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Junk science

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The Consumers Union (US) wrote that "as far as we have been able to trace, the phrase "junk science" has been coined by those practicing public relations and lobbying activities on behalf of some companies in certain industries--particularly the plastics, chemical, biotechnology, and pesticide industries. While its coiners may have legitimate grounds for debate on some issues, the phrase has been used far too often to discredit honest public interest organizations and legitimate scientists who express concerns about consumer safety and environmental risks." [1]

While the phrase "junk science" is used by corporations, governments and front groups to discredit public interest and consumer activists, the phrase "sound science" is employed to describe the research said to back-up industry's own claims on safety and risk.

With scientific information playing a central role in public policy development, critics of the U.S. government have accused it of pursuing a strategy of suppressing science it disagrees with and ensuring reports that are more supportive of its policy goals. "Meanwhile, the Bush White House is purging, censoring, and blacklisting scientists and engineers whose work threatens the profits of the Administration's corporate paymasters or challenges the ideological underpinnings of their radical anti-environmental agenda," Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wrote in The Nation.[2]

The controversy over science under the Bush Administration has also prompted:

Book

  • Dan Agin, Junk Science: How Politicians, Corporations, and Other Hucksters Betray Us, Thomas Dunne Books, October 2006, 336 pp. ISBN 0312352417 (Hardcover).

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