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Public Discussion Of Secret Science
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is sponsoring a conference on July 12, 2004, entitled "Integrity in Science: Corporate and Political Influence on Science-based Policymaking." According to the CSPI Web site, the conference will include panels on "corporate suppression of science." The Web site says that if you go to the conference you will learn how corporations "suppress information about toxic products." Winston looked up the word "suppress" in the dictionary. It means, "To withhold from knowledge or publication...."

Apparently, corporations do not do a very good job of suppressing science and toxic product information because you can learn all about them at the conference. Public Meetings and corporate Secret Ops seem inconsistent. Winston will not be at the conference because CSPI discriminates against dogs. However, if he were there he would ask why speakers think science and information are being suppressed when they're being discussed publicly.

Jim Tozzi, a member of the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness' Board of Advisors, is one of the featured speakers at the conference. The CSPI Web site says that Dr. Tozzi will "debate... Sean Moulton of OMBWatch on the Data Quality Act...." Some argue that the Data Quality Act is one of the primary tools used to suppress science and "information about toxic products." The Act allows "affected persons" to file public requests for correction of information of information that has already been publicly disseminated by agencies when the persons believe the public information does not meet quality standards mandated by the Act. One of those quality standards is transparency. An agency's decision on a request for correction is public. Winston has a hard time understanding how the public process mandated by the Data Quality Act could be used by anybody to keep anything secret.

There's also some irony in holding the CSPI conference in Washington, D.C., and focusing it on federal regulatory issues. Nothing stays secret in Washington and the agencies. Relentless watchdogs like Winston make sure of that.

  • Click for details on CSPI conference.

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