Mad Cow 'Firewalls' Just a Smokescreen
Writing on the Center for American Progress website, Tom McGarity observes that seven months into the discovery of Mad Cow disease in a Washington state cattle herd, it's time for the Bush Department of Agriculture to have a comprehensive plan. But the so-called "firewalls" it touts are more about public relations than food safety.
Author(s): Thomas McGarity
Try Not to Breathe!
Writing on AlterNet, Catherine O'Neill observes that " Scant attention has been given to the Bush administration's embrace of risk avoidance as the supposed 'solution' to public health hazards and environmental contamination." She makes the case that the burden to avoid unhealthy exposure to pollution should not fall on individuals, but rather on polluters -- but someone needs to explain that to the Bush administration.
Author(s): Catherine O'Neill
Political Intervention: The White House Doctors Mercury Conclusions
Materials on the Environmental Protection Agency's Web site – buried deep inside hundreds of pages of internal documents – reveal the extent to which the White House was willing to override expert scientific conclusions to justify a weak proposal to control mercury emissions from power plants. Federal agencies are required to obtain approval for all major regulatory proposals from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (led by the president's regulatory czar John Graham) within the White House Office of Management and Budget. In flyspecking EPA's mercury proposal, OMB economists and White House officials systematically downplayed scientific conclusions that methyl-mercury exposure causes brain damage in children.
Author(s): Rena Steinzor, Lisa Heinzerling
A Perfect Storm: Mercury and the Bush Administration
For the Bush administration, mercury contamination is the regulatory equivalent of the perfect storm. Four separate fields - science, law, economics, and justice - have combined to demand strict and timely controls on the intolerable hazards mercury poses for public health and the environment. While many expected the Bush administration to search for escape routes that favor its friends in the chemical and energy industries - which produce the lion's share of mercury - none were prepared for its headlong plunge into the tallest waves. Just as the doomed fishermen of the Andrea Gail sailed into the storm despite clear warnings, the administration is likewise proceeding with business as usual. This means no requirements for industrial plants to reduce pollution at the smokestack and no expectation that the oldest, dirtiest plants install modern pollution controls. Meanwhile, the clear and present danger posed by mercury is being ignored.
Author(s): Lisa Heinzerling, Rena Steinzor
Talk till cows come home, but beef safety takes action
Data Quality Or Scientific Censorship?
Data Quality Or Scientific Censorship?, op-ed by John Applegate, Don Hornstein, Thomas O. McGarity, Sid Shapiro, RenaSteinzor, and Wendy Wagner, published in Risk Policy Report
Author(s): Donald Hornstein, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro, Rena Steinzor, Wendy Wagner