Eurocrats twist the evidence…. Finally the EU Chief Scientific Adviser has spoken out.
We knew it went on – it was graphically illustrated when Dr Farsalinos wrote that famous letter of his which you can read here – he quite rightly points out that his work has been misrepresented.
Dr Lynn Dawkins wrote in a similar vein, but that too was ignored and the TPD when ahead – after drastic changes that were negotiated behind closed doors.
And then last week this article is published: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/05/30/Eurocrats-twist-scientific-evidence-to-suit-politcal-imperative.
Dr Anne Glover is the Chief Scientific Adviser to the EU, but it seems her advice is generally ignored. In the article she uses a fictitious example –“ “Let’s imagine a Commissioner over the weekend thinks, ‘Let’s ban the use of credit cards in the EU because credit cards lead to personal debt.’ So that commissioner will come in on Monday morning and say to his or her Director General, ‘Find me the evidence that demonstrates that this is the case.’”
The Commissioner’s staff might resist the idea but in the end, she said, “they will do exactly what they’re asked” and “find the evidence” to show that credit card use leads to personal debt, even though this may not be the case in reality.”
And even more telling is this line: “if people don’t like what’s being proposed, what they say is that there is something wrong with the evidence.”
And this is exactly what happened to e cigarettes during the Tobacco Products Directive journey. Time and again research was presented to the EU, the MEPs and those tasked with ensuring the TPD was achieved within a very tight time frame. Time and again we saw credible evidence refuted for mere hypotheses – a few ‘what if’s’ and completely unscientific scaremongering.
The article ends – to make the case succinctly “For example, the EU’s 2007 REACH policy (Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) generated 36 different impact assessment studies, many from within the chemicals industry warning of the disastrous costs of the policy.
Yet, said Glover, “A final impact study ended up broadly confirming the Commission’s original assessment.”
One can only wonder at the information that passed the desk of the scientific advisers when it came to e cigarettes. Save E-cigs has written to Dr Glover asking what advice she gave in relation to e-cigarettes and the TPD, if and when we find out we will let you know. Watch this space.