How Government Researchers Hijack Science for Political Purposes
In 2016 I discovered and wrote about Dr. Frank Schnell, career government employee toxicologist, when he asserted that formaldehyde was not a cancer-causing agent - and that the EPA had lied about it. I saw a gem, a Ph.D. toxicologist retired from the Communicable Disease Center – Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) after 20 years of professional work there, ready to reveal government scientific misconduct on matters of designating toxins and carcinogens. On the formaldehyde issues, Schnell displayed his expertise and his knowledge of EPA misconduct as a view from the belly of the beast. He outlined the science misconduct directed by the EPA and its agency allies, supported by fanatic environmentalists inside and outside the government.
Read this wonderful man's explanation in multiple articles that I admire and applaud from his ACSH archive (link repired), but also look at his archive at Science 2.0. For those who are interested in the politics, he is lucid; for those who are interested in getting into the scientific weeds, he is plenty smart and easy to understand.
In an important new essay, a very expansive and informative document, Dr. Schnell explains the way junk scientists working for a government agency agenda can make anything a toxin or a carcinogen.
"In the last 15 years, EPA has invented three bogus human carcinogens (chemicals that cause cancer), all for political reasons or with a political not a scientific basis. The Carcinogens invented were, dioxin, because of the anti-Vietnam War crusade, formaldehyde because of the hysterical reaction to the 'toxic' trailer homes for the refugees of Katrina, and the last one, trichloroethylene, because of the noise about the contamination of water at Camp Lejeune."
None of these three chemicals passed any real scientific tests for proof of carcinogenicity, but politics is more important than science at the EPA. The complaints and scares were typical of these enviro-scares and the wheelchair brigades that form, encouraged by lawyers and enviro-advocates. Gulf War Syndrome was another example of a politically-motivated toxin story.
Dr. Schnell explains in this new and very expanded essay/monograph how federal agencies highjack science for political purposes. In this post-modern political environment, where the truth is not important and political points made are, is that such a surprise?
Please read the insightful and eloquent explanations of Dr. Schnell that deal with not only the scandals mentioned above, but how EPA research in epidemiology (study of populations) and toxicology (study of harmful substances) is poisoned by politics.
Dr. Schnell is an important find, and this paper is a marvelous effort to expose the misconduct of federally financed toxicologists, and their helpers in epidemiology and public policy making.
I would surely enjoy an opportunity to see Dr. Schnell expose these miscreant government crackpot scientists and their fanatic supporters, but I will happily trade that opportunity for a serious effort by others to make Dr. Schnell’s observations and assertions force some serious efforts to demand reliable science in the interests of public policy making.
Dr. Schnell explains in the paper linked above some of the tricks of the deceivers:
The Flint Michigan lead in water non-crisis:
“Funny Numbers” are NOT Thresholds of EFFECT: Flint, Michigan
Dr. Schnell in his paper shows how the public was fooled into believing that the incidence of drinking water-related cases of lead poisoning reached crisis proportions at Flint, Michigan after a 2014 switch to a new water source. If one decides that even lower “funny numbers” about hazardous levels of exposure are required to “keep the fear alive,” then it becomes necessary to abandon altogether the concept of adverse health effects caused by chemical exposure and replace it with something more subtle.
Dr. Schnell makes a good case for the problem of politicized science that creates even the most ridiculous of health scares, and he asserts the climate change/global warming scare is equally nonscientific and political:
Thus, “true believers” in the purely political belief system known as [anthropogenic] “climate change” are completely unaware of following facts:
(1) Levels of CO2 and other so-called “greenhouse gasses” do NOT control the climate & CANNOT cause catastrophic global warming;
(2) We are all now living in the Pleistocene ICE AGE, albeit just past the peak of the current, relatively balmy, interglacial period which will inevitably give way to the next glacial phase;
(3) The Earth has been cooling for most of the last 55 million years and Antarctica, which froze over 40 million years ago, will remain frozen for millions more, i.e., until the end of the current ice age; and
4) The last time that BOTH average temperatures and CO2 levels were as LOW as they have been in the Pleistocene ice age was 300 MILLION years ago during another ice age, the Permo-Carboniferous.
Science will eventually recover from this sad period of history, just as it eventually recovered from the scientifically bankrupt ideas of T. D. Lysenko in Stalinist Russia. But, between now and then, the politicization of science in much of the civilized world can still do incalculable harm to all the peoples of the Earth.
John Dale Dunn is a physician and inactive attorney in Brownwood, Texas.