Tuesday, August 31, 2004


From progressreport.org

THE SCIENCE OF SAFETY SLAMMED: The Bush administration has
leveled yet another blow to sound science. The latest attack revolves
around the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),
a branch of the Centers for Disease Control which is responsible for
conducting research on workplace illnesses, injuries and deaths. NIOSH,
reports the Washington Post, has "long nurtured a reputation for
independence, rigor and scientific credibility, according to both labor and
business interests." That's all about to change. The Bush administration
is reorganizing the CDC to downgrade the branch, in effect removing
NIOSH's independence and threatening its ability to compile scientific
data outside of party politics. The plan has "drawn protests from
virtually every occupational health and safety organization in the country."
Four former NIOSH directors -- from both Republican and Democratic
administrations -- expressed their serious opposition to the move in a
letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson: "To downgrade
NIOSH and blur its mission by combining key functions with other CDC
programs will erode its independence and visibility and weaken the
scientific contribution that has long benefited American workers and