For Immediate Release: January 27, 2006
Contact: Audrey Silk (917) 888-9317
RESEARCHERS BLAST CALIFORNIA EPA REPORT:
SECONDHAND SMOKE FINDINGS BIASED, FLAWED
A new report from California's EPA ("Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant.") which sensationally alleges that secondhand smoke is a "cause" of breast cancer and a "toxic contaminent " of outdoor air, has been scathingly criticized by top researchers in all the relevant fields.
The American Cancer Society stated unequivocally, in a written comment, that it did not agree with Cal-EPA's conclusion that secondhand smoke was a cause of breast cancer, and that published evidence did not support the requisite criteria for causation.
Other written charges leveled by top scientists agreed on the following points:
·¶ The California EPA excluded or misinterpreted the published peer-reviewed evidence that countered its own a priori conclusions.
¶ Used faulty or entirely inappropriate methodology;
·¶ Its cherry-picked selections, and jumped-to conclusions, were "advocative" in tone and very seriously biased;
Roger A. Jenkins, senior air quality researcher for the U.S. government 's Oak Ridge National Labs, also accused the report of excluding important studies and of thus reaching conclusions "incongruent with the latest scientific evidence."
Maurice E. LeVois, himself the author of many published studies in the field of ETS, adds to this litany that "objective methods and criteria were not used," that the methods that were used were "improper" and "not warranted" and were evaluated by "vague and subjective" criteria.
"Such exercises," he writes, "are result-driven and don't conform to even the most basic standards." Noting the "consistent effort [of this report] to emphasize data that support its own conclusions. and criticize and ignore [or even "misrepresent"] the data that undermine" them, he adds that these conclusions are simply "not supported by the previously published research or the more recent studies."
Sanford H. Barsky, Professor of Pathology at UCLA and a practicing oncologist, takes specific and well-documented exception to the Report's conclusions about breast cancer, which not only fly in the face of other (extensively cited) studies but lack any "credible biological mechanism."
Other accredited scientists to similarly comment include Peter N. Lee (author of many published studies in the field), J. Daniel Heck, Patricia Martin, and Carr J. Smith, all PhD, DABT.
NYC C.L.A.S.H. URGES THE MEDIA TO TAKE THIS INTO ACCOUNT
In fairness to both your readers and your profession, we urge you to dig beyond the press release propaganda, and to investigate and report on the well-considered critiques of these major scientists. Their comments are recorded in the Report's Appendix C or can be found here, and we'd hope interested journalists would read their critiques and get in touch with the authors for supplementary interviews.
NYC C.L.A.S.H. is a grassroots smokers' rights organization that is well-established with the media. Among other efforts, C.L.A.S.H. sued NY State and City in Federal Court over the smoking bans and are part of the court record as a complainant in the currently pending federal court case of U.S. vs. Philip Morris, et al.