Obama OSHA pick supports junk science in courts, regulatory agencies

July 29, 2009

WASHINGTON, July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — President Obama’s nominee to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), David Michaels, should be grilled by the U.S. Senate about his links to trial lawyers and other anti-science activist groups, JunkScience.com says.

“Michaels supports the use of junk science as a basis for public policy and court decisions, representing a threat to employers, employees, consumers and taxpayers,” said Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com.

Michaels runs something called the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (SKAPP) at the George Washington University. While its university affiliation and academic name would seem to lend it a modicum of credibility, in fact, SKAPP’s origins are much more revealing.

As Milloy first reported in the Wall Street Journal in October 2003, SKAPP was launched by something called the Common Benefit Trust — an expense account originally established for the purpose of compensating silicone breast implant (SBI) plaintiff lawyers for legitimate services and expenses incurred in connection with the multi-billion dollar SBI litigation.

But some of that money was diverted to form SKAPP, whose mission was to work to overturn the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals — the landmark decision that permits judges to set up scientific review panels in federal litigation to keep junk science out of the courtroom. One Daubert panel played a pivotal role in stopping SBI litigation in federal courts.

SKAPP has also been recently active in the controversy over the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in food and beverage packaging.

The day after Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced a bill to ban BPA in baby and children’s products in April 2008, personal injury lawyers filed a billion-dollar class action lawsuit against five baby bottle manufacturers for using BPA in plastic baby bottles and toddler training cups.

Around that time, Michaels was active in the media against BPA, telling the Washington Post, for example, that BPA makers were like the tobacco industry because, he claimed, raising questions about the science underlying regulatory action is merely a tactic to delay regulation.

“Apparently, the only decent thing for an industry wrongfully besieged by activists and the government to do is to knuckle under in Michaels view,” Milloy said. “Be assured that Michaels will advance the insidious junk science agenda at OSHA unless the Senate stops him,” Milloy added.

6 Responses to “Obama OSHA pick supports junk science in courts, regulatory agencies”

  1. […] the recourse of the right wing? Smear him. Call him a “junk scientist.” Try to derail his […]

  2. […] Milloy, JunkScience.com, “Obama OSHA pick supports junk science in courts, regulatory agencies” (Milloy gets credit for being the first to write on Michaels’ after the White House […]

  3. higgy68 Says:

    bear, with all due respect, I do think the pres. is legal. What may be hidden on his birth certificate is that his religious beliefs want the demise of the USA as we know it. That he is a racist was proven with his recent comments. He seems to want to punish whites for transgressions that occurred a hundred or more years ago. What he is trying to do parallels the intent of Islam – world domination including the USA.

  4. bear865 Says:

    Time seems to progress at various rates due to the environment (no pun intended) we are in.

    Right now it is grinding slowly because “they” are trying to make this Nation into something it was never intended to be.

    The worst thing right now is NO COURT WILL EVEN HEAR questions as to Obumba’s citizenship. They courts tell us we are NOT HARMED if he is, as I think is indicated, an impostor/usurper and NOT A LEGAL PRESIDENT. The Constitutional crisis is therefore MORE GRAVE THAN THE CIVIL WAR.

    The longer this issue festers, the greater will be the chaos when somehow, we finally move to clean it up, one way or the other. I know junk science is bad, but this is FAR WORSE. In fact, the Nation now faces the WORST CRISIS IN ITS HISTORY because again, Obumba is NOT a legal president. No other issues can really be solved until this one is.

  5. welder4 Says:

    Why is 2010 taking so long to come when we will have a chance to stop some of the crap in the house .

  6. bear865 Says:

    The plan is to expand junk science everywhere. The Luddites are on the loose, and only people with half a brain in their heads can stop them.

    This is what happens when the Federal Government arrogates unto itself powers it has no right to have under The Constitution, or what is left of it, if anything. The “enforcing agency” starts out bad enough, and then becomes a MONSTER! Look at the EPA. Now it is to be OSHA.

    I believe all of this crud is intended to fall most heavily on small to medium sized businesses, which is capitalism. Large businesses, which have to be large for economy of scale, such a railroads, are also capitalism. But many other large businesses are simply oligarchies and plutocracies. It is the oligarchies and plutocracies who are bent on destroying capitalism and imposing corporatist fascism (“Metropolis”) on us, and “The One” is only too happy to help.

    And “The One” IS NOT EVEN PRESIDENT!!!!

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