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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 28, 2009 1:30am-2:00am EDT

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opportunity to question it and slow things down. the scientific community rose up in opposition, the national academy of sciences reaudit varies strong whether never seen before in these circles for the most of the scientific organization sweden and the white house had to retreat but there still these requirements so there is now a new requirement that has essentially stopped agencies from moving forward. congress requires the national institute for environmental health sciences to issue a report on carcinogens every year or every other year. we are now four years late in getting that document now, because the agency is trying to figure out how to get it out for the review because of this the white house requirement. many of the changes in force but the white house are done in secret. the most recent one which is very discouraging is a requirement that the environmental protection agency's basic document about
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clinical res, essentially they will be reviewed in secret by interagency process. they will allow the defense department, the agriculture department to weigh in before other scientists can weigh in and can essentially force changes which are being made by scientists for codys to be this process was done publicly. scientists from corporations come in debate these questions in public. now the defense department does not liken epa policy they can have a change in secret. we don't allow epa to change our strategy in iraq, we let the defense department to that. it is while the this is going on. the next president whoever he or she is is going to have the big problem, how to roll that back and raise the bar to the level of integrity because it is gone down so far in some of these agencies.
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>> thank you come hickham warner from toshi emma. a couple of things, i am struck that it lot of universities have centers are things that are funded by industry yet it is all not apparent when something is published under ivy league center for such and such and it gains a sense of legitimacy that is not revealed by who actually funded the study, sometimes and i don't know what is the best way to address that, and also you brought up something troubling with a lot of the journals he said were published by the industry themselves. is there a way to figure out what industries, does it say created in the association are something or the. cues that goes on in these is rigorous as of the ones because it should be-- you cannot interpret your data that way. >> you raise important points. their journals that specialize in publishing essentially what that u.s. questionable analysis.
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they are essentially run by individuals involved in trade association or consultants to big companies. they will often published articles 100 pages long. anybody who has published an article will know that pages and journal articles are precious commodities and they are sold out very carefully but some journals will publish an article about the pre-analysis of benzene studies done for the american petroleum institute. the only reason to publish a 120 page article is to say look how impressive this is. we don't have rules that cover different journals and what his forces while the leading medical journals require you to say who paid for the study and what relationship you had to the people, the regulatory agencies don't have that same requirement, so a chemical company can pay for a study in
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haven't hidden as to pays for it, they can publish it in the journal and then they can send it to epa or the safety and health administration without ever having to embellish or pay for it. >> let's go back here and then we will come up here. >> melissa goldstein. i suspect that many of these scientists perhaps most going to industry thinking that they are going to do the good fight from the inside to try to work from within. i am wondering what you think about how we can parse that could work out. i think even the one of the studies you should came up with it validated response, the chromium industry but it got squashed by the industry so i'm wondering how we confine that could work in validated? >> evin moreso most scientists-- what happens is when an industry is facing a crisis and they see it chemical has been implicated
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in harm, they will use their own scientists. they often go outside and find consultants who really are sleazy and know how to work the regulatory system so i think the most important thing though is essentially what i would call regulation by shamming. people lafta have the name on the document and there has to be a public conversation around this work. there was a very well-known professor of the university of alabama was pushed on behalf of some lincoln's in chromium sits, steady essentially showing that chromium apparently causes lung cancer and does not cause stomach cancer. it is the aaron. the series of cases. i would fail one of my students that they turned out a paper like this. is very important to talk about this and essentially point fingers. it is said to do that in you
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hate to personalize it that people should be embarrassed. i think it is very important to do. >> mark gunther from fortune magazine. if, you are do we can't trust industry science, that the government is relying on people with industry ties, how do we sort through the question of risk as either consumers or as a society? i would hate to have it left that to the today show and bill moyers to tell us what we can in can't use. >> i think we have to rebuild the government infrastructure to think about this and away the keys is scientists from universities and corporate scientists as well but in a public transparent system. we have had in the federal advisory system process for people can be asked to be on the advisory panel or speak to these panels and public, where this is debated doubt and that is the only system that is going to
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work. there's no magic number or formula that will help us away whisked and we care about risk differently if the risk involves children or future generations or irreparable environment but all that has to be discussed publicly. it cannot be done using these blackhawk models where we don't understand what went into them. it has to be done by a government that is perceived as taking care of its population and we of loss all of those things and it is up to the next administration to rebuild it. >> jordan, house of education and labor committee. ideas personally i would rather leave room making up to bill moyers than some of the people that had been handling it lately but speaking of that it is a good issue because these debates are now not being fought as a matter of just dueling regulators or dueling scientist but are also being fought
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obviously in the public inning congress. weiss cyber rather alarming example of that when the republican-- repealed the economic standards largely on the basis of calling four, there was not enough science it. people glahn understand ebony make a good point in your book that we don't need absolute certainty and if we try people will die as a result of trying. but we need to use the best available evidence. how do we get americans in general to understand that? we are in a political season, should be an issue right now. we need to get at only the americans to understand it that congress to understand it in the media to understand it. what can we do bcts a sarbanes-oxley? >> that is a tough question and i'm hoping other people can on answer that question. i think the media does play an important role in certainly in the discussions that take place around what hazards are facing the public and hazards facing
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our children drive the discussion. key look at the reforms that have occurred in the food and drug administration authorizing legislation they have all been driven by concerns about children. when children have been killed by one or another, eventually congresses we need more regulation. we don't care as much about workers unfortunately, we should but we have had a number of scandals examples in the last few years of worker exposure, uncontrolled worker exposure and i write about popcorn workers with a chemical that is kill their crippled dozens of workers and microwave popcorn factories for do we could not get osha to issue a regulation to protect those workers. we could not get even the popcorn industry to take it seriously. there was one case of the consumer, that was brought to the public's attention, and i was on-- of a sudden it became a major issue. this man has the damage lung but
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not nearly as bad as other workers and the major company has removed fisa till from the flavoring of microwave popcorn. [applause] we need to focus on workers were that is concerned because workers, they get a lot of these exposures first and this is the only way we can identify it in. we will never be able to do the studies to examine the effects of breathing chromium in populations that live near these factories. why not to go to the factories and discover what the problems are and regulate them and protect workers and the public. >> this gentleman-- did you have your hand up? these to jones almond and then we will move back to that side. >> i am with the toxicology and in our mental health information program at the national library of medicine and you did a really nice job in taking up the dirt on these places, and most of your examples are specific substances are chemicals,
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chromium, vioxx and tobacco, with well established industries. was wondering if you were privy to information about the mercenary scientists industrial complex about nanotechnology? >> i don't follow nanotechnology but there's an interesting story in the book. the building block of all these nanomaterials is carbon. there lots of indications that carbon blocking is a consent-- carcinogen that causes lung cancer. there was a couple study showing the international agency for research on cancer, which is the branch of the world health organization that categorizes carcinogens was scheduled to have a meeting to consider carbon black. thale likud pier reduce studies and they had their panel together and all of their studies ready. the weekend before the panel was about to me, overnight mail
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coming in the overnight mail, six new peer-reviewed studies the ride. they been presented to the conference a month before and peer-reviewed and two weeks which is on heard of. in the fast-track. the system, which it think is questionable and the journal was paid extra money to do it faster few showing their original studies were wrong. as a result of that perhaps the international agency for research on cancer said it was a probable carcinogen, not a definite carcinogen so it is certainly out there. if someone had access to the memos that went behind this things i would be very interested in seeing them. >> hi, first of all david congratulations on the really of standing book. my name is jim weeks. i'm with the united mine workers and others. your telling of the popcorn lung problem has its predecessor in
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the novel by upton sinclair, the jungle, who is aiming to alert people that the harsh conditions in the slaughterhouses and out came the fda. he said i aimed for the heart of america and i hit her in the stomach, so it has happened before, but the question i wanted to raise is about the precautionary principle which is an attempt to sort of change the terms of debate, given that there will be errors, to err on the side of safety rather on the side of risk. you tried, or put it another way, they have to show that something is safe rather than the sector showed is harmful. there is more to it than that obviously. you gave a passing reference to it in your book, but i wondered if you could say some more about that and what your thoughts are about just the attempt to change the terms of the debate like the book that the guide berkley
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says, don't call it in elephant, or forgot what is called. >> the precautionary principle is an interesting idea but it think it is a very blunt instrument. i think it is useful in changing the debate in to say yes we should be looking at chemicals as potentially dangerous and determining whether or not there's the but they cannot always determine allstate the ours so i think it is a piece of the debate that really what we have to do is look in each potential hazard by itself and say what is going on, what do we know? we have is the can't change the economy overnight but we have to raise these issues and say okay, here is a substance that we just don't know about it. the chemicals that are used in waterproof linings and pesticides we don't know enough about them and we assuredly should be phasing them out or reducing exposure. that is the best we can do. fortunately in europe there is great pressure in legislation now to force chemical companies to do more testing and it is
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rudimentary testing of the reach program will give us answers that we certainly is americans will benefit from greeley because we will have information that we did not have previously. what we don't have now is the mechanism. we don't have regulatory agencies that are willing to step forward and say how we limit exposure to these things? >> what do we go back to the gentleman with a blue shirt and then we will come back. >> i am with the epa, and the professionals union that the epa headquarters and i want to raise a point about academe and integrity in that then you. in 2004 jester douglas who is a professor in the harvard school of dental medicine testified before a national research council committee that was looking at epa's drinking water standard for flory, saying that he had found no connection between water fluoridation and
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osteosarcoma. is it turned out, some diligent members of that nrc committee went back in found a dissertation on which mr. douglas' signature appears finding the opposite. in fact one of his doctoral students dissertation found a sevenfold increase in osteosarcoma risk in young boys in the preadolescent growth spurt basic they had been drinking fluoridated drinking water. a complaint was raised about professor douglas' testimony in harvard investigated this. finding that he did not "intentionally and "commit a scientific misconduct, but harvard has sequestered all the documentation of ground that investigation. and come up jester douglas was taking money from colgate for many years in contributed millions of dollars to harbored
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so there are issues to be dealt with baronette in u.s. well. >> let's go back to the gentleman in the far back and then the lady here and we will come back to the front. >> i had the good fortune of having read your book. you are to be graduated and your mother should be very proud. this is a follow-up question but the vioxx study appeared in the new england journal of medicine a lot of the science is great. sciences been a contested terrain. you in the book, think you focus mustin your attention on the egregious cases where there really are scientists for hire, but indicatory assigns a lot of it really is, is it going to be eight parts per million or seven parts per million and scientists, lobbyists ago for the higher standard and then
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some your government funded or well maybe push for more lower standards, and it becomes a sort of contested terrain and if doud is there, sort of in the science and you can't come it is not clearcut that it is sort of the signs for hizer that you are looking at, so my question becomes you have a couple of paragraphs at the end of the book we talk about sarbanes-oxley for science were you raised the possibility of government funded science or a you know, maybe a user fee system as actually being the more ideal way of determining where the tories sites and the kind of comment that you have commented on here today. can you think of good reasons why this would be good for industry to go that path? >> well, i think certainly with-- as the level of skepticism in the american public around industry's science rises i think industry will want it signs. we certainly see whenever there's a crisis industry once regulation. the best example is in the toy
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industry wanted nothing to do with the consumer product safety commission until they lead toys from china started arriving. then they said please, we need your stamp of approval. the drug companies facing a lot of skepticism. right now we of the system where drug companies pay for clinical trials. they don't even give the interpretations to the fda. they give the rod dated to the fda said the fda can analyze it for themselves because the fda does the interpretations done by drug companies are not of interest to them but their problems with the rod data. there been a number of scandals were physician seven roll patient's essentially to look away when they are sending in results. within of turmoil, it would think industry would want this. the model is not a bad model. it is bureaucratic and-- when the company once a drug tested
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or chemical tested they say the agency will say this is what it will cost you and the agency will find independent scientists to do the studies. that is a big step toward but certainly it is a discussion we are having now that ten years ago would be unthinkable and there been a number of editorials in leading medical journals calling for this because the editors are so furious about essentially what they see as being lauded to buy the drug companies. as the scandals continue i could see how there would be some industry acquiescence especially in the drug industry where you do want the best information and companies don't want to be essentially labeled as being bad actors. >> one more question back here and in the book come back to the front. >> i was just wondering if he could speak briefly about the media as a filter between the
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scientific amenity in the public and more specifically how we can promote better review, objective review of these studies? >> that is a great question in the media certainly is a filter. that is the most americans get their information coming directly from prints come t.d. or indirectly other people pick it up in print or tv and repeated to their friends. one thing that we have seen was true until recently is most journalists who looked at the rick-- especially controversy as a must be two sides to the stories so they would get, there was a new chemical identified to be hazardous or the studies about global warming been the best examples, reporters that felt the need to get the opposite opinion and on one hand, the approach has been criticized especially think the best examples around global warming. there is a small number of the industry paid skeptics deniers,
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who we see saying no is not true and they have no credibility in the science community but reporters don't understand that. now reporters so that they do ethical net one of these global warming deniers that will say, this is an exxonmobil funded scientists to is the training or something like that, so they understand it. so people discounted and that is important i think we should be raising this with reporters. there are two sites this story or there's another side, u.s. side has a strong vested interest in promoting their position. if you are going to present that you have to present this information as well. they have done a great job in calling newspapers to task when they don't do this and i think they are getting the message. that is a very important reminder we have to give to reporters when we talk to them. >> one last question right appear.
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>> thanks freer great presentation. i am with an ocean conservation group here in d.c.. you mentioned the issue of our children as being the driving force in encouraging regulation or litigation. would you comment on the recent controversy over-- and i was sort of cheered by how the news coverage of exposure to that chemical was raised as a really, really harmful issue and how the press really drove regulation and businesses dropping bisphenol a and plastic products and canalizing san childrens toys and teeters andel samir gary. mercury does not ever seen to go away either in terms of the problems of exposure through fish and other sources, so if
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you could comment for example on the controversy with regulation with this venal a and also mercury. >> it is a fascinating subject to look at how the scientists develop. this is a chemical that may or may not cause-- it is not well study. we don't know how to study it yet. but it is the chemical were all exposed to the ports of more than 90% of musab bisphenol a macanack audit because the centers of disease control has the monitored program and it is seen in everyone's here in. we don't know how we are exposed to it although this and all these bottles and our babies are exposed to some allen perhaps it is leaching in from the bottles or had until recently, abyss colonol a. their hundreds of studies on bisphenol a and you can show that it causes harm in animals or doesn't. so the discussion is not so much does it cause harm in animals but which animals this a cause
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harm in and what is important terms of extrapolating debt to humans. industry is paid for a number of studies that show no effect and it paid for a number of exercises were the scientists say, there's no effect. there been a couple of federally funded attempts to do that which have mix risible saltzburg guo some scientists have concluded there could be something and someone said there aren't but this gets back to the precautionary principle, this is the chemical dunedin given that the can't show it to save and there are hundreds of studies and of the studies paid for by government them by researchers at universities 90% of them show an effect on the evidence at very low doses. so, if you think that the studies works drapeau-- who is she get of the chemical. obviously industry which is a multibillion-dollar industry would prefer not to extrapolate and only the studies that don't
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show and effects of this is what the debate is over. the most recent report a draft report by the national institution for environmental health, the national toxicology program is said we are not sure. is possible there are effects and that was enough to drive the market because the big vendors that we are going to pull it out of our baby bottles. what is interesting to me though is this does not solve the problem. the market cannot solve the problems. walmart and target may stop selling these but i will bet anyone here $20 that the dollar store will keep selling those products, adjusted they kept selling the tainted candy and toys from china so kidcare about protecting people this is something we cannot let the market be this response. the government has to make the decision. thank you all very much. [applause] >> david michaels treks the project unscientific knowledge and public policy at the george
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washington university's school of public health and health services. it was formerly assistant secretary of energy from environment, sabian held during the clinton administration. in 2006 to receive the american association for the gantman of sciences, scientific freedom and responsibility award. this event is hosted by the center for american progress. for more information visit american progress done or.
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author michael meyer profiles beijing's transforming residential landscape. according to the other come in the old neighborhoods, the collection of interconnected core yards are being raised at an average of 600 per year. the asia society in new york city hosted this event. it is an hour and 15 minutes. >> good evening everyone, thank you for coming. it is a long way from the hutong to park avenue, but i will do my best here to explain a little bit about the book that the airport and also what is happening in beijing both prior to the olympics and what has been happening since. i'm going to show you 50 photographs. many of them were taken by national geographic, of the neighborhood. it will go with it quickly and i will touch on a number of topics. it will take 45 minutes and then i will open it up, talk to
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orville annabelle tamir questions as well. that ms. c5 got my technology right here. no, i don't. i never intended to go to china. i should start with that in the beginning as we look at this map of old beijing. i grew up in minnesota in an area that was not even a suburb. it was all corn forms around this. when i went to the university of wisconsin in madison and i was calling to be a spanish teacher. in 19-- i eighth joined the piece corps because i thought i could go do let america with the peace corps but i put in my application and they called vectoring my student teaching and they said we want to send you tishri locka y said ayman spanish speaker, i don't really want to go the sri lanka. they said we will call you back. they call back in said how about malawi? nellius in africa and they don't speak spanish. they called back


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