Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:32 AM
Coyotl (10,790 posts)
Winners and Losers = Least Scientific Members of Congress = Big Turnover House Science Committee
Let me begin by saying I have nothing personal against dinosaurs, the genera of extinct life forms, but in Congress!!!
Monday, Oct 8, 2012 01:19 PM PDT
Least scientific members of the House Science Committee
Paul Broun's not the only GOP member of the House Science Committee who's a bit iffy on the whole science thing
By Jillian Rayfield - http://www.salon.com/2012/10/08/least_scientific_members_of_the_house_science_committee/
“Wait, he’s on the House Science Committee?”
That was many people’s reaction to comments by Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., that came to light last week: ”All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” Broun said at the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet recently. “And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
But Broun’s not the only Republican on the committee who has a tenuous-at-best relationship with science ...
U.S. House Science Committee Set For Big Turnover
A key science policymaking body in the U.S. House of Representatives is about to get a makeover. Ten current members of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology have been defeated in this year's elections or are retiring, according to an analysis by ScienceInsider. That's one-quarter of the total membership. ....
Members known to be leaving the panel come January are:
Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), who was defeated in the general election. He was the panel's fifth most senior Republican.
Jerry Costello (D-IL), who is retiring.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is defeated, but other Maryland incumbents are reelected to Congress
Maryland’s congressional delegation emerged from Election Day looking much as it did before — except in the western part of the state, where Democrat John K. Delaney defeated Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett in a district redrawn to snatch the seat held by Bartlett for two decades. ...
Instead of seeking an 11th term in a familiar, mostly rural area that had been safe for years, Bartlett, 86, found himself fighting uphill on turf that dips into Washington’s suburbs and gives Democrats a numerical edge. Analysts had called him the nation’s most vulnerable Republican.
Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett ... on pregnancies resulting from rape: “There are very few pregnancies as a result of rape, fortunately, and incest — compared to the usual abortion, what is the percentage of abortions for rape? It is tiny. It is a tiny, tiny percentage.”
Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer is best known for yelling out, “It’s a baby killer!” during the House debate on Obama’s healthcare reform bill. But did you know he also drafted a resolution for Americans to ”join together in prayer to humbly seek fair weather conditions” after a series of destructive tornadoes and droughts?
Three Republicans vie for chairmanship of the House Science Committee
... the chairmanship of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee is up for grabs. The current chairman, Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas, has been term limited out.
According to Space Politics, there are three contenders for the job, having announced the day after the election. They are Rep, James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Dana Rohrabacher of California, and Lamar Smith of Texas.
Of the three, Sensenbrenner, the current vice chairman and former chairman of the committee, would have to be considered a favorite. ... Smith is the current chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, but is being term limited out of that job.
Of course, Sensenbrenner is renowned as a climate change skeptic who decried it as ”scientific fascism” and an “international conspiracy”
Todd Akin’s out, but is the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology still “anti-science”?
The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is notorious for being rather, well, anti-science. .... Anatomy 101 isn’t the only class many of the committee members seem to have skipped. ... Ralph Hall’s (R-Texas) dismissal of climate science because he doesn’t think “we can control what God controls.” Fellow committee member Dana Rohrbacher (R-California) does think humans can reduce greenhouse gases, he just thinks the way to do it is by cutting down trees. Meanwhile, Paul Broun (R-Georgia) is given to fits of rhetoric when asked about science and nutrition, calling the CDC’s recommendation to eat more fruits and vegetables “socialism of the highest order” and calling evolution and the Big Bang theory “lies from the pit of Hell.”
In this year’s elections, seven House Science Committee members were defeated ... the committee is still full of Congressmen that have been criticized for anti-science rhetoric and voting records, from the trio of Hall, Rorhbacher, and Broun to others like Jim Sensenbrenner, Mo Brooks, and Dan Benishek. Many (including us) wrote that this election was a victory for science and tech, particularly clean tech. But with a committee that remains filled with Congressmen who think the climate consequences of coal production are nothing to worry about, it’s hard to imagine them shaping policies, advocating for tax credits, and introducing legislation that help wind and solar startups.
Rep. Sandy Adams, who lost her Florida primary, said “I’m Christian. I believe in the biblical terms of how we came about,” and voted to have teachers “teach theories that contradict the theory of evolution.”
Meet Congresswoman-Elect Sandy Adams: Conspiracy-Theorist, Religious Extremist
She is also an avowed opponent of teaching evolution, and voted in favor of a bill that calls on teachers to “teach theories that contradict the theory of evolution.” Adams herself does not believe evolution and says that Christians should reject evolution in favor of “the biblical terms of how we came about.” When asked “by a caller in a telephone town hall meeting whether she believed in evolution…Adams replied, ‘I’m Christian. What else do you want to know?’” Adams also supports Florida’s unsuccessful private school vouchers program and wants the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools.
9 replies, 1580 views
Winners and Losers = Least Scientific Members of Congress = Big Turnover House Science Committee (Original post)
Response to Coyotl (Original post)
Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:40 PM
proverbialwisdom (4,054 posts)
3. A little history... to correct the misleading OP.
Google: dan quayle biotech
Dan Quayle and Michael Taylor's Nightmare Lives On: 20 years of GMO Policy that Keeps Americans in the Dark About Their Food
Posted by Lisa on May 29, 2012
Twenty years ago this week, then-Vice President Dan Quayle announced the FDA's policy on genetically engineered food as part of his "regulatory relief initiative." The policy, Quayle explained, was based on the idea that genetic engineering is no different than traditional plant breeding, and therefore required no new regulations.
Five years earlier, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush visited a Monsanto lab for a photo op with the developers of Roundup Ready crops. According to a video report of the meeting, when Monsanto executives worried about the approval process for their new crops, Bush laughed and told them, "Call me. We're in the dereg businesses. Maybe we can help."
And help he did - more than anyone could have ever imagined. Today, the politically motivated policy lives on, even though it contradicts modern scientific consensus.
How is it possible that the U.S. is making critical decisions about our food system with a decades-old policy that is at odds with global opinion? In a word: politics. As Quayle explained in the 1992 press conference, the American biotechnology industry would reap huge profits "as long as we resist the spread of unnecessary regulations."
Politics not Science Set the Agenda
Dan Quayle's 1992 policy announcement is premised on the notion that genetically engineered crops are "substantially equivalent" to regular crops and thus do not need to be labeled or safety tested. The policy was crafted by Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto lawyer who was hired by the Bush FDA to fill the newly created position of deputy commissioner of policy.
Response to Coyotl (Reply #4)
Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:08 PM
proverbialwisdom (4,054 posts)
5. The idea that anti-science politicians are limited to the type your OP describes is a misconception.
For example, despite superficial appearances that promoting biotech food is pro-science, VP Dan Quayle's pro-business actions in advising the deregulation of GMOs by presidential signing statement and FDA decree was a profoundly anti-science agenda, as detailed in the article at the link, because it was not supported by SCIENCE.
From the start, the policy of "substantial equivalence" had many critics. The concerns by the FDA's own scientists were summed up in a memo by FDA compliance officer Dr. Linda Kahl, who protested that the agency was "... trying to fit a square peg into a round hole . . . trying to force an ultimate conclusion that there is no difference between foods modified by genetic engineering and foods modified by traditional breeding practices."
As Kahl wrote, "The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different, and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks."
Response to Coyotl (Reply #4)
Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:14 PM
proverbialwisdom (4,054 posts)
6. September, 2000: 'This is not sound science, and it is not sound public health.'
Last edited Sat Oct 26, 2013, 04:09 PM - Edit history (2)
"Genetically Altered Foods: We Are Being Exposed to One of the Largest Uncontrolled Experiments in History"
September 3, 2000
BOSTON - Today the vast majority of foods in supermarkets contain genetically modified substances whose effects on our health are unknown. As a medical doctor, I can assure you that no one in the medical profession would attempt to perform experiments on human subjects without their consent. Such conduct is illegal and unethical. Yet manufacturers of genetically altered foods are exposing us to one of the largest uncontrolled experiments in modern history.
In less than five years these companies have flooded the marketplace with thousands of untested and unlabeled products containing foreign genetic material. These genetically modified foods pose several very real dangers because they have been engineered to create novel proteins that retard spoilage, produce their own pesticides against insects, or allow plants to tolerate larger and larger doses of weed killers. Despite claims that these food products are based on "sound science," in truth, neither manufacturers nor the government has studied the effects of these genetically altered organisms or their new proteins on people-especially babies, the elderly, and the sick. Can these products be toxic? Can they cause immune system problems? Can they damage an infant's developing nervous system? We need answers to these questions, and until then genetically altered ingredients should be removed from the food we eat.
As a pediatric neurologist, I especially worry about the safety of modified foods when it comes to children. We know that the human immune system, for example, is not fully developed in infants. Consequently, pediatricians have long been concerned about early introduction of new proteins into the immature gut and developing body of small children. Infants with colic are often switched to soy formula. Yet we have no information on how they might be affected by drinking genetically engineered soy, even though this product may be their sole or major source of nutrition for months. Because these foods are unlabeled, most parents feed their babies genetically altered formula whether they want to or not. Even proteins that are normally part of the human diet may, when introduced too early, lead to auto-immune and hypersensitivity or "allergic" reactions later.
Some studies suggest that the epidemic increase in asthma (it has doubled since 1980) may have links to early dietary exposures. The behavior problems of many children with autism and attention disorders get worse when they are exposed to certain foods. Yet as more unlabeled and untested genetically engineered foods enter the market, there is no one monitoring how the millions of people with immune system vulnerability are reacting to them and the novel proteins and fragments of viruses they can contain. In fact, without labeling, there is no possible way to track such health effects. This is not sound science, and it is not sound public health.
More at link.
Best and saddest expert analysis I have encountered on GMOs ever - discovered several days ago. Predates my use of the internet.