"The vilification of threatening research as 'junk science' and the corresponding sanctification of industry-commissioned research as 'sound science' has become nothing less than standard operating procedure in some parts of corporate America," writes Clinton-era Energy Department epidemiologist David Michaels. One example is beryllium, an "extremely toxic" metal used in nuclear warheads. Beryllium producers hired two "product defense" firms to "dispute and reanalyze data showing adverse health effects." Michaels says industry groups "have grown more brazen since George W. Bush became president," pointing to industry-friendly appointments to an advisory panel on childhood lead poisoning and the Data Quality Act. The Data Quality Act (promoted at the state level by the American Legislative Exchange Council) has been "used by groups bankrolled by the oil industry to discredit the National Assessment on Climate Change" and "by the Salt Institute to challenge the advise of the National Institutes of Health that Americans should reduce their salt consumption."
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