EU’s Chief Scientific Advisor Says Eurocrats Twist Evidence, Distort Facts to Suit ‘Political Imperative
30 May 2014
by M.E. SYNON
The EU’s chief scientific advisor has admitted that eurocrats twist the way scientific evidence is gathered in order to meet their “political imperative.”
Prof Anne Glover, appointed in 2011 to provide the European Commission with independent scientific advice, said in a speech in Brussels that political manoeuvring over evidence has reached into “countless examples” of EU policy, including on the safety of nanoparticles, the impact of biofuels on food prices and chemical substances with hormone-disrupting effects.
She said she found it difficult to disentangle the commission’s evidence-gathering processes from what she calls the “political imperative” that is behind them.
According to Euractiv, Glover used a fictitious example: “Let’s imagine a Commissioner over the weekend thinks, ‘Let’s ban the use of credit cards in the EU because credit cards lead to personal debt.’ So that commissioner will come in on Monday morning and say to his or her Director General, ‘Find me the evidence that demonstrates that this is the case.’”
The Commissioner’s staff might resist the idea but in the end, she said, “they will do exactly what they’re asked” and “find the evidence” to show that credit card use leads to personal debt, even though this may not be the case in reality.
She said that a big challenge for the next European Commission will be to disconnect its evidence gathering processes from the “political imperative” that is driving policy proposals. Under the present system, the commission is “building up an evidence base which is not really the best.”
The commission often hires external consulting firms to gather evidence to support its proposals. They provide “impact assessment studies” or “research.” However, Glover said that, while these consultancies are branded as “independent,” they “have little incentive to produce evidence that contradicts the Commission’s political agenda.”
“If they want repeat business, [they] are not going to go out and find the evidence to show that this is a crazy idea.”
According to the Euractiv report, Glover also said that the commission is not alone in distorting facts. The European Parliament and the European Council, which is made up of the 28 heads of state and government of the EU, do it as well.
“‘What happens at the moment, whether it’s in commission, parliament or council, is that time and time again, if people don’t like what’s being proposed, what they say is that there is something wrong with the evidence.”
The distortion of scientific evidence also spills over into the private sector and pressure groups trying to influence EU policy.
For example, the EU’s 2007 REACH policy (Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) generated 36 different impact assessment studies, many from within the chemicals industry warning of the disastrous costs of the policy.
Yet, said Glover, “A final impact study ended up broadly confirming the Commission’s original assessment.”
The European U nion And “The Rotten Hand Of Big Pharma”
November 26, 2013
By Dick Puddlecote
Following on from yesterday’s article here about the EU and its avoidance of democracy in favour of pharma lobbying, do watch VTTV’s David Dorn explaining the disgrace in more detail and advising on how to go about embarrassing these motherfuckers into acting with decency.
Now, there may be many who think that there isn’t a lot of point; that no-one in the EU is noticing. I can tell you that they certainly are.
A fellow jewel robber within the Berlaymont shared the EU parliament’s social media briefing with me yesterday. It is a report sent out by parliament detailing the most significant mentions of the European Parliament on Twitter for each day. Here is their report for Monday.
•? “The European U nion ignores science and common sense by making proposals that will damage the health of smokers and vapers” Ecigarette Research (230+ mentions) http://bit.ly/1aT4RIr
•? “They just don’t get it – Commission proposal for the regulation of e-cigarettes” Counterfactual (210+ mentions)? http://bit.ly/1cLmSHV
•? “Bayer is suing Europe for saving the bees [petition]” SumofUs.org(100+ mentions today) http://goo.gl/ZVSkLY
•? “Prostitution: We need to see paying for sex as violence rather than vice” Independent (75+ mentions) http://ind.pn/1ekqOki
Top hashtags: #ep2014uk (180+ mentions) #eu (100+ mentions) #ep2014 (80+ mentions) #ecigs (75+ mentions)
A follow up e-mail received this afternoon simply said: “Same again today”.
They’re noticing, right enough. They might not like what they are seeing, but they are very aware of what is being talked about by real people.
This has always been the strength of the vaping community. Despite public health tax spongers continually pretending that objectors are merely front groups for whatever industry they are trying to destroy at any particular time, vapers are real people and can’t be ignored. Politicians are timid souls, always easily scared at the thought of bad press from bully-boy prohibitionists, but they’re far more terrified of real people holding them and their stupid pronouncements to account.
Electorate outrage – as highlighted at The Free Society today regarding what David Cameron described as the not “very sensible approach” in other areas of the Tobacco Control Directive (TPD) – is still a powerful weapon.
It’s always been clear that the TPD was a deeply corrupt document, drafted byincompetent Maltese politicians and presented to a supranational body riddled with cronyism and infested by lobbyists whose motivation is anything but health. This leaked Lithuanian lunacy is just the latest shameful episode in its ill-begotten timeline.
On the plus side, it has exposed this arrogant and insular cabal for the revolting creatures that they have always been. I do hope that those who read here and harbour a deep dislike for the bully state will find a little time to shine a light on them by doing as David Dorn suggests above.
Whichever part of this ill-considered, pharma-designed, evidence-light, propaganda-heavy, illiberal and incoherent TPD nonsense you object to, do get writing, sharing, retweeting and generally making a fuss to make EU politicians notice more than they already do.
Pile it up, people.
Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v;=qLNNwHd75xo