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The ultimate powers altering science to their standards   PDF  Print  E-mail 
Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Written by: Susan Roberts



San Francisco, CA - Devious defense ?experts? and ruthless lawyers around the country often term plaintiffs who suffer from pathogenic mold as opportunists and the evidence, although quite well researched, call it ?junk science.? 


Sounding almost like a broken record, these dubious characters who are posting this ?junk science? hogwash campaign on their websites and in courtrooms as if it were a new trend, but the public doesn't seem to be buying in to it anymore. Sometimes, even inept journalists echo these words as they try to play the role of scientific ?intellect? in hopes of salvaging an exhausted occupation. But as you will see, just as incompetent builders have learned in this industry, cutting corners never pays off in the end.


In the past, this somewhat brainwashed society, but with the recent hurricanes and floods, and the fact that so many people have been denied insurance benefits when they file a claim, the public has become less ignorant.  The catch phrase, ?junk science,? has lost its effectiveness and the insurance and building bullies (among the other usual suspects) are coming up with new tactics to stack the deck of a falling house of cards. 


This has been quite obvious down in New Orleans as many so called experts contradict modern medical science and claim that mold is not hazardous.  But the ?junk science? campaign was the launching pad that started the ignorance in the first place. 


If defense ?experts? hadn?t used this term in high profile environmental cases the public would know the truth.  The term ?junk science? has a catchy title, and even sounds familiar.  That?s because it has been used before by the same "expert" defense witnesses, many of whom have had no experience treating patients with such disease, just non-related PhD's that probably failed in their given trades, or became easily led astray by the greed of selling out their ethics and values.


The history of the term ?junk science?


Philip Morris Tobacco Company launched a hidden campaign in the 1990s to change the standards of scientific proof needed to demonstrate that secondhand smoke was dangerous, according to an analysis of internal tobacco industry documents by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).


The tobacco industry strategy involved calling for "sound science," while rejecting so-called "junk science" on secondhand smoke that actually threatened the industry's business interests. Essentially, Philip Morris appropriated the "sound science" concept to shape the standards of epidemiology and to prevent increased smoking restrictions, the authors state.


"Phillip Morris has gone beyond 'creating doubt' and 'controversy' about the scientific evidence to attempting to change the scientific standards of proof," they write. The standards they promoted through a variety of industry groups would have made proving the hazards of secondhand smoke virtually impossible, according to the study.


Working through lawyers and public relations firms, Philip Morris sought to organize other industries to participate in the "sound science" movement, masking its own involvement. If you have been reading this website, there is plenty of evidence of a very familiar scenario involving fungal exposure.  It sounds just like a broken record.


It also hired public relations and marketing firms to help form The Advancement for Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), developed to look like a grassroots organization of scientists and policymakers. Phillip Morris hoped TASSC would seem like an independent body rejecting evidence that secondhand smoke caused significant lung cancer and heart disease risk, according to the analysis of the documents. This sounds very familiar to fungal exposure in many repects, but of course, many would like you to think this is all "junk science."


In Europe, where secondhand smoke restrictions had not yet been fully put in place (in every country), Philip Morris promoted a set of standards originally proposed by the Chemical Manufacturers Association called "Good Epidemiology Practices." By modifying the proposal and developing new opportunities to introduce it, Philip Morris sought to establish an arbitrary threshold for identifying health risk from secondhand smoke -- a threshold higher than what scientists had found for secondhand smoke.


The proposal would have revoked conclusions that an environmental toxin such as secondhand smoke was a public health problem. This effort was particularly focused on undermining a large European epidemiologic study of passive smoking and lung cancer being conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at the time, the researchers found.


Between 1994 and 2000, seemingly independent seminars involving other industries and issues on the so-called "Good Epidemiology Practices" (GEP) were conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and China. Philip Morris was connected to all of these events, the documents show. The same marketing campaign has been done with fungal exposure.


Next time you hear anyone use mold and ?junk science? in the same sentence, think about who began the original ?junk science? campaign and you then you may realize how deadly fungal exposure really is, that is if there really are any skeptics out there anymore.


Last Updated (Monday, 26 December 2005)

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