Steve Milloy

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<li> '''Prevented the EPA from Stalin-izing statistical significance.'''  In May 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed to update its guidelines for conducting cancer risk assessments. Milloy discovered that the EPA surrepticiously deleted the requirement that epidemiologic data be statistically significant before they can be used to infer cause-and-effect relationships. Statistical significance was a sore spot with the EPA since it had given the EPA fits with respect to the epidemiologic studies on [[Secondhand smoke (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) | secondhand smoke]]. When Milloy asked the EPA  whether it intended to delete the requirement or whether the omission was innocent, the EPA denied the requirement had been deleted. When other members of the public inquired about the deletion/omission, the EPA denied it. When members of Congress inquired about the deletion, the EPA again denied it. The persistent Milloy [http://www.junksciencearchive.com/news/statistical-significance-comments.html publicized] the issue to great effect and and brought the issue before the EPA's Science Advisory Board which rejected the EPA's denials. In its review letter to EPA administrator Carol Browner, the SAB wrote in polite bureaucrat-ese: "There is (in the proposed guidelines) no explicit statement in the proposal that statistical significance should be a basic requirement for determining causality. This lack of an explicit statement has been interpreted as misleading and implying there is a hidden intent to eliminate statistical significance as a consideration in assessing causality. Adding appropriate and specific language concerning statistical significance should rectify this problem." When the [http://www.epa.gov/raf/publications/pdfs/CANCER_GUIDELINES_FINAL_3-25-05.PDF guidelines] were finalized in 2005, the statistical significance requirement had been reinstated in Section 2.2.1.7 Evidence for Causality: "The general evaluation of the strength of the epidemiological evidence reflects consideration not only of the magnitude of reported effects estimates and their statistical significance, but also of the precision of the effects estimates and the robustness of the effects associations."</li>
<li> '''Prevented the EPA from Stalin-izing statistical significance.'''  In May 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed to update its guidelines for conducting cancer risk assessments. Milloy discovered that the EPA surrepticiously deleted the requirement that epidemiologic data be statistically significant before they can be used to infer cause-and-effect relationships. Statistical significance was a sore spot with the EPA since it had given the EPA fits with respect to the epidemiologic studies on [[Secondhand smoke (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) | secondhand smoke]]. When Milloy asked the EPA  whether it intended to delete the requirement or whether the omission was innocent, the EPA denied the requirement had been deleted. When other members of the public inquired about the deletion/omission, the EPA denied it. When members of Congress inquired about the deletion, the EPA again denied it. The persistent Milloy [http://www.junksciencearchive.com/news/statistical-significance-comments.html publicized] the issue to great effect and and brought the issue before the EPA's Science Advisory Board which rejected the EPA's denials. In its review letter to EPA administrator Carol Browner, the SAB wrote in polite bureaucrat-ese: "There is (in the proposed guidelines) no explicit statement in the proposal that statistical significance should be a basic requirement for determining causality. This lack of an explicit statement has been interpreted as misleading and implying there is a hidden intent to eliminate statistical significance as a consideration in assessing causality. Adding appropriate and specific language concerning statistical significance should rectify this problem." When the [http://www.epa.gov/raf/publications/pdfs/CANCER_GUIDELINES_FINAL_3-25-05.PDF guidelines] were finalized in 2005, the statistical significance requirement had been reinstated in Section 2.2.1.7 Evidence for Causality: "The general evaluation of the strength of the epidemiological evidence reflects consideration not only of the magnitude of reported effects estimates and their statistical significance, but also of the precision of the effects estimates and the robustness of the effects associations."</li>
<li> '''Ousting the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.''' Right before the January 1999 Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton over whether the President had lied when he denied having sex with Monica Lewinsky, the prestigious'' Journal of the American Medical Association'' (JAMA) was preparing to defend President Clinton by publishing in its January 20, 1999 issue an opinion survey purporting to show that the public didn't consider oral sex to be sexual intercourse. Milloy learned of the study's imminent publication five days ahead of publication (January 14, 1999) and broke the news on JunkScience.com. The Washington Times picked up the story, made inquiries at the American Medical Association, and published on its front page a story titled, "[http://junksciencearchive.com/jan99/wtjama.html AMA Releases Old Survey on Oral Sex Just in  Time for President's Trial]." Within 24 hours, JAMA editor George Lundberg was fired. In firing Lundberg, the American Medical Association stated, "Dr. Lundberg, through his recent actions, has threatened the historic tradition and integrity of the Journal of the American Medical Association by inappropriately and inexcusably interjecting JAMA into a major political debate that has nothing to do with science or medicine. This is unacceptable." but Lundberg had long used JAMA a vehicle to publish [[junk science]]. The study in question, as an example, was a stale, eight-year old study of college students that Lundberg dusted off and rushed to publication in a misquided effort to  involve JAMA in President Clinton's impeachment trial. Lundberg's firing sent shock waves throughout the medical journal community.
<li> '''Ousting the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.''' Right before the January 1999 Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton over whether the President had lied when he denied having sex with Monica Lewinsky, the prestigious'' Journal of the American Medical Association'' (JAMA) was preparing to defend President Clinton by publishing in its January 20, 1999 issue an opinion survey purporting to show that the public didn't consider oral sex to be sexual intercourse. Milloy learned of the study's imminent publication five days ahead of publication (January 14, 1999) and broke the news on JunkScience.com. The Washington Times picked up the story, made inquiries at the American Medical Association, and published on its front page a story titled, "[http://junksciencearchive.com/jan99/wtjama.html AMA Releases Old Survey on Oral Sex Just in  Time for President's Trial]." Within 24 hours, JAMA editor George Lundberg was fired. In firing Lundberg, the American Medical Association stated, "Dr. Lundberg, through his recent actions, has threatened the historic tradition and integrity of the Journal of the American Medical Association by inappropriately and inexcusably interjecting JAMA into a major political debate that has nothing to do with science or medicine. This is unacceptable." but Lundberg had long used JAMA a vehicle to publish [[junk science]]. The study in question, as an example, was a stale, eight-year old study of college students that Lundberg dusted off and rushed to publication in a misquided effort to  involve JAMA in President Clinton's impeachment trial. Lundberg's firing sent shock waves throughout the medical journal community.
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<li>''' Fighting 'secret science".''' Fighting 'Secret Science'. JunkScience.com was instrumental in the fight for "data access" -- the right of the public to review taxpayer-funded scientific data used to support federal regulation. Here's one way, JunkScience.com helped. ''Science'' magazine reported on April 2, 1999 that,
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<blockquote>"Scientists opposing a controversial data-access proposal appear to be headed for a lopsided win in an unusual skirmish--even as their opponents are raffling off prizes to gain allies. Acting on legislation pushed by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in January released a controversial proposal to require taxpayer-funded researchers to hand over their raw data to anyone who files a request (Science, 12 February, p. 914). The agency gave the public until 5 April to comment, sparking a furious letter-writing campaign both for and against the proposal. Last month, rule opponents--including most scientific societies--were alarmed to discover that the other side was ahead in the comment contest, in part because it was offering a creative incentive: People who used the Junk Science Web page (www.junkscience.com) to write to OMB could win a subscription to an environmental policy newsletter or the electronic Wall Street Journal. But the tide has turned in the last few weeks: The 1600-and-counting comments OMB has received so far are running 4 to 1 against the rule, says the Washington-based American Association of Universities. Whether the landslide will persuade OMB to rewrite the proposal, however, won't be known until later this year, when it must finalize the rule."</blockquote>
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But JunkScience.com didn't give up. Two weeks later, ''Science'' reported,
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<blockquote>"In an 11th-hour campaign to tip the scales in their favor, supporters of a controversial new data-access law flooded the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in early April with letters supporting its implementation. Many scientists oppose the provision, pushed by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), which would force taxpayer-funded researchers to hand over raw data to the public on request (Science, 2 April, p. 23). But when a public comment period closed on 5 April, supporters appeared to have cranked out the majority of more than 10,000 comments sent to OMB, although no exact count was available."</blockquote>
<li> '''COP-ped the IPCC's URL.''' The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's third annual "conference of the parties" of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-3) was held in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997 and was hosted at http://www.cop3.org. The fourth conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-4) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 1998 and was hosted at http://www.cop4.org. The fifth conference of the parties parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-5) was  held in Bonn, Germany -- but couldn't be located at http://www.cop5.org. Why not? Because Milloy bought that address and pointed it at Junkscience.com. The IPCC was forced to construct the web site for the COP-5 conference at the less findable http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop5/.
<li> '''COP-ped the IPCC's URL.''' The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's third annual "conference of the parties" of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-3) was held in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997 and was hosted at http://www.cop3.org. The fourth conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-4) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 1998 and was hosted at http://www.cop4.org. The fifth conference of the parties parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-5) was  held in Bonn, Germany -- but couldn't be located at http://www.cop5.org. Why not? Because Milloy bought that address and pointed it at Junkscience.com. The IPCC was forced to construct the web site for the COP-5 conference at the less findable http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop5/.
<li> '''Debunking dioxin hysteria courtesy of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.''' Prompted by Ben & Jerry's claim on its ice cream packaging that there is no safe level of exposure to dioxin, Milloy and Dr. Michael Gough tested Ben & Jerry's World's Best Vanilla ice cream for dioxin and found that a single scoop contained 200 times the amount of dioxin that the EPA said was safe, thereby debunking dioxin hysteria once and for all. Around the time the study was published, the EPA was proposing to classify dioxin as 10 times more carcinogenic than previously considered. That would have made a single scoop of Ben & Jerry's ice cream contain 2,000 times more dioxin than the EPA considered to be safe.  Milloy testified before the EPA Science Advisory Board about the study, which had also been presented at the poster session of the Dioxin 2000 conference. The study also made the front page of the ''Detroit News'' upon its release. Ben & Jerry's howled about the study and JunkScience.com on its web site for years.
<li> '''Debunking dioxin hysteria courtesy of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.''' Prompted by Ben & Jerry's claim on its ice cream packaging that there is no safe level of exposure to dioxin, Milloy and Dr. Michael Gough tested Ben & Jerry's World's Best Vanilla ice cream for dioxin and found that a single scoop contained 200 times the amount of dioxin that the EPA said was safe, thereby debunking dioxin hysteria once and for all. Around the time the study was published, the EPA was proposing to classify dioxin as 10 times more carcinogenic than previously considered. That would have made a single scoop of Ben & Jerry's ice cream contain 2,000 times more dioxin than the EPA considered to be safe.  Milloy testified before the EPA Science Advisory Board about the study, which had also been presented at the poster session of the Dioxin 2000 conference. The study also made the front page of the ''Detroit News'' upon its release. Ben & Jerry's howled about the study and JunkScience.com on its web site for years.

Revision as of 02:41, 9 April 2011

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