A Law That Allows Second-Guessing Science

“The five-year-old Data Quality Act is a below-the-radar legislative device that defenders of industry have increasingly relied upon to attack all range of scientific studies whose results or implications they disagree with, from government global warming reports to cancer research using animal subjects. On its face, the act merely seeks to ensure the ‘quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity’ of government information. In practice, as interpreted by the Bush administration, it creates an unprecedented and cumbersome process that saddles agencies with a new workload while empowering businesses to challenge not just government regulations–something they could do anyway–but scientific information that could potentially lead to regulation somewhere down the road.”