Recent news reports about coal mining have pulled me back to thinking about workers—having spent the bulk of my pre-UCS career in occupational health (teaching in medical schools and working for our country’s workplace health and safety research agency, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health/NIOSH). With the critical focus on climate change and the need to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases and other dangerous pollutants from coal-burning power plants, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the health impacts coal has on the brave souls who mine it and on their families who share in their suffering. Read More
Coal Mining and Public Health: How the Coal Industry, Lawyers, and Doctors Have Betrayed Miners and Their Families
November 25th, 2013
November 22nd, 2013
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate the foulness of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed Poultry Rule. Many critics, including the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, of which UCS is a member, have pointed out that the rule ignores evidence pertaining to human health and worker safety. Others have argued it is inhumane. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a report released earlier this year, found that the proposed rule is based on limited scientific data and inadequate evaluation of USDA pilot projects. Read More
November 20th, 2013
Convenient Science for Hire: the American Council on Science and Health Puts the Cart before the Horse
October 28th, 2013
In business and politics, it is a good thing to have science on your side. Scientific study informs and enlightens our decision making on everything from food to energy to health. But what happens when the science is inconvenient to your business model? Read More
October 7th, 2013
On February 17, 2011, former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, one of my childhood heroes, shot himself in the chest. In a text message to family, he strongly implied that he committed suicide in this way in order to preserve his brain for research into the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury. Read More
September 24th, 2013
Some companies just don’t like sharing.
At least that’s my first takeaway from viewing the newly released reports from CDP (formerly, the Carbon Disclosure Project) that we’ve been waiting for. The international not-for-profit organization officially released this year’s data last night at the New York Stock Exchange. Every year, CDP collects climate reporting data it obtains by annually surveying companies worldwide, but this year, the organization asked companies something new. And the results (and lack thereof) are quite revealing. Read More
Interference in the Science of Atrazine (Again): Syngenta Tears a Page from the Tobacco Industry Playbook
June 18th, 2013
In last year’s report Heads They Win, Tails We Lose, we laid out the strategies used by corporations to interfere in the development of science-based policy. We pulled from diverse examples—from ozone standards to medical devices to protection of workers from silica dust—in order to showcase the many ways corporations have interfered with the science. But it is only a rare case where a single issue encompasses these many strategies—and now Syngenta Crop Protection has done just that. Read More
June 11th, 2013
Asbestos can kill you. We’ve all been warned about the dangers of breathing it in. That is why we test buildings for it and have rules to protect construction workers from exposure to it. But how do we know asbestos is harmful? Because scientists have done studies of the dangers it poses to our health. And I’m glad they have so we can avoid these threats. Read More
April 15th, 2013
Today is April 15, a day that many Americans dread: Tax Day. And it’s not just you and I who need to file our taxes. American corporations have to do their taxes too. (The Supreme Court ruled that they are people now, after all.) And while I definitely don’t look forward to doing my own taxes, I am interested in seeing what information comes back on corporate foundation tax forms. Read More
February 14th, 2013
It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. The President loves the First Lady’s bangs. Grammy-winner Kelly Clarkson loves fellow winner Miguel (now that she knows who he is). Babies (apparently) love Beyoncé.
And the Monsanto Company, the world’s largest seed and agrichemical seller, is making sure we all know how much they love American farmers.