• 16 FEB 14
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    A VALUABLE REPUTATION

    From Blake Levitt on the cheemf list:

    The piece below [excerpt only] is long but an excellent read. The telecom and now smart grid industries, IEEE, EPRI, COMAR, and others use most of these same tactics. Researcher Jerry Phillips described Motorola’s intentional delaying of his research results in the film Full Signal; they used “product defense” groups like Exponent to influence state agencies considering smart grid legislation in Maine and elsewhere; plant review “papers” in states like Texas and Washington under bogus authors; “buy” domain names to guarantee that their contrived “sound science” pages come up whenever a search is done on BioInitiative or specific people like me and Henry Lai; make false test “replications” by changing test parameters to confuse outcomes and therefore contaminate the database; maintain databases on “friendly” journalists to plant stories and personally profile unfriendly journalists and scientists, etc. etc. Jim Tozzi is mentioned below — he worked with George Carlo and CTIA on discrediting Henry’s work. Bogus risk analysis is applied to federal regulation and the industry controls the lit reviews considered by agencies like FDA, FCC, DoE, EPA. It’s the exact same playbook as below and what is described in David Michaels’ “Doubt is Their Product.”

    Blake Levitt

    **********************************************************************************************************

    A Valuable Reputation – The New Yorker
    After Tyrone Hayes said that a chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him.

    by Rachel Aviv February 10, 2014

    Dan W Hayes has devoted the past fifteen years to studying atrazine, a widely used herbicide made by Syngenta. The company’s notes reveal that it struggled to make sense of him, and plotted ways to discredit him. Photograph by inters.
    In 2001, seven years after joining the biology faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, Tyrone Hayes stopped talking about his research with people he didn’t trust. He instructed the students in his lab, where he was raising three thousand frogs, to hang up the phone if they heard a click, a signal that a third party might be on the line. Other scientists seemed to remember events differently, he noticed, so he started carrying an audio recorder to meetings. “The secret to a happy, successful life of paranoia,” he liked to say, “is to keep careful track of your persecutors.”
    Three years earlier, Syngenta, one of the largest agribusinesses in the world, had asked Hayes to conduct experiments on the herbicide atrazine, which is applied to more than half the corn in the United States. Hayes was thirty-one, and he had already published twenty papers on the endocrinology of amphibians. David Wake, a professor in Hayes’s department, said that Hayes “may have had the greatest potential of anyone in the field.” But, when Hayes discovered that atrazine might impede the sexual development of frogs, his dealings with Syngenta became strained, and, in November, 2000, he ended his relationship with the company.

    Hayes continued studying atrazine on his own, and soon he became convinced that Syngenta representatives were following him to conferences around the world. He worried that the company was orchestrating a campaign to destroy his reputation. He complained that whenever he gave public talks there was a stranger in the back of the room, taking notes. On a trip to Washington, D.C., in 2003, he stayed at a different hotel each night. He was still in touch with a few Syngenta scientists and, after noticing that they knew many details about his work and his schedule, he suspected that they were reading his e-mails. To confuse them, he asked a student to write misleading e-mails from his office computer while he was travelling. He sent backup copies of his data and notes to his parents in sealed boxes. In an e-mail to one Syngenta scientist, he wrote that he had “risked my reputation, my name . . . some say even my life, for what I thought (and now know) is right.” A few scientists had previously done experiments that anticipated Hayes’s work, but no one had observed such extreme effects.
    SNIP

    Read the full article here

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