U.S. Taxpayers Funding Overseas Junk Science
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2016 | By The Association of Mature American Citizens
from – Polizette – by Brian Darling
Our national debt is fast approaching $20 trillion. The debt has been racking up over the past decade and a half. The debt started at $5.7 trillion in 2000, soared to $13.6 trillion in 2010, and has since nearly doubled.
The annual deficit was about $438 billion last year. The largest deficit notched by the Obama administration was $1.4 trillion in 2009. During the Bush years, immense sums of debt were racked up, including $413 billion in 2004. This has to end.
But even with all this debt, the federal government continues to waste taxpayer dollars. The big drivers of debt are entitlements, yet other areas of government continue to play fast and loose with taxpayer cash. One area of persistent waste is the funding of junk science.
One entity that receives American tax dollars to conduct questionable science is a France-based organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), funded by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO receives money from the U.S. Treasury. This organization has in the past concluded that coffee and bacon cause cancer, using little real science to support that thesis.
The actions of the IARC have become so controversial that Congress is getting involved. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, wrote a letter on Sept. 26 to Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to demand more information about the extent to which taxpayers are funding junk science.
Chaffetz wrote, “IARC’s standards and determinations for classifying substances as carcinogenic, and therefore cancer-causing, appear inconsistent with other scientific research, and have generated much controversy and alarm.” Chaffetz cites the evidence that the IARC declared coffee as “possibly carcinogenic” before dropping the claim in the face of contradictory scientific evidence.
Coffee was not the only target of their research. Chaffetz noted, “In addition, questions persist over IARC’s decision to group red meat and cured and processed meats like bacon, ham, and sausage, in, or nearly in, the same carcinogenetic [sic] classification as asbestos, alcohol, arsenic, tobacco, and steroids.” Chaffetz said the organization’s findings on bacon have been contradicted by other scientific findings.
The new focus of animus from the IARC is something called glyphosate, a commonly used weed killer. In the face of the European Food Safety Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other scientific organizations, the IARC is targeting the chemical as another cause of cancer. The IARC has determined the weed killer to be “probably carcinogenic.” Yet another example of the questionable science funded by the federal government.
According to the House Oversight Committee letter, taxpayers have already wasted over $1.2 million this year, and several million since funding started for this research in 1992. Millions may not seem like much in the face of trillions in debt — but to the taxpayers, wasting $1.2 million of their money is a big deal.
And the government is hiding the level of coordination between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Toxicology Program, and this organization by resisting efforts for transparency through the use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The goal of transparency efforts is to see whether the foreign organization’s junk science has seeped into domestic scientific research on the true causes of cancer.
Ending millions in government waste on junk science may not put a dent in our federal debt, but it would be a good way for the federal government to show that it is being careful when spending the hard-earned money the government takes from hardworking Americans every year in the form of taxes and future taxes in the form of debt.