Manufacturing Uncertainty

Category archives for Manufacturing Uncertainty

This is a trade secret under FOIA?

I’ve often suspected that some federal agencies apply very broad definitions to the exemptions provided under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  Now, thanks to one diligent journalist I can judge for myself whether the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is an offender.  Ellen Smith of Mine Safety and Health News requested records from MSHA and the…

Our regular readers are no doubt familiar with the efforts of various industries to protect their particular products from regulation. These industries (and the organizations they fund) often succeed in weakening or delaying regulations intended to protect people from climate change, tobacco, and other hazards.  In addition to battling specific regulatory proposals, these same industries…

Tobacco Tactics for Climate Change Denial

American News Project has just posted a new video segment about how tactics used to defend tobacco are now staving off action on climate change. In “Smoke and CO2: How to Spin Global Warming,” Danielle Ivory gives an eight-minute overview of how we went from reassurances that tobacco isn’t really harmful to insistence that we don’t…

Next step for Chao’s Secret Rule

Hmph!   I just read on the OMB/OIRA website that they have completed their review of Labor Secretary Chao’s proposal to change the way that OSHA and MSHA assess workers’ risk of health hazards.  The OIRA website notice says their review was completed on August 25, and it was approved “consistent with change.” 

How Product Defense Hurts Workers

Hazards magazine, a UK-based publication dedicated to occupational health, has just published a piece by David Michaels about how product defense tactics harm workers. Much of David’s book, Doubt is Their Product, focuses on substances whose dangers are particularly evident in the workplace, including asbestos, benzene lead, aromatic amines (dyes and rubber chemicals that cause…

Rushing NOT! to Protect Workers’ Health

Following The Pump Handle’s July 8 post “Secret Rule on OSHA Risk Assessment” (and July 10 here), a front-page Washington Post article provides more details on the Bush Administration’s plan to “reform” the system used by OSHA and MSHA to assess workers’ risk from toxic materials.  In U.S. Rushes to Change Workplace Toxin Rules, Post reporter Carol Leonnig obtained a draft copy of the…

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Congressman George Miller (D-CA) are demanding answers from Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on her mysterious proposed rule on risk assessment.  I reported earlier this week that the Secretary’s office sent a proposed rule to OMB on July 7 entitled “Requirements for DOL Agencies’ Assessment of Occupational Health Risks.”  Although this proposal might sound…

Secret rule on OSHA risk assessment?

I found the most curious item on OMB OIRA’s webpage today, and my paranoia about end-of-the-term mischief by the Bush Administration kicked into high gear.  The item is listed as a proposed rule submitted to OIRA for review on July 7 titled: “Requirements for DOL Agencies’ Assessment of Occupational Health Risks” (RIN: 1290-AA23)  (Link here, select…

Why the Right Wing attacks science

by revere (cross posted at Effect Measure) If you want to see what difference environmental protection enforcement makes, just go to eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union. Or China. In the 1970s the US led the world in cleaning its environment and was consolidating its gains with well-staffed, motivated federal and state environment agencies.…

The Weinberg Group is one of the product defense firms I write about in my new book “Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health.” These firms help polluters and manufacturers of dangerous products avoid regulation – only now the Weinberg Group is not a product defense firm, it’s transformed itself…