News Recap For 10-9-2020
Forbes: Is America Finally Ready To Become A Scientific Nation? — Forbes contributor Ethan Siegel lays out what he believes are the four pillars to putting scientific America back on the right track:”We can imagine a society where legitimate expertise was valued, and where all claims were subject to the scrutiny of the scientific consensus. We can envision a society where charlatans and snake-oil salespersons were exposed as frauds rather than lauded as celebrity gurus. And we can create an environment where it’s safe to go about our daily lives without a legitimate fear that those we come into contact with will infect us with a routinely preventable disease. We can trade an illusory and fallacious idea of what “freedom” is for actual freedom: the freedom to go about our lives knowing that doing so won’t put our lives at unnecessary risk.”
MLive: Nessel, AGs urge Congress to keep tough PFAS language in defense bill — Attorneys general from 18 states are urging congressional leaders to advance legislation that would force the U.S. Department of Defense to comply with state PFAS regulations. State standards, like those set in Michigan, are lower than a federal advisory level the military is using as a site remediation threshold around the country.
Competitive Enterprise Institute: EPA Chooses Scientific Approach on Chlorpyrifos: Supports Transparency, Rejects Junk Science — In a recently released draft risk assessment for the pesticide chlorpyrifos, the EPA determined that it would exclude some highly controversial research conducted at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) because the center has refused to release the underlying data. Some environmentalist groups are crying foul, but the EPA maintains that transparency on behalf of the CCCEH is necessary for researchers to reproduce the result to determine if a study has any weight.
MarketWatch: Leading NY Landscaping Company Eliminates Glyphosate Use — Alternative Earthcare, a leading landscaping company in New York, announced it will stop using glyphosate-based herbicides on its customer properties. The company has partnered with EcoMIGHT, a leading provider of naturally organic weed and pest control products to serve its clients moving into the future. As the number of plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against Bayer, a major manufacturer of glyphosate-based herbicides, tops 150,000, companies like Alternative Earthcare are looking for ways to insulate themselves from future litigation.
American Council on Science and Health: The Slow Suicide Of American Science — One scientist has identified trial lawyers (among other things) as an “existential threat” to American science. He argues: “Like vultures hunting for a carcass on a desert highway, trial lawyers lurk in the background, swooping down to win jackpot verdicts against large firms. The pattern is always the same: Activists blame chemical X for causing disease Y, usually based on very flimsy evidence, and then lawyers sue the largest multi-billion-dollar company they can find in the hope of making it rain money… Worse, trial lawyers undermine the integrity of science by pitting one scientist against another. Usually, one of them is correct and endorses the scientific consensus, while the other is spouting nonsense. This gives juries and judges (and the public) the impression that scientific analysis is simply one opinion among many.”