Steve Milloy

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<li> '''The report that started it all: "Choices in Risk Assessment."''' Following the end of the Cold War, the Department of Energy (DOE) faced clean-up costs for its nuclear weapons sites amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. The high costs would largely have been incurred because of EPA standards that essentially would have required the former weapons sites be returned to “Garden of Eden” status. At the time, the DOE took the EPA standards so seriously that it was actually developing essentially a giant vacuum cleaner to suck-up the top layer of  sand at the Nevada Test Site (approximately 5,400 square miles in size), decontaminate it and replace the sand. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of the clean-ups, the Bush administration DOE commissioned Milloy in 1992 to lead an investigation into whether EPA clean-up standards were based on science or politics. Milloy’s team of science and policy experts (called the Regulatory Information Analysis Project) compiled a report titled, “Choices in Risk Assessment: The Role of Science Policy in the Environmental Risk Management Process.” Completed in the fall of 1994, the report concluded that environmental policy was largely based on politics, not science. But when the report was completed and circulated for review within the Clinton administration-run DOE, the report was flagged as politically incorrect and Milloy was ordered by staffers of Clinton appointee Carol Henry (a former EPA staffer) to keep the report secret. Sacrificing his business relationship with the Clinton DOE, Milloy disobeyed the order and released the report, which was subsequently featured in a Wall Street Journal editorial. The attention that “Choices in Risk Assessment” garnered coincided with the Republican takeover of 104th Congress and congressional focus on regulatory reform, vaulting Milloy into the regulatory reform debate about to take place on Capitol Hill. [[Milloy Congressional testimony March 6 1995|Milloy testified before the U.S. Senate about risk assessment in the context of DOE clean-up on March 6, 1995.]] The DOE never wound up spending hundreds of billions of dollars to clean up its weapons sites. No word on what ever happened to the giant NTS vacuum cleaner.
<li> '''The report that started it all: "Choices in Risk Assessment."''' Following the end of the Cold War, the Department of Energy (DOE) faced clean-up costs for its nuclear weapons sites amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. The high costs would largely have been incurred because of EPA standards that essentially would have required the former weapons sites be returned to “Garden of Eden” status. At the time, the DOE took the EPA standards so seriously that it was actually developing essentially a giant vacuum cleaner to suck-up the top layer of  sand at the Nevada Test Site (approximately 5,400 square miles in size), decontaminate it and replace the sand. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of the clean-ups, the Bush administration DOE commissioned Milloy in 1992 to lead an investigation into whether EPA clean-up standards were based on science or politics. Milloy’s team of science and policy experts (called the Regulatory Information Analysis Project) compiled a report titled, “Choices in Risk Assessment: The Role of Science Policy in the Environmental Risk Management Process.” Completed in the fall of 1994, the report concluded that environmental policy was largely based on politics, not science. But when the report was completed and circulated for review within the Clinton administration-run DOE, the report was flagged as politically incorrect and Milloy was ordered by staffers of Clinton appointee Carol Henry (a former EPA staffer) to keep the report secret. Sacrificing his business relationship with the Clinton DOE, Milloy disobeyed the order and released the report, which was subsequently featured in a Wall Street Journal editorial. The attention that “Choices in Risk Assessment” garnered coincided with the Republican takeover of 104th Congress and congressional focus on regulatory reform, vaulting Milloy into the regulatory reform debate about to take place on Capitol Hill. [[Milloy Congressional testimony March 6 1995|Milloy testified before the U.S. Senate about risk assessment in the context of DOE clean-up on March 6, 1995.]] The DOE never wound up spending hundreds of billions of dollars to clean up its weapons sites. No word on what ever happened to the giant NTS vacuum cleaner.
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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. When JunkScience.com 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. 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>
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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 had given the EPA fits wither respect to the epidemiologic studies on [[secondhand smoke]]. When JunkScience.com 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. 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.
<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 02:52, 8 April 2011

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