Also:

  • Part 1 general overview.
  • Part 2 E. Bruce Harrison and the GCC.


    JUNK SCIENCE AND THE ART OF SPIN-DOCTORING
    (Part 3a)

    by Stewart Fist






    NOTES AND REFERENCES


    Milloy's Junkscience pages.


    Milloy's C.V.
























































    The main corporate funders of the Cato Institute are:

  • American Farm Bureau Federation,
  • Amoco,
  • ARCO,
  • Chase Manhattan Bank,
  • Coca-Cola,
  • CSX Corp.,
  • Exxon,
  • Ford Motor Co.,
  • KochIndustries,
  • Monsanto Co.,
  • National Ammonia Co.,
  • Philip Morris,
  • Proctor and Gamble,
  • Toyota Motor Sales USA.





    Cato Science Policy




  • The Junkman and the Web of Deceit;
    how the spin-doctors cross-fertilise?

    If you want to see how carefully crafted such a web of deceit can be, check out a site run by a pseudo-science debunker with the name of Steven Milloy. He promotes this site as having "All the Junk that's fit to Debunk", and a lot of the material in these pages are just what it purports to be -- a good, and sometimes humourous attack on bad science and activist crap.

    Milloy promotes himself as a private crusader. He regularly leads the attack on activist groups involved in questions of public health, environmental destruction and pollution, and he proudly calls himself "The Junkman".

    He loaths the EPA, the FDA and the Democrats; in particular Al Gore.

    Milloy gives you some personal details at the site. Here's what he says:

      Steven J. Milloy is the publisher of the Junk Science Home Page and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

      Milloy's work on the Junk Science Home Page has garnered numerous awards, including: being named "One of the 50 Best Web Sites of 1998" by Popular Science; and designation as a "Hot Pick" by Science. The site has also been recommended by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Financial Times, Forbes and MSNBC.

      Milloy holds a B.A. in Natural Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Health Sciences in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore, and a Master of Laws from the Georgetown University Law Center.

      In addition to the Junk Science Home Page, Milloy: appears frequently on radio and television; has testified on risk assessment and Superfund before the U.S. Congress; and has lectured before numerous organizations.

      Milloy's publications include:
      Silencing Science, with co-author Michael Gough (Cato Institute, 1998)
      Science Without Sense: The Risky Business of Public Health Research (Cato Institute, 1995)
      Science-Based Risk Assessment: A Piece of the Superfund Puzzle (National Environmental Policy Institute, 1995)

    A lobbyist with a law degree is a valuable commodity in corporate America because it invokes lawyer/client-privilege if dubious deals ever get into the courts. The Biostatistics tag just tells you that he can do maths.

    Before Milloy moved into his present role as "JunkMan", he was employed by a number of professional PR and lobbying companies, including Multinational Business Services which was Phillip Morris's main lobbyist on the environmental tobacco issue in late 1992 (when Milloy worked there). This organisation was run by a Reagan Republican appointee who ran the OSHA for a while, Thorne Auchter. Like many top people from the Reagan administration, Auchter became a major lobbyist in Washington in the 1980s, and went into business on behalf of the tobacco industry, along with his partners Jim Tozzi (in MBE and Federal Focus) and (in HES) Dr George Carlo.

    Phillip Morris later funded the organisation known as TASSC (The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition) through the public-relations/lobby organisation, APCO Associates, and Milloy took over as its director. [See below]. This organisation was funding by tobacco, chemical, energy and other polluting industries in the USA as a way to attack epidemiologists, toxicologists and environmentalists who claimed to have evidential science showing these companies were doing harm. In Milloy's terms, these claims are all junk-science, and he is the arbiter of such labels.

    Milloy is currently listed as an "adjunct fellow" at the Cato Institute, which leaves the impression that he is an independent, highly educated, science commentator funded by an independent foundation. This boost's his impied claim to be carrying on a personal crusade to clean up the science shonks -- while, in fact, he is a lacky who specialises in a subtle form of lobbying, and runs misinformation campaigns for business.

    He writes books for the Cato Institute sarcastically attacking the scientific expertise and ethics of any scientist who's results threaten American corporate business interests -- provided they fund him.

    The Cato Institute is a well-known independent "free-enterprise" think-tank run by members of the Republican Right in Washington DC. ["22 years of promoting public policy based on individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. "]

    It also runs what it calls the "Cato University" which offers expensive summer courses to those with a " commitment to liberty and an interest in the world of ideas".

    The Cato Institute also employs the writer-humourist PJ. O'Rourke, and funds him to travel, speak, and to write his very humourous books attacking anything remotely resembling concern for the environment, consumerism, or political liberalism. That's fair enough, I guess; most humourists take a leftish line and their attack on the Republican Right are far more vicious.

    Behind the scenes the Cato Institute is, itself, funded by many major corporations and industry associations with vested interests, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, Amoco, ARCO, Chase Manhattan Bank, Coca-Cola, CSX Corp., Exxon, Ford Motor Co., KochIndustries, Monsanto Co., National Ammonia Co., Philip Morris, Proctor and Gamble, and Toyota Motor Sales USA.

    "Cato promotes the private funding of science, free from the politics and waste that accompany government programs, and will continue to work to reduce regulations based on faulty risk assessments, bad science, and value-laden assumptions." They are all worthy aims -- but the devil is in the detail.

    Michael Gough's C.V.

































    NEPI home page.





















































    Air Quality Standards Coalition:

    This is an ad hoc creation of the:

  • National Association of Manufacturers,
  • American Petroleum Institute,
  • American Automobile Manufacturers Association,
  • National Mining Association














    Citizens for a Sound Economy
    The CSE get its funding from:

  • American Petroleum Institute,
  • American Plastics Council,
  • Chemical Manufacturers Association.
  • Mike Gough

    Steve Milloy writes most of his books in association with the Cato Institute's Director of Science and Risk Studies, Michael Gough, another PR specialist who has long served industry well (particularly the paper industry). Gough once worked for the Office of Technical Assessment (OTA) on the problems of dioxin in Agent Orange and in paper effluent. He visited Australia briefly in 1990 to act as an independent judge on the value of some dioxin research conducted by Dr George Carlo (but forgot to mention their close association).

    Gough lists himself as being "against politics-driven government funding of science and in favor of private funding." He's not actually attacking universities and such, he means research of the kind conducted by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and medical research not conducted by, and for the benefit of, drug companies. He also wants all defence and welfare research to be out-sourced from profit-making organisations.

    There's a lot of corporate benefit in this, apart from just the tax savings. In America, any publicly funded research project must be published in full within a month of completion -- while projects funded privately through private research organisations can be held to be confidential.

    Gough has "testified against the Advanced Technology Program, a Department of Commerce corporate welfare program, and against government funding of 'environmental research,' which is focused on extending the underpinnings regulation, not scientific understanding."

    Cato credits him thus: "Gough's goals include:

    • exposing questionable or 'junk' science;
    • illuminating the opportunity costs of resulting regulations; and
    • combating the public’s fear of chemicals.

    This is the position that Milloy and Gough both take. But now let me tell you what Milloy doesn't reveal about himself in his C/V at the junkscience site.

    Filling in the gaps in his C/V

    Until a few years ago Milloy was the director of science policy studies at NEPI, the National Environmental Policy Institute (a part of The Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    This is supposedly, a public policy research institution "dedicated to analysis and policy impact"), but actually it is just another anti-science organisation funded by both the oil industry and Phillip Morris (a so-called "coalition" of companies with a common interest).

    It was founded by a well-known "anti-smoking" Republican Representative, Don Ritter, with money channeled from a large oil company, and then later the tobacco industry. It supposedly operates through through the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), while likely gets some of its direction and funding from Philip Morris board member, Harold Brown who lists this organisation on his C/V. Brown probably had a hand in recruiting Milloy also, since they both have a common association with John Hopkins University.

    The CSIS appears to have two divisions: one a legitimate right-wing think-tank with genuine scholars, housed on the John Hopkins campus at Baltimore, and the other a public-relations/lobby operation in Washington DC.

    This "public-policy" organisation appears to be dedicated to transforming (or destroying) both the EPA and the FDA, and challenging the Superfund clean-ups of toxic chemical locations. I guess, this is because the EPA had been far too active in promoting the Clean Air Act and opposing ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke), and because the FDA had been too restrictive on tobacco additives, and nicotine itself.

    The mission statement of the NEPI says it has a "commitment to providing a substantive framework for improving environmental policy and management. It draws upon the collective skill, experience and knowledge of elected officials, industry representatives, government policy makers, academics and members of the environmental and scientific communities.

    "NEPI is dedicated to establishing realistic environmental priorities and helping to focus the national environmental debate," they say. And one of the ways they focus the debate is to have on-staff those members of the Reagan Administration who didn't get jobs with the Cato Institute.

    They bill themselves as " a non-profit, bipartisan organization of environmental leaders." and, to prove they have environmental credentials, they have on-board Timothy K. Judge who is the "founder and former president of Bio-Safe Incorporated, a medical waste disposal company, [who] is currently a consultant on environmental management systems and brownfield restoration."

    Milloy frequently appeared on radio and television programs for the NEPI, and has testified on risk assessment and the Superfund before the American Congress. One report of such testimonial states:

      "Clearly, any meaningful reform of Superfund must address risk assessments and remediation technologies required by the EPA. Costly decisions have been made in the past because Superfund has been viewed as a cleanup program, not a risk reduction program."

    The NEPI's publication, Science-Based Risk Assessment: A Key to the Superfund Puzzle, says:

      "Sound science and more accurate risk assessments can significantly reduce the costs of remediation, while reducing real health risks when they are found. Steven J. Milloy of the NEPI suggests that the costs of cleanups would fall by 60 percent if the program focused more directly on risk when identifying the appropriate remedies."

    NEPI is also associated with The Air Quality Standards Coalition (AQSC) which represent an industry viewpoint that current clean-air regulations are adequate, and that more stringent regulations would harm business. This is actually an ad hoc coalition created by the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Automobile Manufacturers Association, the National Mining Association and others for the express purpose of fighting the EPA's proposed clean air standards.

    While Milloy was involved, the AQSC held numerous news "briefings", launched its own Internet web sites, and paid PR companies to place news stories proclaiming that the EPA's data is "junk science." In addition, the Coalition retained the services of political adviser to Vice President Al Gore, Carter Eskew, for a contract that is estimated at over $5 million.

    C Boyden Gray, an outspoken critic of the EPA's standards and a lobbyist for Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, a firm specialising in environmental and regulatory risk management, is the principle spokesman and organiser of the AQSC. He was once White House legal counsel for President Bush, and he claims to have ghostwritten the weakened Clean Water Act for Senator Bob Dole.

    His grandfather Bowman Gray, was the principal owner of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and his father, Gordon Gray, founded the Bowman Gray (memorial) Medical School in Winston-Salem and was actively involved in the 1940s national eugenical sterilisation movement along with other Clay relatives.

    C. Boyden Gray is also chairman of Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE -- a national free-market think-tank and public policy organization), which is yet another major players in the anti-clean air debate. This is another group working with the National Association of Manufacturers.

    The CSE appears also to be directly involved in anti-regulatory strategy planning with AQSC and they get their funding from the American Petroleum Institute, the American Plastics Council and the Chemical Manufacturers Association. The CSE's budget quadrupled from $4 million in 1991 to $17.6 million in 1995 and the organisation claims that its cash comes equally from industry, foundations and individuals.

    Continued .....


    PART 3B: Continued on Steve Milloy                   [BACK]


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    © Stewart Fist, Sydney, 1996
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