“Science for Hire;” a birth defect for a bushel of corn?

Right wing conservatives, who brought us the Iraq War through a well-orchestrated WMD-threat campaign, are now promoting corporate profit over public risk through an institutionalized effort to destroy the credibility the whistle blowers of corporate fraud. Hundreds of billions of dollars are generated annually in biochemicals. Unlike the European market, the American regulating process is controlled by Industry. Corporate financed “Science for Hire” writes the laws, submits them to legislatures through lobbyists, guides the research results by buying up universities with research grants, and employs a sophisticated public relations network to discourage dissent and discredit opposition. The EPA, for example, has tested over 80,000 non-dissolvable pesticide chemicals found in drinking water and have restricted only 5. The Office of Management and Budgets, which is headed by corporate-funded conservatives, has the final word on EPA decisions. Regulation judgments are made on the basis risk versus benefit. Decisions about birth defects and hermaphrodism, for example, are compared by “Science for Hire” research against an annual 6% loss in the yield of corn. Instead of independent, reliable, sound science, the biochemical industry buys the research it wants with grants in 1,800 universities. “Science for Hire” directs research studies, guides analysis and draws only those conclusions that suit Industry. Industry also hires writers and producers to plant stories in the media—including Fox—to discredit opposition. In many respects “Science for Hire” is like drug cartels buying off local law enforcement and paying bystanders to tote drugs through inspections. “Science for Hire,” or the business of “manufactured uncertainty,” is estimated in the billions of dollars, and is considered a growth industry, especially with conservative wholesale cuts to government research programs. In the near future it appears that whoever dominates what is read on the web will control what people believe. So far Industry is already ahead by purchasing the pertinent domain names and locking up search engine code words.  Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.

 

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