President Obama's nominee to head OSHA, David Michaels, “should be grilled by the U.S. Senate about his links to trial lawyers and other anti-science activist groups,” according to a press statement from the blog JunkScience.com.
"Michaels supports the use of junk science as a basis for public policy and court decisions, representing a threat to employers, employees, consumers and taxpayers," said Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com.
Milloy is the founder and publisher of JunkScience.com. He holds a B.A. in Natural Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Health Sciences in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore, and a Master of Laws from the Georgetown University Law Center.
According to his website, Milloy is a frequent advocate for free enterprise/free market principles and policies in conjunction with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Center for Public Policy Research.
The JunkScience.com press release issued last week says “Michaels runs something called the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy (SKAPP) at the George Washington University. While its university affiliation and academic name would seem to lend it a modicum of credibility, in fact, SKAPP's origins are much more revealing.
The release continues: “As Milloy first reported in the Wall Street Journal in October 2003, SKAPP was launched by something called the Common Benefit Trust - an expense account originally established for the purpose of compensating silicone breast implant (SBI) plaintiff lawyers for legitimate services and expenses incurred in connection with the multi-billion dollar SBI litigation.
“But some of that money was diverted to form SKAPP, whose mission was to work to overturn the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals - the landmark decision that permit judges to set up scientific review panels in federal litigation to keep junk science out of the courtroom. One Daubert panel played a pivotal role in stopping SBI litigation in federal courts,” according to the JunkSience.com statement.
“SKAPP has also been recently active in the controversy over the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in food and beverage packaging,” the statement continues.
“The day after Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced a bill to ban BPA in baby and children's products in April 2008, personal injury lawyers filed a billion-dollar class action lawsuit against five baby bottle manufacturers for using BPA in plastic baby bottles and toddler training cups.
“Around that time, Michaels was active in the media against BPA, telling the Washington Post, for example, that BPA makers were like the tobacco industry because, he claimed, raising questions about the science underlying regulatory action is merely a tactic to delay regulation,” according to JunkScience.com.
"Apparently, the only decent thing for an industry wrongfully besieged by activists and the government to do is to knuckle under in Michaels view," Milloy said in the statement. "Be assured that Michaels will advance the insidious junk science agenda at OSHA unless the Senate stops him," Milloy said in the press release
OSHA chief nominee Michaels will push junk science agenda, argues attorney blogger (8/3)
August 3, 2009