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RE: E-M:/ I just caught this on the Gristmill...


Your information and interpretation is uninformed.  The current administration found no place for the MESB because the particular MESB Panel questioned the scientific thoroughness and integrity of a draft report prepared by one of its departments and did not want that to ever occur again.  The Engler administration also was not pleased with several reports of the MESB but never censured the Board by no longer giving it any charges.  Despite what other say, the standing marching orders given to the MESB directly from Governor Engler was and I quote" I want the best science possible even if I don't like it."  The same cannot be said of the current administration.
Regarding the "egregious example" you cite, again, you do not have all the facts.  Dr. Weil's position, which was purposefully and fully to his satisfaction (not a single word was changed from what he wrote) was addressed in the report.  Also, a little known fact is that he wanted me to change what was written in the previously published DEQ report (which was the report that the MESB was commenting on) so as to more closely support what he was trying to say in his piece).  I refused to do this.
Regarding the other pediatrician, she never provided any input, participated in any of the discussions, provided any data or commented on any of the multi drafts of the report that were produced during the process.  She finally provided a one liner after I shared with all the panel Dr. Weil's piece with "I support Dr. Weil's position," with no explanation or justification.  When I requested additional information, which was standard practice with all panel members, I never received anything.  She was the only Panel member on any MESB Panel who virtually did nothing on a report.  In hindsight, she probably should have removed herself if she could not participate or in the extreme  should have been removed from the panel early on but was kept given a second and third chance to because of the outside possibility that she would start to pull her weight on the report.
Dave and with all due respect to you, your statement that: "but the philosophical approach of the majority was to challenge the need for more strict environmental standards, consistent with Gov. Engler's approach to these issues," is simply uninformed, and untrue.
Finally Dave, people (for what ever end purpose they want) can believe and say what they want, but as the Executive Director, I am the only person who was directly involved from the beginning to the end in all the MESB panels and know from first hand, rather than from outside speculation or hear-say, what did and did not occur during the 12 years of existence of the MESB.  

Dave Dempsey <davedem@hotmail.com> wrote:
With all due respect to Dr. Keith Harrison, now an advisor to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, MESB has played no useful role since its creation. The potential was there, but the current Administration never found a place for it and the Engler Administration sometimes deployed it to protect the status quo or to prevent more protective environmental standards.

The most egregious example of this was when the Ecology Center and Michigan Environmental Council were successful in getting the legislature to direct MESB to consider the adequacy of environmental standards to protect public health. The majority of the panel said no; but the two pediatricians on the panel strongly dissented and urged more protective standards.

That report is here:


The two-page minority statement is p. 24-25.

To call the panel "independent" is a bit of a stretch. Appointments made by Gov. Engler to the panel included some scientists with outstanding reputations, but the philosophical approach of the majority was to challenge the need for more strict environmental standards, consistent with Gov. Engler's approach to these issues.

Dr. Harrison's recent op-ed on the MESB is here:


Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 16:26:23 -0400
From: ebaerren@gmail.com
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: E-M:/ I just caught this on the Gristmill...

The governor axed a science advisory board?


Does anyone know what this is about, or why she did it?