A word from a toxicologist who defected from the federal junk science army
Last week, I discovered Frank Schnell when he wrote a comment on formaldehyde and said it was not a cancer-causing agent and that the EPA had lied about it. His comment was on an American Council on Science and Health posting by Josh Bloom, Ph.D. (organic chemistry), with a 20-year history of pharmaceutical research. Bloom busied himself in the post eviscerating a scare-monger on formaldehyde from the enviro-fanatic group National Resources Defense Council, and did a good job, but in the third or fourth comment, I saw a gem – a brief but insightful discussion by a man who described himself as a Ph.D. toxicologist retired from the Communicable Disease Center – Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) for 20 years.
Katy, bar the door.
In his comment 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.
I thought, This is like Whittaker Chambers exposing the ugly underbelly of commie infiltration of the American government, because not only was Schnell a Ph.D. toxicologist, but he knew how to explain how the EPA and other federal agencies promulgate junk science. I told Bloom I needed more from this man, and he asked for a more fleshed out discussion from Dr. Schnell on EPA misconduct. I was not disappointed.
I have a modest archive here at American Thinker that includes essays on EPA misconduct. Steve Milloy, proprietor of JunkScience.com, and I have written some articles on the same subject together for AT. We focus on EPA cheating on air pollution research but also human experimentation with air pollutants.
All of our efforts are intended to show that EPA sponsors scare-monger scientists who promote the idea that small particle and other air pollutants are deadly when they are not. We have written a number of essays about how the EPA cheats on science and creates false scares. Here is a guy who can confirm the nature of the deceit that we saw and understood from the outside, and he knows the how and why and even the motives. What a find.
Read this wonderful man's explanation in multiple articles that I admire and applaud from his ACSH archive, 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.
Dr. Schnell is a man after my heart. He explains the way junk scientists can make anything a toxin or a carcinogen if they try hard enough, and he even gets into the unfortunately little known area of hormesis, where another colleague, Dr. Ed Calabrese, reigns supreme. Dr. Schnell is up to speed on hormesis and discusses the importance of dose and how all chemicals, toxics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, have to be evaluated based on effects at various dosages or exposures and how sometimes even notorious toxins can be beneficial at low ranges. At excess exposures above threshold for toxicity, most substances – even benign ones, and certainly toxic ones – can overwhelm a host and cause toxic effects or death.
As a physician, I always remind people that there is a sweet spot for all therapeutic drugs. Well, Schnell talks about sweet spots and more.
He fought the good fight for scientific integrity in the government but was harassed and marginalized by the agency leftists. See why and how they lie and cheat to scare the public.
I think that what he has to tell us is incredibly important – beginning with his first sentence in the essay he wrote as a bounce off his comment about the formaldehyde article by Bloom.
Dr. Schnell says, "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 his writings how an agency can 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 I sure would like to see what he could do to the EPA crackpots and their supporters in Congress at a few hearings on the Hill before a House or Senate committee chaired by someone with good sense who is well prepared and doesn't allow the deceit and obfuscation we see too often from the agency apparatchiks.