William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Showdown At The National Academy of Sciences Corral

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I’ve been asked by pals to promote this event, which happens today. This is a repost from this site.

Steve Milloy, Dr. John Dunn & and Dr. Stan Young versus EPA before the National Academy of Sciences over EPA’s illegal human experiments.August 24 at 1pm ET via webinar. You can listen in. Instructions below.

Summary of Event

EPA secretly hired the National of Sciences (NAS) to whitewash its program of illegal human experimentation. When Milloy learned of the EPA’s plans, Milloy exposed them and compelled the NAS to re-open the virtually concluded process and have a public meeting, which will take place on Aug. 24 at 1pm ET. A more detailed explanation is in Milloy’s July 24 commentary in the Washington Times (also reprinted below).

What Will Happen at the NAS Meeting?

Steve Milloy, MHS, JD, LLM, John Dunn, MD, JD and Stan Young, PhD will each make a 30-minute presentation to the NAS Committee about the EPA human experiments. This will all be new, incriminating-to-EPA information that the NAS Committee has never heard before.

How Can You Listen to the Meeting?

The NAS web page for the meeting is here. The meeting is August 24 at 1pm ET. It will be held by webinar so everyone can listen in and even ask questions or make comments. Listening or participating in the webinar requires that you download/install WebEx software. It’s very easy to do. Please contact Orin Luke at the NAS (oluke@nas.edu) and he will set you up.

If you have questions or are media and want to contact me, please do so here.

The EPA’s secret whitewash: The agency enlists an elite group of scientists to rubber stamp illegal experiments

By Steve Milloy

July 24, 2016, Washington Times

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to use the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to cover-up the agency’s illegal science experiments on humans.

Four years ago I broke the story in this paper that the EPA was conducting illegal toxicity experiments on human beings. In short, the EPA intentionally exposed hundreds of humans in a gas chamber to exceedingly high levels of air pollutants like diesel exhaust, soot and smog in hopes of causing serious health effects that the agency could point to as justification for its costly and stringent outdoor air quality standards. Study subjects included the elderly (up to age 80), asthmatics, diabetics and people with heart disease — the very people EPA claims are most susceptible to air pollution. EPA failed to tell these study subjects it believed the experiments could cause death.

The experiments were fundamentally unethical and illegal as federal law prohibits treating humans as guinea pigs, especially for the mere purpose of advancing an agency’s regulatory agenda. Extra illegality was added by the agency’s failure to inform its human guinea pigs that it believed the experiments could kill them.

After a series of articles in this paper, Freedom of Information Act requests and a federal lawsuit, Congress got involved by asking the EPA inspector general to review the allegations. The EPA inspector general eventually issued a March 2014 report in which it confirmed my allegations, including that the EPA had failed to inform the study subjects that EPA believed the experiments might kill them.

Fast forward to this summer when I received a startling tip from a source that the National Academy of Sciences had undertaken a review of the EPA’s human experiments. As it turns out, however, the NAS process isn’t really a review — it’s an EPA-instigated effort to whitewash EPA’s illegal conduct. Worse, the whitewash has been conducted, like the EPA’s experiments, pretty much in secret.

The EPA was undoubtedly stung by the inspector general report that produced major media headlines such as the Associated Press’ “EPA Fails to Disclose Risks in Human Tests” and The New York Times’ “EPA Faulted for Failure to Report Risks. To erase its wrongdoing, the EPA went the only place where it could control the outcome, the NAS.

Established in 1863 to advance science in America, the NAS has become a prestigious honorary membership group for America’s elite scientists. While the NAS and its membership aren’t directly for hire, the NAS operates an affiliate called the National Research Council (NRC) that is. The NRC gets itself hired by federal agencies in need of independent- and authoritative-appearing reports. So that’s what EPA did. It commissioned the National Research Council to review and paper over its illegal human experiments — in secret.

As the person who instigated the EPA inspector general’s report and is most familiar with EPA’s human experiment skullduggery, I only inadvertently learned of the NAS review in June 2016, more than one year after the NAS committee’s first meeting on June 1, 2015 and about two months after the committee’s fifth and last meeting in April 2016. Of the five committee meetings, only one, the first, is now described by the NAS as open to the public. But it really wasn’t.

There was no public announcement of the June 1, 2015 meeting and the only party to supply the committee with information at the meeting was the EPA. The June 1, 2015 meeting isn’t even listed in the NAS’ daily calendar for that date. When I asked the NAS staff about the lack of notice, I was told that there was notice on the committee’s web page. But of course, there had been no notice that the committee had been formed in the first place, so how would anyone know to check its web page?

I was able to obtain the materials made available to the committee by the EPA. None of these materials provide any context to the committee concerning the origins of the inspector general report or the context of the EPA human testing scandal. The material in the public docket is both incomplete and much of what’s there is misleading. Even assuming that committee members are acting in good faith, they are certainly acting in the dark.

When I found out about the committee, I contacted NAS staff and was told the committee was already working on its final report. But I was welcome to submit comments to the docket, which I hurriedly did. But I also asked for something else — for the opportunity to make a presentation to the committee. The controversy surrounding EPA’s experiments is complex and summary words appended to the docket just don’t do it justice. I have also written to all committee members asking for the opportunity to make a presentation. But as of yet, I have not even received an acknowledgment of my request.

But I have heard from a reliable source close to the NAS committee that the “fix is in” and EPA is likely to get the clean bill of health for which it is paying.

Now I have dealt with the EPA for over 25 years. As detailed on this page many times, I have come not to expect good faith or honesty from the agency. The NAS on the other hand is a different matter.

The NAS holds itself out as “nation’s pre-eminent source of high-quality, objective advice on science, engineering, and health matters.” If that is true, the NAS is certainly doing itself and its elite membership no favors by being paid to conduct a secret and ill-informed whitewashing of EPA’s illegal conduct.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is a senior legal fellow at the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute.

13 Comments

  1. I admire his tenacity, but liberals only care about power, which they hold all of at the moment, so I don’t expect any changes. The EPA will continue to use people who cannot or will not argue with being paid for inhumane experiments just as they always have.

    Is it a coincidence that last night on PBS there was a program on escaping from Nazi concentration camps (aka human live crematoriums). It was interesting that the Nazis told the Jews they were “being relocated” when they brought them in. Wonder if that is to be the fate of the “climate refugees” being relocated by the government? Nah, I foresee a drowning accident—a large one.

    (JMJ and his ilk—I hear he has one now) Nazi’s did this. Please don’t engage in your idiot flights of fantasy about anyone else being responsible, lest I be forced to concoct equally absurd stories about progressives and the human butcher of my choice.)

  2. Michael Fumento has criticized the EPA repeatedly.
    http://fumento.com/epa/eparules.html.

  3. The Inspector General Report on the experiments is at:

    http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/20140331-14-p-0154.pdf

    Seems to me the issue isn’t the EPA, or a NAS independent assessment [much less cover-up] on behalf of EPA — its that the governing regulations may warrant a few improvements — identifying what those improvements are [what additional constraints should be imposed on this and other govt entities] should be the focus.

    Consider some hi-lites from the EPA’s Inspector General report (perhaps not a truly objective assessment):

    “The EPA followed applicable regulations when it exposed 81 human study subjects to concentrated airborne particles or diesel exhaust emissions in five EPA studies conducted during 2010 and 2011. However, we identified improvements that could be made to EPA’s policies and guidance to enhance protection of study subjects.”

    “The EPA obtained informed consent from the 81 human study subjects before exposing them to pollutants. While the consent forms met the requirements of 40 CFR Part 26, …”

    “…we found that exposure risks were not always consistently represented. Further, the EPA did not include information on long-term cancer risks in its diesel exhaust studies’ consent forms.”

    “The EPA addressed six adverse events during its studies, reported them to the IRB, and provided clinical follow-up after the events. While the clinical follow-up appeared to be reasonable, …”

    “…the EPA’s policies, guidance and consent forms do not establish the EPA’s clinical follow-up responsibilities.”

    SO, there you have it:

    – EPA complied with applicable regulations in the conduct of the study — including maintaining compliance with ‘informed consent’ requirements

    – However, some EPA policies, and perhaps the overarching regulatory criteria, have room for improvement

    If compliance with the applicable law is insufficient, the law needs to be changed to ensure sufficiency.

    The kind of thinking implicit in this post — that EPA should have done more/better above & beyond the regulatory mandates — is effectively advocating that if/where the governing regulations are lacking those Federal Agencies should do what’s “right & proper” (or call it what one will).

    Is that really what we want?!!?! For them to decide what values are ‘best’ and exercise powers of unchecked initiative from there!?!?!!!!!

    Eeegads. There’s no telling what kind of values some politician-appointed fruitcake might hold and then be empowered to impose if we hold them to a standard that amounts to ‘where the regulations constraining you are lacking, do what you think is best’ … some future power-that-be might conclude that the “greater good” is the value that matters and that warrants withholding significant information, not providing more (i.e. undermining ‘informed consent’ is meritorious relative to the “greater good”). Expecting a government entity to decide what’s right/best without objective criteria is ‘putting the fox in charge of the hen house.’

    True “conservative” principles are, in general, to reign in any Federal entity (already effectively divorced from any real Congressional oversight) by limiting its power to exercise initiative — not empower it to some nebulous standard of concocting rules it thinks, at the time, are ‘good’ … to make it up as they go along. No telling what some politician-appointed-fruitcake might think is best…

    IF EPA followed the rules and in so-doing acted in a disreputable manner, ensuring the rules constraining EPA (and other govt agencies) are improved to ensure they’re further constrained to be forced to do less harm is the answer — not claiming they ought to have exercised a power they don’t have to have done things better … much less claiming that some ally (NAS) agrees with what they did when that ally should disagree — that does nothing to fix the underlying problem.

  4. Ken: I’m waiting for your defense of Hitler. Can’t be far away, considering you have defended the EPA, bad science, and pretty much everything that is opposite to what is expressed on this blog. I can’t tell if you’re genuinely that pro everything other than Briggs or you’re playing Devil’s Advocate just to annoy people. Anyway, I’m ready for the Hitler defense. Bring it on.

  5. omg 😐

    So, some pro-pollution guys are complaining that the EPA was committing some crime against humanity by exposing people to small doses of the same pollution those guys support releasing.

    Irony and ethics always lost on conservatives.

    JMJ

  6. So, some pro-pollution guys are complaining that the EPA w

    The EPA is the most pro-pollution organization in the world. It’s their bread and butter. Without it, they would cease to exist. So they tend to make things up or exaggerate; seeing questionable pollution everywhere This is the organization which banned DDT (likely the safest pesticide ever outside of mint oils) just to show they can.

    These experiments are interesting. They either didn’t know the effects of the things they exposed the test subjects to or they did which makes one wonder the reason for the experiments.

  7. JMJ: Apparently reality is lost on progressives.

  8. JMJ: Thank you for confirming that progressives care nothing about real people, only ideals and then only those that they agree with. They are not in favor of actually protecting people or helping them, nor are they in favor of free speech if it contradicts their beliefs. The entire episode was ironic, since the EPA apparently says ZERO tolerance of these “pollutants” exists and ANY exposure harms people—ie, the EPA harmed people using the very pollutants they want outlawed at zero tolerance. Yet, somehow, the brilliant JMJ missed that irony.

  9. Sheri,

    I agree with your comment and am loath to offer a correction, but “ideals,” I think, are generally positive principles that one pursues as ethical goals. since progressives have no ethics and operate on the principle of the ends justify the means, I think the appropriate term is ideology.

  10. Phil R: I’d agree that ideology is much more appropriate.

  11. Sheri, by Milloy’s own standard nothing wrong was done to these people at all.

    JMJ

  12. JMJ: We’re going by the EPA standard. They’re the appointed rulers of the pollution universe and they violated their own rules. So unless you are indeed arguing progressive rulers can do whatever they want and the rules apply only to others, not the ruling class, then the agency should be prosecuted. Now, if you are arguing that the ruling class is exempt from it’s rules, then we are in definite agreement about the progressive ideology. You’ve also explained Hillary, Bill and a multitude of others. Usually, it’s those nasty conservative making the claim and progressives just ignoring the claim (I shall refrain from speculating as to why.) It’s refreshing to see a progressive that might admit rules only apply to the peons and the poor and downtrodden, while the wealthy rulers are exempt.

  13. I think JMJ is complaining that conservative C somehow sees something wrong in A shooting B with a weapon that only C knows contains blanks. Is that right, Jersey?

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