Los Angeles Times Examines Dispute Over Makeup of Federal Scientific Advisory Boards
The Los Angeles Times on Dec. 23 looks at increasing criticism from researchers who say that the Bush administration is conducting "political and ideological screening" of candidates to federal scientific advisory panels to make sure they "recommend no policies that are out of step with the political agenda of the White House." For example, the FDA on Dec. 10 rejected an advisory board nominee who supports cloning for medical research. In addition, the staff of HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson recently rejected a nominee to a research grant review panel of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health who supports federal rules to decrease repetitive stress injuries in the workplace. Critics say the Bush administration is "going further than its predecessors in considering ideology as well as scientific expertise" in composing the panels, the Times reports. Officials, however, say their actions are consistent with those of previous administrations, adding that they are "using appointment powers to make sure their viewpoints are well-represented on the government's scientific advisory boards," according to the Times (Zitner, Los Angeles Times, 12/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.