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Naysayers (Deniers)

Naysayers (Deniers)
Naysayers spreading misinformation
Naysayer:  A person who denies, refuses or opposes something

Denier:  A person who denies something, especially someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence.

Big Business has been shown repeatedly to use the "Big Lie" (naysayer/denier) tactic regarding the dangers of their products, and the histories of such substances as radium, asbestos and coal are evidence of the same. Workers in these industries, and other industries, were exposed to dangerous materials for decades while those making the profits knew the potential harmful health effects.

Another well-known example of the "Big Lie" strategy is the story of the tobacco industry coverup.  They knew the truth about the dangers of tobacco for more than 50 years, but they hid the truth from the public while millions of people were harmed.

David Michaels said it best in his book "Doubt is Their Product."

"The practices perfected (by the tobacco industry) are alive and well and ubiquitous today. We see this growing trend that disingenuously demands proof over precaution in the realm of public health. In field after field, year after year, conclusions that might support regulation are always disputed. Animal data are deemed not relevant, human data not representative, and exposure data not reliable. Whatever the story—global warming, sugar and obesity, secondhand smoke—scientists in what I call the ‘‘product defense industry’’ prepare for the release of unfavorable studies even before the studies are published. Public relations experts feed these for-hire scientists contrarian sound bites that play well with reporters, who are mired in the trap of believing there must be two sides to every story. Maybe there are two sides—and maybe one has been bought and paid for."

The following list highlights three of the key naysayer papers that have been used by the insurance industry and others to deny the truth about the health effects of mold. 

To see a more extensive list of naysayer papers, click here to go to our page of Naysayer Papers.

ACOEM (2002):  Adverse Human Health Effects Associated with Molds in the Indoor Environment

The ACOEM 2002 position statement was prepared by (naysayers) "Bryan D. Hardin, PhD, Bruce J. Kelman, PhD, DABT, and Andrew Saxon, MD, under the auspices of the ACOEM Council on Scientific Affairs. It was peer-reviewed by the Council and its committees, and was approved by the ACOEM Board of Directors on October 27, 2002."

ACOEM (2011):  Adverse Human Health Effects Associated with Molds in the Indoor Environment
(very little change from the 2002 version; no new research papers added since 2002)

The ACOEM 2011 position statement was "prepared under the auspices of the Council of Scientific Advisors and approved by the ACOEM Board of Directors on February 14, 2011. This revised statement updates the previous (2002) position statement which was prepared by Bryan D. Hardin, PhD; Bruce J. Kelman, PhD, DABT; and Andrew Saxon, MD; under the auspices of the ACOEM Council on Scientific Affairs."

NOTE: ACOEM removed their 2011 position statement from their website in early 2015.

(The) Growing Hazard of Mold Litigation (2003) (by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and the Center for Legal Policy at The Manhattan Institute)

"The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform was founded in 1998 as a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt, separately incorporated affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."

"The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, partnering with the Center for Legal Policy of the Manhattan Institute, commissioned two papers that take a close look at mold litigation and the science of mold. The first, by Cliff Hutchinson and Robert Powell, two experienced litigators with Hughes and Luce in Dallas and Austin, provides a legal perspective on mold claims. The second, written by a team of scientists led by Dr. Bryan Hardin, former Deputy Director of NIOSH and former Assistant Surgeon General in the Public Health Service, addresses the scientific evidence."

These two papers are listed individually above and their titles are:

A New Plague – Mold Litigation: How Junk Science and Hysteria Built an Industry (by attorneys Cliff Hutchinson and Robert Powell)

and

A Scientific View of the Health Effects of Mold (by Hardin (written by Bryan D. Hardin, Andrew Saxon, Coreen Robbins and Bruce J. Kelman)
Naysayer/denier articles and reports spend valuable print space suggesting that disease from mold can only occur after ingestion, or can only occur in the presence of large amounts of aerosolized toxin, or can only occur in an acute exposure.  All of those writings are part of their misinformation ("Big Lie") strategy.

In light of the overwhelming peer-reviewed and journal-published evidence to the contrary, it is unimaginable that such papers are still being inked, are still being used in courts as “evidence” and are still considered relevant in any way.

Some of the NAYSAYER organizations who have participated in spreading these inaccurate claims are listed here:    
  • AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology)
  • ACOEM (American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
    • The ACOEM naysayer report from 2011 does not reference any paper after 2002. In the world of medicine, this is seriously outdated and makes the paper’s stand on mold-related illness completely irrelevant.
  • AACT (American Academy of Clinical Toxicology)
  • ACMT (American College of Medical Toxicology)
  • AIHA (American Industrial Hygiene Association)
  • AOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics)
  • ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)
  • CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Exponent (defense experts for big business)
  • FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
  • HHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
  • IOM (Institute of Medicine)
  • Insurance Companies 
  • NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Science)
  • NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health)
  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
  • PEHSU (Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Veritox (defense experts for big business, includes Bruce Kelman, Bryan Hardin, Coreen Robbins, Lonie Swenson). Veritox was previously named GlobalTox.
The NAYSAYERS/DENIERS also include the following defense experts and defense attorneys:

Arora, Ajit S.
Assouline-Dayan, Yehudith
Bardana, Emil J.
Barrett, Stephen J.
Bender, Bruce
Burge, Harriet A.
Bush, Robert K.
Chang, Christopher M.
Chapman, Jean A.
Charlesworth, Ernest N.
Cheung, Hung K.
Clark, Geneva L.
Fisher, Daniel
Franklin, Donald E.
Gershwin, M. Eric
Ghannoum, M.A.
Golden, David
Gots, Ronald E.
Guidotti, Tee L.
Hagan, Philip
Harbison, Raymond D.
Hardin, Bryan D.
Hays, Steve M.
Hedge, Alan
Hein, Robert P.
Hutchinson, Cliff 
Jacobs, Robert L.
Jarvis, Bruce B.
Jones, David V.
Kelman, Bruce J.
Khalili, Barzin
Khan, Farah
King, Blair
King, Norman
Kirkland, Kimberly H.
Kuhn, D.M.
Kung'u, Jackson
Kurt, Thomas L.
LaBar, Gregg
Larson, Jeremy R.
Lee, Dwight R.
Lees-Haley, Paul
Leong, Albin
Light, Ed N.
Millar, J. Donald
Miller J. David
O'Reilly, James T.
Page, Elena H.
Payne, James D.
Pettigrew, H. David
Phillips, Michael
Phillips, Scott
Portnoy, Jay M.
Powell, Robert
Rand, Thomas G.
Richardson, Kelly G.
Rizzo, Matthew
Robbins, Coreen A.
Saxon, Andrew
Schoenberg, Patrick S.
Selmi, Carlo F.
Shoenfeld, Yehuda
Sudakin, Daniel L.
Swenson, Lonie J.
Sylvera, Darryl
Terr, Abba I.
Teuber, Suzanne S.
Tranel, Daniel L.
Trout, Douglas B.
Truex, Bruce A.
Verhoeff, Armoud P.
Wedner, H. James
Weiner, Howard M.
Williams, C.W.
Wood, Robert A.
Zalma, Barry

And many other defense experts and defense attorneys.

The naysayers/deniers claim that mold and mycotoxins aren't harmful when inhaled.  That is NOT true.

They have known about the inhalation health effects of mycotoxins since at least 1985 and probably much earlier.

It’s amazing how our government officials, judges, medical organizations and allopathic physicians have turned their backs on the people who are ill and suffering just because of this handful of naysayer papers written by these bought-and-paid-for defense experts.  Yet, they ignore the hundreds of research papers that discuss the health effects of exposure to mold and mycotoxins.

Check out the collection of Research Papers on our website to get accurate information about the heath effects of mold, mycotoxins and other indoor air contaminants.

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*Here are excerpts about Exponent from the book "Doubt is Their Product:"

From page 46 of the book:

As the product defense work has gotten more and more specialized, the makeup of the business has changed; generic public relations operations like Hill and Knowlton have been eclipsed by product defense firms, specialty boutiques run by scientists. Having cut their teeth manufacturing uncertainty for Big Tobacco, scientists at ChemRisk, the Weinberg Group, Exponent, Inc., and other consulting firms now battle the regulatory agencies on behalf of the manufacturers of benzene, beryllium, chromium, MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether), perchlorates, phthalates, and virtually every other toxic chemical in the news today. Their business model is straightforward. They profit by helping corporations minimize public health and environmental protection and fight claims of injury and illness. In field after field, year after year, this same handful of individuals and companies comes up again and again.

The range of their work is impressive. They have on their payrolls (or can bring in on a moment’s notice) toxicologists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, risk assessors, and any other professionally trained, media-savvy experts deemed necessary. They and the larger, wealthier industries for which they work go through the motions we expect of the scientific enterprise, salting the literature with their questionable reports and studies. Nevertheless, it is all a charade. The work has one overriding motivation: advocacy for the sponsor’s position in civil court, the court of public opinion, and the regulatory arena. Often tailored to address issues that arise in litigation, they are more like legal pleadings than scientific papers. In the regulatory arena, the studies are useful not because they are good work that the regulatory agencies have to take seriously but because they clog the machinery and slow down the process.

From page 47 of the book:

Should the public lose all interest in its health, these product defense firms would be out of luck. Exponent, Inc., one of the premier firms in the product defense business, acknowledges as much in this filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

Public concern over health, safety and preservation of the environment has resulted in the enactment of a broad range of environmental and/or other laws and regulations by local, state and federal lawmakers and agencies. These laws and the implementing regulations affect nearly every industry, as well as the agencies of federal, state and local governments charged with their enforcement. To the extent changes in such laws, regulations and enforcement or other factors significantly reduce the exposures of manufacturers, owners, service providers and others to liability, the demand for our services may be significantly reduced.

Exponent, Inc., began its existence as an engineering firm, calling itself Failure Analysis Associates and specializing in assisting the auto industry in defending itself in lawsuits involving crashes.7 ‘‘Failure analysis’’ is a standard methodology for investigating the breakdown of a system or machine, but the firm must have realized that ‘‘Failure’’ in its name might not work well outside the engineering world and switched to the more palatable Exponent, Inc., when it went public in 1998. 
 
Exponent’s scientists are prolific writers of scientific reports and papers. While some may exist, I have yet to see an Exponent study that does not support the conclusion needed by the corporation or trade association that is paying the bill.

From page 49 of the book:

When a study by consulting epidemiologists discovered a high rate of prostate cancer cases at a Syngenta plant that produced the pesticide atrazine,21 Exponent’s scientists produced a study that found no relationship between the chemical and the disease.

After numerous studies that linked pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease appeared in prestigious scientific journals, Exponent’s scientists produced a literature review for CropLife America, the trade association of pesticide producers, whose conclusion maintained that ‘‘the animal and epidemiologic data reviewed do not provide sufficient evidence to support a causal association between pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease.’’

Exponent specializes in literature reviews that draw negative conclusions. The company’s scientists have produced several reviews of the asbestos literature for use in litigation, all of which conclude that certain types of asbestos and certain types of asbestos exposure are far less dangerous than previously believed.

From page 137 of the book:

Brush needed a more convincing argument, and so it hired the product defense firm Exponent, Inc., which proceeded to do what it does best: manufacture uncertainty. Maybe different forms of beryllium do not pose the same health hazard. Maybe particle size is what is important. Maybe skin exposure is more significant than we thought. Whatever is going on with beryllium is very complicated, according to this line of reasoning, so we need defending the taxicab standard to do more research, more research, more research.

From page 181 of the book:

In regard to asbestos harming auto mechanics because of the asbestos in automobile brake pads....

Scientists at Exponent, Inc. and ChemRisk have flooded the scientific literature with analyses that conclude that auto mechanics who repair asbestos brake shoes are not exposed to much asbestos and when they are, the asbestos has been transformed into non-toxic material. These studies do not come cheaply; between 2001 and April 2006 these two firms alone billed approximately $23 million to General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler for their work.
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