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It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Corruption in science part 2-the White house

After the If you were interested in my last post on corruption in science, please, check the comment I made that develop further the story with tobacco industry financing Universities and particularly one contract (Virginia Commonwealth's University and Philip Morris) that states the company should approve any research that is being published on the issue and the University shouldn't discuss the contract even if asked. Very independent, huh?
Not moving on.
In today's news you can see how the White House understands the idea of independent science. Interesting, right? Not for a first time, the White House ignores an advice from the experts for no good reason. Or ok, a mistake, for obviously good enough reason, just not very clear one.
So what is corruption and are we ready to fight it? Corruption for me is the opposite of rationality. Rationality offers the best set of decisions for everyone. Corruption provides the best solutions but only to the few in suitable position. All the rest are suffering. Even those in positions will ultimately suffer, because Earth is so deeply interconnected. But because corruption isn't rational, they won't know it before a whole new wave of events has set off and problems get harder to solve. But that's not a problem because the damage is usually indirect and those few people on top never know where it's coming from.
Should we just watch and pick our noses? I don't think so.

White House ignored air quality advice

For many researchers, the Bush administration will be best remembered for the way it has manipulated scientific advice for political ends. The latest evidence of this tactic is a controversial proposal to change the way US air-quality standards are set, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in Washington DC.

When the Environmental Protection Agency said last week that it would beef up air-quality controls by cutting ground-level ozone limits from 80 parts per billion to 75 ppb, it seemed like good news. Ozone can trigger respiratory problems and heart attacks. The new rules should save lives and, by cutting pressure on hospitals, might create financial benefits that outweigh the cost of implementing the changes.

However, around a year ago the EPA's own scientific advisers told the agency that there was "overwhelming" evidence that an even tighter limit of 70 ppb would save thousands more lives. The decision to ignore that advice has angered public-health groups.

Now worse may be to come. The administration wants to reform the process for setting air-quality standards and may allow political appointees to help draft the advisory reports, a job that is currently in the hands of researchers. The UCS fears this will allow the White House to suppress this kind of independent scientific advice in future.

"The interference in science has been a consistent theme of this administration for many years now," says Tim Donaghy of the UCS. "The administration has changed the rules along the way so that, when the next administration gets into office, the role science plays in setting regulations will be greatly diminished." source

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