Home Forums Legislation The Honest Act 2017 Reply To: The Honest Act 2017

#21629 Score: 1
3 pts

There are more concerns with each of the major pieces of this legislation.
1) Reproducibility is often entirely unethical. For example, we know what happened after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed at the end of WWII. Similarly, we’ve seen the effects that lead poisoning can have by watching the devastation unfold for children of Flint, Michigan. Clearly both were case studies, from a single occurrence we can’t know exactly what confounding factors were present. For conclusive evidence about causes and safe dosage, more controlled studies are necessary (likely on animals, or also having confounding factors), but the data from these big events are important for understanding large-scale impacts on people. However, the obvious public health impacts were severe enough that it will never be ethical to reproduce such environmental disasters.
2) Because experiments on people are often ethically impossible, the most compelling evidence regarding health effects on people account for potentially confounding factors, such as socioeconomic status, geographic location, other exposure and health issues, etc. These data often are most available through clinical studies, so that the people’s health data can be accounted for. Privacy laws protect those data from being released publicly, which means that we would be excluding the strongest scientific evidence that accounts for the most other confounding factors and most strongly provides evidence of harm to people.

These two factors together substantially limit the quality of the data that can be used to make decisions. Furthermore, they are well beyond what is required for data used to make other public health decisions, for example, about medical treatments or the safety of new products. Without non-reproducible and non-public data, it would be very difficult to build sound evidence about the safety or harm of any potential pollutant; we would be excluding some of the most compelling evidence.

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