New lack of scientific integrity exposes the National
Academy of Science (NAS) as a group of "connected" insiders.
Last year the RDA for calcium was raised from 1,000
milligrams per day to 1,200 milligrams. When I heard the
news, I immediately called the FDA and asked why they did
I was referred to the USDA. I called USDA and was referred
back to FDA. I ultimately learned that the NAS, a private
organization, made that recommendation.
I then investigated the NAS committee and found a number of
scientists whose names I recognized, men who did research
and received financing from the dairy industry.
Monday's New York Times (August 16, 1999, Page A-10) ran
another conflict of interest story.
Dr. Michael Phillips violated NAS regulations when he left
that agency for a job with the Biotechnology Industry
Organization where he will serve a key role in representing
the agriculture and biotech industry on domestic trade
policy and international trade issues.
Phillips had been directing a crucial study of genetically
engineered foods and did not tell academy officials that he
had been recruited by the Biotechnology Industry
Organization, a trade organization representing biotech
firms, including Monsanto.
In his capacity as director of this study, he hired experts
to testify, and participated in all of the panel's meetings.
His work was completely biased and demonstrates the
revolving door policy between the very biased National
Academy of Science and the biotech industry.
Imagine this man chairing meetings and writing a report that
would affect the health and safety of your children, while
possessing a job offer from an industry ready to benefit
from his bias.
Should this man be punished, or should we reserve that fate
for those who tempt those in power with silver coins?