Michigan’s Lead Testing ‘Science’ is Conducted the Same Way Big Pharma Conducts Vaccine Science: Delete the Bad Data and Pretend Everything is Okay!
It has been revealed that, as far back as 2008, an official in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) tried to bury data showing high lead levels in drinking water in order to avoid having to notify homeowners of the danger.
In the email, the official openly asks the testers to go back and do more tests, in the hopes of getting enough low numbers to be able to cover up the high result.
“Oh my gosh, I’ve never heard [it] more black and white,” said Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech professor and lead expert who helped break news of the recent lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan. “[This email] just shows that this culture of corruption and unethical, uncaring behavior predated Flint by at least [eight] years.”
Official sought to avoid warning residents
In April 2014, the city of Flint switched its water supply from the Detroit municipal system to the Flint River, in order to save money. Residents immediately complained about cloudy, foul-smelling water, but government officials reassured them that the water was safe. Even after doctors proved in September 2015 that lead levels in the blood of the city’s children had soared, officials kept up the party line.
Since the scandal broke, officials at all levels of government have been accused of complicity in the cover up.
The recently revealed case took place back in 2008, in Fenton, Michigan. The MDEQ had performed lead tests at the Chateaux Du Lac Condominiums, a homeowners association with a history of high lead levels. The association’s water system had triggered mandatory state and federal remediation actions for lead eight times in the past 20 years.
One of the five tests performed came back with a lead level of 115 parts per billion (ppb), 10 times the federal action level of 15 ppb. The MDEQ official who received the email about the results — Adam Rosenthal of the Drinking Water office — asked the technician to go back and take “a minimum of 5 more samples” to hopefully “bump out” the high result.
The law states that if 90 percent of samples taken are below the federal action standard, the other 10 percent can be ignored.
“Otherwise we’re back to water quality parameters and lead public notice,” Rosenthal wrote.
Culture of willful blindness
The technician seems to have disregarded Rosenthal’s urging, as only the five results were published and a notice was indeed sent to the homeowners’ association. The real lesson of the email exchange, critics say, is that it reveals a culture of prioritizing bureaucratic convenience over public health at the MDEQ. They say it is this attitude, in part, that led to the Flint disaster.
Rosenthal’s old email was revealed less than a week after criminal charges were filed against three MDEQ employees for “misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence, a treatment violation of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act and a monitoring violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act” in relation to their actions surrounding the Flint crisis.
Two of the defendants, Mike Prysby and Stephen Busch, had been copied on the email Rosenthal sent about the Fenton lead levels back in 2008.
Unfortunately, a culture of ignoring “inconvenient” data is not limited to the MDEQ. In 2014, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist William Thompson admitted that in a 2004 article in the journal Pediatrics, he and his colleagues had deliberately omitted data showing that African American boys who received the MMR vaccine before the age of three years had an elevated risk of autism.
Many agencies also have a culture of attempting to suppress data collected by their own scientists. The USDA is facing a scandal over suppressing research showing the deadly effects that neonicotinoid pesticides have on honeybees, and the FDA is notorious for overlooking concerns over the safety of already-approved prescription drugs.
To find out how you can help ensure a safe water supply for your family, visit EPAwatch.org!
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