel Manuscript.[40]
  • Monsanto secret documents revealed, contianing correspondence between Dr. William Heydens and Ashely Roberts regarding the Expert Panel Manuscript. Dr. Heydens went “through the entire document and “indicated what I think should stay, what can go, and in a couple spots I did a little editing. I took a crack at adding a little text: on page 10 to address John’s comments about toxicologists’ use of Hill’s criteria … see what you think; it made sense to me, but I’m not sure if it will to others – please feel free to further modify and/or run by Cary.” at *1. The edited draft is also attached and challenged for confidentiality.[41]
  • Court documents reveal Monsanto was ghost-writing academic papers defending its products and attacking critics.The documents underscore the lengths to which the agrochemical company goes to protect its image. Documents show that Henry I. Miller, an academic and a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes's website in 2015. Mr. Miller could not be reached for comment. A similar issue appeared in academic research. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, a former Monsanto employee, appeared to express discomfort with the process, writing in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, "I can't be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication." He also said of the way the company was trying to present the authorship: "We call that ghost writing and it is unethical." Mr. Miller's 2015 article on Forbes's website was an attack on the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization that had labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen, a finding disputed by other regulatory bodies.[42]
  • The FCC Insists It Can't Stop Impostors From Lying About My Views On Net Neutrality.[43]
  • E.P.A. Official Pressured Scientist on Congressional Testimony, Emails Show: The Environmental Protection Agency’s chief of staff pressured the top scientist on the agency’s scientific review board to alter her congressional testimony and play down the dismissal of expert advisers.[45]
  • Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?[46]
  • Monsanto's GMO-friendly pesticide, Dicamba is causing widespread devastation in Missouri.[47]
  • Arkansas's pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical. The tension — which even led to a farmer's murder — is over a weedkiller called dicamba. The chemical moved into the weed-control spotlight a few years ago, when Monsanto created soybean and cotton plants that were genetically modified to survive it.[48]
  • Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's (MON.N) popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday. Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65, and called the decision "unwarranted on the basis of science and the law."[49]
  • The EPA's Inspector General Is Probing Whether An Agency Staffer Colluded With Monsanto.[50]
  • Monsanto Hires Internet Trolls to Cover Up Roundup’s Cancer Risk.[51]
  • President Donald Trump's nominee for Deputy Secretary of the Interior said today that Trump's economic policy could take priority over climate science. In his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, David Bernhardt said that he will consider science on climate change but that Trump's policy opinions that prioritize jobs could outweigh scientific conclusions.[52]
  • White House Moves to Block Ethics Inquiry Into Ex-Lobbyists on Payroll. [53]
  • U.S. judge finds that Aetna deceived the public about its reasons for quitting participation in the government's healthcare exchange under the Affordable Care Act.[54]
  • E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board - replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate. [55]
  • The original "food pyramid," a diagram instructing the public on the proper healthy allocation of different food types, given to the US government by nutritionists was altered for the benefit of the food industry and grain growers.[56]
  • "Cosmos" episode explains How Corporations Fund Science Denial. An entire episode was devoted to the Clair Patterson, who discovered that lead was entering the atmosphere through the burning of leaded gasoline. Yet, it took twenty years for unleaded gas to become the norm.[57][58]
  • In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine. The article draws on internal documents to show that an industry group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to "refute" concerns about sugar's possible role in heart disease. The SRF then sponsored research by Harvard scientists that did just that. The result was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, with no disclosure of the sugar industry funding. [59]
  • Editor quits journal over pay-for-expedited peer-review offer. With a tweet yesterday, an editor of Scientific Reports, one of Nature Publishing Group’s (NPG’s) open-access journals, has resigned in a very public protest of NPG’s recent decision to allow authors to pay money to expedite peer review of their submitted papers. “My objections are that it sets up a two-tiered system and instead of the best science being published in a timely fashion it will further shift the balance to well-funded labs and groups,” Mark Maslin, a biogeographer at University College London, tells ScienceInsider.[60]
  • House of Commons committee to open hearings on neonic pesticide with industry-biased panel.[61]
  • The EPA Finally Admitted That the World’s Most Popular Pesticide Kills Bees—20 Years Too Late.[62]
  • NASA executives waste $80M renewing an industry contract to produce a spacesuit inferior to what the government's own engineers were designing. NASA leaders claimed the contract was necessary to, "keep industry engaged in spacesuit design", but the report dismisses this idea, noting the agency's in-house Advanced Space Suit Project shared several contractors and primary subcontractors.[63]

Monsanto/Bayer Controversies

  • Pesticide Created By Bayer Accidentally Kills Off Twelve-Mile Stretch of Trees in Oregon.[64]
  • The law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman made public today hundreds of pages of newly de-classified internal Monsanto documents, including company email exchanges, reports, studies and other memoranda.[65]
  • A new study by the non-profit claims to have found 19 major beer and wine brands whose products contain the pesticide glyphosate, a.k.a. one of the ingredients present in the weed killer Roundup..[66]
  • Five things to know about Bayer and Monsanto, including its connection to Nazi gas chambers.[67]
  • Shareholders of the German chemical giant Bayer staged a full-blown revolt at a heated 13-hour meeting in Bonn on Friday, arguing that the management failed to see the company was inheriting a raft of nightmarish litigation associated with glyphosate when it bought U.S. agrichemical giant Monsanto for $66 billion last year. The investors are furious that a blue-riband European company is now potentially exposed to billions of dollars of claims over the glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup, created by Monsanto. Two U.S. court verdicts over the past year found that the world's most popular herbicide caused cancer, hauling shares in Bayer down about 40 percent since August. Bayer has appealed those decisions but is now facing an avalanche of some 13,400 claims. "It is about time Bayer came to grips with the fact that they purchased Monsanto’s misconduct and, now, need to do right by the victims. It’s time to resolve these lawsuits and give Bayer shareholders confidence again in corporate leadership," said Brent Wisner, an attorney at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, which is representing plaintiffs in the lawsuits against Monsanto.[68]
  • Concerns over glyphosate pass from human health to the soil.Experts say the weedkiller’s impact on soil health represents a serious threat to Europe’s long-term food security. [69]
  • Washington State University researchers have found a variety of diseases and other health problems in the second- and third-generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate, the world's most popular weed killer. In the first study of its kind, the researchers saw descendants of exposed rats developing prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities. Michael Skinner, a WSU professor of biological sciences, and his colleagues exposed pregnant rats to the herbicide between their eighth and 14th days of gestation. The dose—half the amount expected to show no adverse effect—produced no apparent ill effects on either the parents or the first generation of offspring. But writing in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers say they saw "dramatic increases" in several pathologies affecting the second and third generations. The second generation had "significant increases" in testis, ovary and mammary gland diseases, as well as obesity. In third-generation males, the researchers saw a 30 percent increase in prostate disease—three times that of a control population. The third generation of females had a 40 percent increase in kidney disease, or four times that of the controls.[70][71]
  • Glyphosate perturbs the gut microbiota of honey bees, Erick V. S. Motta, Kasie Raymann, and Nancy A. Moran

PNAS published ahead of print September 24, 2018. "Increased mortality of honey bee colonies has been attributed to several factors but is not fully understood. The herbicide glyphosate is expected to be innocuous to animals, including bees, because it targets an enzyme only found in plants and microorganisms. However, bees rely on a specialized gut microbiota that benefits growth and provides defense against pathogens. Most bee gut bacteria contain the enzyme targeted by glyphosate, but vary in whether they possess susceptible versions and, correspondingly, in tolerance to glyphosate. Exposing bees to glyphosate alters the bee gut community and increases susceptibility to infection by opportunistic pathogens. Understanding how glyphosate impacts bee gut symbionts and bee health will help elucidate a possible role of this chemical in colony decline." [72]

  • Consuming a mixture of sugar syrup and glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, alters honey bees’ microbiomes, and these changes increased mortality among insects exposed to pathogenic bacteria, according to a study.[73]
  • Attorneys for a couple who claim Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer gave them both cancer tried to convince a California jury Thursday that the agrochemical company engaged in decades of fraud to hide the fact that the herbicide is carcinogenic. Wisner on Thursday ran through a list of Monsanto’s newly revealed alleged sins, starting with the so-called IBT scandal. The company seemingly planted one of its employees at a contract lab called Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories (IBT) in the 1970s to fake negative mouse carcinogenicity data for Roundup’s active ingredient glyphosate that were to be used to win regulatory approval for the weed killer in 1975; planned an attack to discredit the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer research agency, anticipating the agency would classify glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015; and exploited “deep connections” within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to classify glyphosate as non-carcinogenic.[74]
  • Glyphosate Worse than We Could Imagine. “It’s Everywhere” Glyphosate residues have been found in tap water, orange juice, children’s urine, breast milk, chips, snacks, beer, wine, cereals, eggs, oatmeal, wheat products, and most conventional foods tested. It’s everywhere, in brief.[75]
  • The overlooked impact of rising glyphosate use on phosphorus loading in agricultural watersheds. The herbicide glyphosate dominates the global pesticide market, with applied tonnage increasing steadily worldwide. Glyphosate's capacity to degrade rapidly is often used to argue against potential toxicological effects, but the phosphorus (P) it contains persists in the environment and can influence soil P accumulation and losses to surrounding freshwater systems, which are prone to nutrient pollution.[76]
  • Louisiana sugar cane farmers are using Glyphosate as a "chemical ripener" on crops.[77]

Politics verses science

  • After Republican Protest, Oregon's Climate Plan Dies.[78]

Trump administration's questionable respect for science

  • Trump to nominate former Monsanto executive to top interior department position. Aurelia Skipwith, who worked as a lawyer and in research at Monsanto, will be nominated to run the Fish and Wildlife Service.[79]

  • Trump Quietly Nominates Mass Surveillance Advocate To “Protect” Your Privacy Rights[80]
  • Trump officially nominates Sam Clovis, climate-denying conservative talk radio host as USDA’s top scientist.[81]
  • Trump's 5 Most “Anti-Science” Moves, Scientific American [82]
  • Donald Trump's War On Science, New Yorker [83]
  • Trump has launched a blitzkrieg in the wars on science and Earth’s climate, The Guardian, [84]

Anti-science head of the EPA under the Trump administration

  • Scott Pruitt’s Attack on Science Would Paralyze the E.P.A.[85]
  • Trump’s embattled EPA head Scott Pruitt has come down on the side of polluters on just about every issue that faces the US, so it is with little surprise that in a recent interview he signaled that he may try to fight back against California’s fuel economy requirements.[86]
  • Trump Re-Nominates Anti-Wildlife Climate Denier to Top Environment Post[87]
  • Pruitt drives out EPA staff, hires unqualified former banker pal[88]
  • EPA seeks to scrap rule protecting drinking water for third of Americans[89]
  • E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board - replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate. [90]
  • EPA Scientists Worry Their New Boss Doesn't Want Science. [91]
  • President Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agaency is a self-described “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general since 2011, has repeatedly sued the agency and other government entities over environmental rules and regulations, at times in direct cooperation with fossil fuel companies.[92]
From Factcheck.org on Trumps head of the EPA:
    • Pruitt’s questionable claims include:
    • He falsely said in May that scientists “disagree about the degree” and “connection” of global warming “to the actions of mankind.” As we have written time and time again, the vast majority of climate scientists believe global warming is real and human-caused.
    • He also said the Clean Power Plan will “significantly” increase electricity prices. Whether the price change is “significant” is a matter of opinion, but the Energy Information Administration estimates that prices under the plan would range from a 7 percent decrease to a 7 percent increase between 2025 and 2040, depending on the region.
    • He implied in April 2014 that’s there’s no evidence to support a link between fracking and water contamination. There is some evidence to support a link in certain instances, but not enough to definitively conclude that contamination is widespread, as we wrote in early December.
  • Climate change cynic Scott Pruitt takes over as Donald Trump's head of Environmental Protection Agency[93]

  • The Union of Concerned Scientists, has compiled a list of 80 Trump administration attacks on science since taking office, and Trump's next EPA head, Andrew Wheeler has been the driving force behind many of them. Below are 10 of the more egregious ways he has undermined the EPA's time-honored role to protect public health and the environment so far[94]

Anti-science appointees to the USDA

  • Incompetence Looms: Trump To Appoint Non-Scientist As USDA's Chief Scientist[95]
  • The Trump administration is planning to nominate Sam Clovis — the Department of Agriculture’s senior White House adviser — as head of USDA’s Research, Education and Economics division, according to individuals briefed on the decision. The move would mark a break with recent Republican and Democratic administrations alike, which have previously reserved the high-level position for scientists with expertise in agricultural research. Clovis — a former economics professor and talk radio host in Iowa who served as one of the Trump campaign’s first policy advisers — has bachelor’s degrees in political science and government, a master’s in business administration and a doctoral degree in public administration[96]
  • Trump’s Expected Pick for Top USDA Scientist Is Not a Scientist[97]

Industry/Government Attacks On Scientists

  • State-funded scientists could be prevented from lobbying for change in their field under Cabinet Office proposals. Senior scientists have denounced a potential move to “muzzle” colleagues whose findings are disliked by the government. The proposal – announced by the Cabinet Office earlier this month – would block researchers who receive government grants from using their results to lobby for changes to laws or regulations. For example, an academic whose government-funded research showed that new regulations were proving particularly harmful to the homeless would not be able to call for policy change. Similarly, ecologists who found out that new planning laws were harming wildlife would not be able to raise the issue in public, while climate scientists whose findings undermined government energy policy could have work suppressed.[98]
  • Renown Canadian scientist personally attacked by industry after expressing concern over GMOs. [99]

Other articles

  • Roundup’s Risks Could Go Well Beyond Cancer - Evidence of the cheap herbicide’s danger to biological functions and the environment continues to mount. Why are U.S. regulators not listening?[100]
  • Los Angeles County Bans Use of Roundup Weed Killer.[101]
  • The Monsanto Papers - information on current court cases regarding Monsanto/Bayer.[102]
  • The secret tactics Monsanto used to protect Roundup, its star product[103]
  • In the latest stage of a decade-long legal tussle, the appeals court in Lyon, France on Thursday found in favor of farmer Paul Francois’ claim that Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller had made him sick and that the product’s labeling had been inadequate. Francois, 55, says he suffered neurological problems, including memory loss, fainting and headaches, after accidentally inhaling Lasso in 2004 while working on his farm. “Mr Francois justifiably concludes that the product, due to its inadequate labeling that did not respect applicable regulations, did not offer the level of safety he could legitimately expect,” the court said in its ruling. [104]
  • A new report found glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical that some health authorities link to cancer, in a number of popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children. The study by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered trace amounts of the most widely used herbicide in the country in oats, granolas and snack bars. Thirty-one out of 45 tested products had levels higher than what some scientists consider safe for children. Recently, some scientists, doctors and activists around the world have worked to keep glyphosate out of crops due to concerns that it is a dangerous carcinogen.[105]
  • Judge Upholds Verdict That Found Monsanto’s Roundup Caused a Man’s Cancer. [106]
  • A collaborative study by three US universities reported that individuals with particularly high exposures to glyphosate-based herbicides (Roundup), for instance those spraying it, could have a 41% increased relative risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[107]
  • Is RoundUp carcinogenic? The trouble is, for every research paper that purports to show a link between glyphosate-based herbicides and cancer, there is another which finds the exact opposite. This hasn’t been helped by the fact that many of the studies may not have been entirely objective. “A lot of the studies backing glyphosate have been funded by entities in a position to profit from the continuing sales. But one of the factors that have left commentators suspicious of the potential toxicity of these herbicides has been incidents of combative corporate behaviour. In the latest trial, Monsanto has caused eyebrows to raise by obtaining a ban preventing attorneys for the plaintiffs from presenting information regarding its alleged influence on research.[108]
  • A 3M plant in Decatur, Alabama has admitted in a letter to the EPA that it violated a federal toxic substance law by releasing illegal chemicals into the Tennessee River. The letter was sent to the Environmental Protection Agency on April, 3, 2019, in it 3M admits to the non-compliance of a 2009 update to the Toxic Substances Control Act. A Washington, D.C. based law firm sent the letter on behalf of the company:

“On behalf of 3M Company (”3M”), I am writing to voluntary disclose non-compliance with Section 5(e) of the Toxic Substance Control Act (“TSCA”), at 3M’s Decatur, Alabama Plant.” The statement continues saying, 3M admits to releasing perfluorobutanesulfonamide (FBSA) and possibly fluorinated sulfonamide alcohol (FBSEE) into the Tennessee River. [109]

  • The biotech company Monsanto had genetically modified these new soybeans so that they tolerate a herbicide called dicamba. It allows farmers to spray dicamba on their soybeans; it kills the weeds, but their dicamba-tolerant crop is fine. But the new herbicide is now causing damage to other crops in the region.[110]

See Also

  • Science-Mart, Privatizing American Science, Philip Mirowski [111]

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