Lindane Education And Research Network
Home Alert News Archive Resources Contact Donate Search

"The future will depend on our wisdom not to replace one poison with another."
National Pediculosis Association®, Inc.

Part 3: America's Maddest Scientists
David Di Biase


In his infamous 2003 memo on how to blunt the environmental movement, pollster Frank Luntz instructed polluters and their allies on how to suppress and marginalize science and scientists when their results don’t jive with industry’s goals. These mad scientists are on the frontline of this campaign against the public interest. Each has made a highly lucrative career out of corrupting scientific method and attacking their colleagues to bamboozle the public and the press:

  • Elizabeth Whelan: Ardent defender of the most toxic substances known to mankind. Whelan is the author of Panic in the Pantry and Toxic Terror. In Panic, Whelan rejects back-to-nature "mania" like organic lifestyles and pesticide-free eating as a "hoax." Whelan is President and founder of the American Council on Science and Health, a group that asserts "there is no scientific evidence that DDT harms the environment" and that dioxin, one of the most toxic substances in existence, "was not such a bad actor." Whelan has suggested, contrary to a considerable body of research, "that there is no credible evidence that PCB exposure in the general environment, in fish, or even at very high levels in the workplace, has ever led to an increase in cancer risk."
  • Dennis Paustenbach: Keeping the world safe for chromium polluters. Paustenbach is the president and founder of ChemRisk, a consulting firm that helps companies, "confront public health, occupational health, and environmental challenges." Paustenbach served as an expert witness for Pacific Gas and Electric when the utility was sued for allowing the poisonous heavy metal chromium to leach into groundwater – a case made famous in the movie Erin Brockovich. In the 1990s, Honeywell, PPG Industries Inc. and Maxus Energy Corp. were faced with spending nearly a billion dollars to clean up New Jersey communities they had contaminated with chromium. Instead, they hired Paustenbach to mount a successful campaign to force the state to raise the allowable limit of chromium in soils. Paustenbach has taken his pro-toxic chemical stance nationwide with his recent Bush administration appointment to the advisory committee for the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Environmental Health
  • John P. Giesy: Ensuring that good science doesn’t stand in the way of America’s #1 pesticide. Giesy is a leading apologist for atrazine, the most common pesticide used in the United States, and an endocrine disruptor so dangerous that it has been banned in Europe. When University of California toxicologist Tyrone Hayes linked tiny amounts of atrazine to deformities and infertility in frogs, Sygenta, atrazine’s manufacturer, hired Giesy to dispute Hayes’ research. Despite running faulty studies and misinterpreting the results, Giesy’s research was widely used by Sygenta and other pro-industry lobbyists to force EPA to back away from plans to tighten regulations on atrazine.
  • S. Fred Singer: Spreading a gospel of mis-truth about global warming. Singer is President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), a non-profit policy research group that denies global warming. SEPP is directly funded by ExxonMobil, according to the company’s own disclosures. In 2001, Singer however denied ever receiving oil industry funding. During the past two decades Singer has become one of the most prominent "experts" refuting the existence of global warming and the impact of human activities on climate change. In 1996, he wrote a declaration arguing that there was no scientific consensus on global warming and therefore no grounds for measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Singer claimed the declaration was co-signed by "more than 100 European and American climate scientists" when most of the signers were not climate experts, and many were not scientists. But Singer made it clear that he is not necessarily ready to give up on global warming, in testimony to Congress he stated "a warmer climate would be generally beneficial for agriculture and other human activities."
  • Dennis Avery: Guarding factory food from "dangers" of the organic food movement. This self-styled "leading critic of organic produce" is a self-righteous attack dog who serves the interests of the corporate agriculture companies who pay the bills at his "think tank," the Hudson Institute. "Organic foods," Avery claims, "have clearly become the deadliest food choice." He gained notoriety by insisting that people who eat organic food are eight times more likely to suffer E. coli food poisoning – a figure he claimed to draw from research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. But CDC has never conducted such research. Avery frequently repeats his mantra that there is no hard scientific evidence that pesticides harm humans, flatly ignoring decades of scientific analysis. Avery’s "research" has been paid for by Monsanto, DuPont, Dow-Elanco, Sandoz, Ciba-Geigy, ConAgra, Cargill, and Procter & Gamble.

Copyright © 2005 Waterkeeper Alliance .



Lindane Education And Research Network is a project of the National Pediculosis Association® (NPA)
The NPA, a non-profit tax exempt, 501(c)3, organization, receives no government or industry funding
and provides this website with proceeds from our educational resources and the LiceMeister® Comb.
Please read our disclaimer and privacy policy. Report any problems with this site to the webmaster.