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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 27, 2009 8:30am-9:00am EDT

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accountability project and i say this in the absence of reading your book but i want you to address with conflicts of interest, there is not really, there are laws that facilitate and encourage scientists to hook up with industry that we're not addressing when we talk about the absence of conflict and research why scientists are going for industry money? there is the access of federal funding if you do not address the problem you are missing an important part of why this is happening. >> it is very hard for a scientist to get into another room not call for more funding of scientists. but that is absolutely true. industry has the right to do their own studies and that is important but i am talking about the studies that go into
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regulation labeling need to be done independently and have to be funded per car like to see the government find more things obviously but it is not reasonable for companies to do there on science. when that happens the raw data, and everything should be made available in the interest if we make important policy decisions on the basis of those studies. but is the bottom line ruled that can be implemented. >> i am a retiree, i want to congratulate you david, for an extremely well-written book. it is a very good read. it is a breed that makes you very angry about the harm than has been done 2000's or perhaps millions of people, ruined lives come and kill people,
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use a number of examples in your book how the government has ceased to collect information or stop reporting information when they do not like the results. can you give us examples of how the administration is using science or manipulating science for their own ends today? thank you for asking that. is a very important question i devote a big portion of the book to the bush and administration because they essentially have taken the strategy of manufacturing uncertainty and institutionalize did they build structures into the review process and requirements to take into account bad science coming give producers of bad science and no signs the ability to impression studies. there was one very worrisome attempt called the peer reviewed not that what most scientists know about most scientists did not think it had anything to do with your review but did attempted to
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impose requirements that every federal document go through internal an extra zero reduce that would allow corporations that are affected the opportunity to question and slow things down. the scientists community rose up in opposition and they wrote a very strong whether that we had never seen before most major scientific organizations weighed in and the white house had to retreat but there is still the requirements there's a new peer review record that has stopped agencies from moving forward at all. congress requires the national institute for environmental health sciences to report on personages every year or every other year. we are now four years late to get that document because the agency is trying to figure how to get out for peer review for the new white house requirements many of the changes forced by the white house on the agency are done in secret. the one most recently that is
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very discouraging is a requirement the epa basic document chemical rest but essentially they will be reviewed in secret by enter agency process allows the energy come with another culture and defense department to weigh in before the public scientists can weigh in and force changes which are not being made by scientists. they used to be this was all done in the public from universities and corporations could come but now the defense department does not like the policy they can have it changed in secret. we cannot let the epa change our defense strategy and iraq will let the defense department. [laughter] it is very worrisome the next president will have a big problem how to roll that back and raised the ball because the level of integrity has gone down so far in the white house in some of these
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agencies. >> thank you. i am from oceanic. a couple of things i am struck down a lot of universities have centers or things funded by industry but it is not very apparent when something is published under the i be the center and it gains a sense of legitimacy that is revealed on who actually funded the study. what is the best way to address that? and also, you brought of something with a lot of the journals published by the industry themselves is there a way to figure out which industries does is a trade association under something your the peer review that goes on isn't as rigorous as others because there should be ruled that you can enter per your data that way. >> you are right.
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there are journal's the specialized in publishing what i call questionable analysis. they are essentially run by individuals run buy eight individuals as our consultants to big companies they will have one article hundreds of pages long anybody who has published they say take it shorter they are precious commodities. they are doled out very carefully but some of them will publish the article of 120 pages of baby analysis of benzene studies done for the institute. the only reason a page that is so someone can say lookout impressive this is the 120 page it is peer review and say believe that. although it is totally unbelievable. we do not have rules that cover different journals and while the leading journals require you to say who paid for the study and the
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relationship, the regulatory agencies do not have the same requirements the chemicals study -- company can pay for a steady rhythm and said it to the apa to ecb without ever having to our knowledge you paid for it. >> . >> i am from gw. i suspect that many scientists, perhaps most come ago interindustry think angrier going to do the good fight from the inside but i am wondering what you think about how we can parse that could work out? i think even the study's that you showed came up with david validated response to the chromium industry but it was squashed. how can we find the good work and validate it? right will cite is the work for industry are honest but what happens when industry
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faces a crisis they see a chemical of some importance has been implemented, they do not use their own side is they're often go outside and find some consultants who are very sleazy and know how to work the regulatory system. the most important thing is essentially i recall regulation by shame. people have to have their names on their documents it has to be public and grass to be a conversation. one will know professor at university of alabama and who has published on behalf of some litigants in the chromium suits the study showing that the chromium barely causes lung cancer or stomach cancer and it was done for gas and electric that has been sued a number of times in the erin brockovich series of cases. i would fail but of my students but yet it was turned and and it is very important to talk about these.
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and point* fingers. it is sad to do that and you hate to personalize it the people should be embarrassed. that is important to do. >> i am from "fortune" magazine. if you argue we cannot trust industry science and people are relying on industry ties, how to resort to the question of risk as either consumers where as a society? i have taste hate to the but of to the "today show" to tell us what we can our cannot use. >> we have to rebuild government infrastructure in the way the uses scientist from universities and corporate scientist in a public transparent system. we have the federal advisory system process where you can be on the advisory panel's in
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public. that is the only system that will work. there is no magic number or formula to help us way risk but it involves children or parents it involves future generations or irreparable harm to the environment but all that has to be discussed publicly it cannot be done behind closed doors or using a black box model and not understanding what went into them. that is done by a government that is perceived taking care of the population and we have lost all of those things. it is up to the next administration to rebuild it. >> i am from the house education and labor committee. i guess personally i would rather leave the rule-making of two bill moyers than those who have been handling it lately. [laughter] but that is a good issue because these debates are now
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not being it bought as two laing regulators are scientists but obviously fought in the public and data congress. we saw a rather alarming example of that win the republican congress repeal the ergonomics standard largely on the basis of saying there was not enough science but people don't understand if you make a good point* in your book we do not need absolute certainty we cannot get it and if we try people will die as a result but we need to use the best available evidence. how we get americans to understand that? it should be an issue in the middle of a political season we also need the media to understand and congress and what can we do from a side the sarbanes-oxley but it is good for the science but not before the public. >> other people in the room could answer that question the media does play an important
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role. in a project to a the reforms that occur if the fda authorize legislation over the last 50 years have all been driven by concerns about children when children have been killed eventually congress says we need more legislation. we do not care is much about workers unfortunately. we have had some scandalous examples the last few years of worker exposure uncontrolled that i read about one chemical but has killed or crippled dozens of people in microwave popcorn factories we could not get osha to protect them even the popcorn industry to take it seriously there was one case of one consumer that was brought to the public's attention and i was on good
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morning america then it became a major issue this man has damaged lungs but not as badly as the workers and every major popcorn company has removed this chemical from the flavoring of microwave butter popcorn. we need to focus on workers they are the canaries. they get a lot of exposure first. we will never be able to do the studies to that see the effects of breathing chromium of people that live near the factories but we have to go into the factory and discover the problem and then regulate to protect workers and the public. >> i with the toxicology and the environmental health program and do did a nice job in digging up the dirt.
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most of your examples are specific chemicals like tobacco or vioxx and chromium. i am just wondering if you are pretty to any information about the public relations in the/mercenaries scientist industrial complex about nanotechnology? >> i do not follow those and there is an interesting story of carbon block that has been steady a long time there is a lot of studies say that it is a carcinogen causing lung cancer there were a couple of studies showing excess lung cancer the research on the agency of world cancer of the categories as carcinogens was scheduled to have a meeting in a couple years ago to consider carbon block. and it was only peer review studies they have the panel together but the weekend
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before the panel was about to meet, overnight mail, at 62 p review studies are right they were peer review into we switch's un psat -- i heard of and put in a journal that is questionable and was paid extra money all showing the original studies were wrong. as a result perhaps in the international agency research on cancer said there was a probable carcinogen but not definite. added is out there is somebody had access to the memos behind those studies that would be interested in seeing them. [laughter] >> first of all, congratulations on the outstanding book. and with the united mine workers and others.
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you're telling of a popcorn long problem has a predecessor of one who is aiming to alert people of the harsh conditions in the slaughterhouses and the fda said i aim for the heart of america and i hit her in the stomach. it has happened before. but the question i want to raise as about the precautionary principal which is an attempt to change the terms of debate given there will be errors on the side of safety rather than the side of risk, or to put it another way they have to show something is safe rather than us showing it is harmful. there is more to it than that you give a passing reference in your book but i wonder if you can say more about that and your thoughts, the attempt to change the terms of the
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debate like that guy at berkeley says do not call what an elephant. [laughter] >> the prefer sharing principal is an interesting idea but it is a blunt instrument. i think it is useful in changing the debate to say yes we should look at chemical says potentially dangerous and determine without any degree of certainty how safe they are. but really we have to look at each potential hazard by itself as say what do we know? we obviously cannot change the economy overnight but we say here is a substance we do not know about. that chemicals used in waterproof linings, and pesticides we just do not know enough. and until then we should reduce exposure. that is the best we can do. fortunately in europe, there's
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great pressure in legislation to force chemical companies to do more testing which is pretty rudimentary but the reach program will give us answers that we certainly as americans will benefit greatly. but what we don't have here is a mechanism to do with the affirmation we do not have regulatory agencies to say how we limit exposure? >> i am with but epa and the professionals union at epa headquarters. i want to raise a point* academia and integrity in that venue. in 2004 chester douglas a professor of the harvard school of dental medicine testified before a national research council looking at the drinking water standard for fluoride saying he found
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no connection between water fluoridation and osteosarcoma. it turned out some diligent members went back and found a dissertation in which a signature appears finding just the opposite. in fact, one of his doctoral students dissertation found a sevenfold increase in osteosarcoma risk in young boys and pre-adolescent growth spurt phase of their drinking fluoridated drinking water. a complaint was raised about professor douglas's testimony and harbored investigated this. finding that he did not quote intentionally" end quote. conduct scientific misconduct but it has sequester dollar of the documentation around that investigation. as it turned out chester douglas to was taking money
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from colgate for many years and contributed $1 million to harvard's of their issues to be dealt with at the venue as well. >> . >> i am from the center for science the public interest i have good fortune of having read your book and very well written you should be congratulated and your mother would be very proud. [laughter] >> she is. >> a follow-up question because this study that appears in the "new england journal of medicine", and has become a contested terrain. and the book you focus on the grievous cases where there really are scientist for higher but in regulatory science a lot of it would be eight parts per million or seven parts per million?
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and scientist many industry funded will go for the higher standard and some were government-funded well maybe pushed for a lower standard and it becomes a contested terrain. and then it's out is there in the science and it is not clear cut that it is the science were higher that you are looking at the. so you have a couple of paragraphs new the end of the book where you talk about the sarbanes-oxley for science we raised the possibility of government-funded science or dba user fees system being the more ideal way to determine regulatory somalians. can you think of some good reasons why this would be good for industry to go that route? >> i think as the level of skepticism around the industry science prizes they will want good science.
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they will see whenever there is a crisis industry once regulation. the toy industry was nothing to do with the cftc when the tories are arrive from china than they said please meter stamp of approval. they are facing a lot of skepticism that is the first place to think about write now we have drug companies that pay for clinical trials they give the raw data, not even the interpretation to the fda so they can analyze it for themselves because they know the interpretation done by drug companies are not of great interest to them. but there is problems with the raw data and a number of scandals of positions to enroll patients to look the other way when they send in results. with enough turmoil you think industry would want this but the model is not bad, is bureaucratic that cost a lot of money but the money is spent any way you can have a
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nashville is is to of chemical testing when a company with a drug tested they say this is what it will cost two and the agency bull find independent scientists to do studies. that is reasonable and a big step forward but with the discussion we're having now 10 years ago would be unthinkable and there have been a number of editorials calling for this because the editor of the medical journals are so curious about what they see as being lied to by the drug companies. as the scandals continue i can see how actually there would be industry acquiescence especially in the drug industry you do want the best industry and companies do not want to be labeled as no bad actors. >> i'm from the national
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abortion federation can you speak about the media as a filter between the scientific community and the public and more specifically how we can promote better objective review of these studies? >> that is a great question the media is a filter that is how most americans get their information directly from print word tv or indirectly other people pick up and repeated. one of the things we have seen that was true until recently most journalist looked up the reporting of science as there must be two sides to this story so they would see if there is a new chemical but has been hazardous reporters though they need to get the opposite opinion. that is on the one hand, other hand approach that has been criticized especially the best examples are on global
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warming. a small number of industry paid skeptics, they say it is not true and they have no sign -- in the scientists committee been no reporters have seen it. of they do have to quote one of these global warming denier said, they will say this is the exxonmobil funded scientists to has no training in the field. they understand it so people discounted. i think we should say this. there are two sides to the story not to say they have a strong vested financial interest in promoting their position. if you present that you have to present this as well. actually the national institute has done a great job calling papers to task when they do not do this and they're getting the message which is a very important reminder that we have to give to reporters when we talk to
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them. >> one last question. >> they give for your great presentation i with oceanic. lamented the issue of harm to children being the drive to encourage regulation of litigation. would you comment on the recent controversy over bpa and i was surprised over the news coverage overexposure to the chemical was raised as a very harmful issue and how the press and drove the regulation and also business is dropping the use of bpa en products con mccann linings, and teethers and also mercury which does not seem to ever go away
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either in terms of the problems with exposure through fish and other sources. can you comment for example, come on the niehs controversy? >> it is a subject to look at how the science has developed it is a chemical that may or may not cause harm it cannot be well studied but a chemical we are all exposed to upwards of more than 90% of us have bpa in our body because the cdc has a by monitoring program so we're all expose but we don't know exactly how although it is often at -- and all of the bottles and our babies are exposed somehow perhaps leaching and from the bottles that have until recently bpa. because there hundreds of studies and depending on what studies to use you can say it causes harm or it does not.
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the discussion is not so much does it cause harm in animals by which animals doesn't cause harm in and out was that important to extrapolate that to humans? industry shows no effects and have paid for a number of exercises where they put the literature and they say there is no effect. there have been a couple of federally funded -- federally funded the thames will that have mixed results. some included there could be something here and some said there are not. but this is the chemical we need? given that we cannot show their safe and there are hundreds of studies and of those paid for government at university 90% show the effect on very low doses. so if you think those are extrapolated to people we should probably get rid of the chemicals. obviously industry is a
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multibillion-dollar industry would prefer not to extrapolate that the only those that do not show the effect. that is what the debate is over. the most recent report is drafted from the institute of environmental health is that we are not sure. it is possible. and that was enough to drive the market change but the big vendor said we will pull out of the baby bottles. what is interesting is this has not solve the problem. the market can solve the problems wal-mart and target may stop selling these but i will bet anyone here $20 that the dollar store will keep selling the products just as they kept selling the tainted candy and the toys from china. view to care about protecting people the government has to make a decision. thank you all very much [applause]


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