There are a number of points in Mr. Bosum’s letter that, in our view, are wrong or disingenuous.
First of all, it was not the authors of the articles who suggested a cover-up. This question was raised by New Hampshire scientist Roger Masters in a press release.
Secondly, the Nation does not feel it has solicited advice or information from unqualified individuals. Since you have singled out two people in particular we thought we would review their experience and qualifications to clarify matters for you and our readers.
Chris Covel has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geology from the University of Massachusetts (1985) and a Masters of Science in Environmental Studies (Resource Management and Administration) from Antioch New England Graduate School (2002). Mr. Covel is currently an adjunct Professor and ongoing guest lecturer in the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire.
Mr. Covel has over 20 years of experience cleaning up hazardous waste sites around the world. He has been a project manager in various Superfund sites in the US. He has also worked at cleaning up extremely contaminated hazardous waste sites throughout the Americas as far away as Bolivia.
Roger Masters was awarded his doctorate in political science by the University of Chicago following studies at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and at Harvard, where he graduated Summa cum Laude. He is now a Research Professor at Dartmouth College, where he is the Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government, Emeritus. His qualifications also include:
• President, Foundation for Neuroscience and Society (1998- present)
• Fellow, Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences [Hastings Center] (1974-78)
• Co-Chairman, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Seminar on Politics, Ethics, and Economics of Health Care (1975-79)
• Board member, Association for Politics and the Life Sciences (1983- present) Vice-Chair (1991-93)
• Research Associate, Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research (1992-98)
In addition, he has published or been published in the following books and periodicals:
• Co-Editor, with Michael T. McGuire, The Neurotransmitter Revolution (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1994)
• General Editor, Gruter Institute Reader: Biology, Law, and Human Behavior (New York: McGraw Hill)
• In Books: Roger D. Masters, Brian Hone, Anil Doshi, “Environmental Pollution, Neurotoxicity, and Criminal Violence,” in J. Rose, ed., Aspects of Environmental Toxicity (London:
Gordon & Breach), pp. 13-45.
• Roger D. Masters, Issue Editor, “Human Nature, Biology, and Justice,” International Political Science Review (Summer 1994).
• “Neuroscience, Prejudice, and Human Nature,” Psychological Inquiry, Vol. 3 (1992), pp. 175-77.
• Masters, Roger D., and Kantrowitz, Arthur, “Scientific Adversary Procedures: the SDI Experiments at Dartmouth,” in Michael Kraft and Norman Vig, eds., Technology and Politics (Durham: Duke University Press), pp. 278-305.
Finally, on September 13 this year,
Dr. Masters presented his study, “The Gap Between Neurotoxicology and Public Policy: How Politics and Faulty Social Science Obscure Behavioral Harm From Toxins: A Case Study,” to the 22nd annual meeting of the International Neurotoxicology Society in North Carolina.
In total, he has published over 150 articles and books, most of which deal with biology, environmental science and health. Given his interest, expertise and contacts within these fields, belittling him as a retired political science professor is grossly misleading.
Next, Mr. Bosum suggests the Quebec Environment Ministry is a neutral third party capable of conducting an independent assessment of toxic mining contamination.
In this case, however, the province has clearly failed to enforce environmental standards for five decades. Indeed, the Quebec government has a scant record of environment clean up. Moreover, the Fraser Institute (which cannot be said to be a haven of left-wing ecologists) has judged Quebec to be the friendliest jurisdiction to the mining industry in all of North America, in large part because environmental standards are minimal or not enforced.
As for Mr. Bosum’s reliance on the results of the Neiboer-Dewailly study, these were fully reported in the Nation. We also reported Nieboer’s written and verbal criticisms of the findings and methodology of Covel and Masters. It is true that many of these issues are subject to heated scientific debate.
Indeed, the Neiboer-Dewailly study has also been found wanting by other physicians and researchers whose professional careers and livelihood depend on the quality of their advice. Doctors Data Inc. of St. Charles, Illinois, is well respected by Le Centre de Toxicologie du Quebec among others. DDI is an independent reference laboratory providing data on levels of toxic and essential elements in hair, and data on toxic levels of elements, amino acids and metabolites in blood and urine. They perform tests for over 40 countries around the world.
Roger Masters submitted the Nieboer-Dewailly study to Doctors Data Inc. for review. The DDI Lab Director is James Hick, a MD, PhD, and FCAR He, in turn, disputed the methodology used by Nieboer and Dewailly.
Obviously, no one has the final truth in this matter. What is clear is that there are very troubling signs regarding the environmental safety of the Ouje-Bougoumou region. Given the results of the study we reported on, there can be no question that the mining industry has negligently put the Crees of Ouje-Bougoumou at risk.
Journalism is the reporting of available facts. If Mr. Bosum or the Grand Council has more information regarding this issue, then it is our view that he and they have a profound obligation to share that with the people directly affected by it. We will leave it to our readers to judge who is engaging in propaganda.
Lastly, we have never said or implied the Nation knows best. However, the Nation has and will continue to print what facts it knows to the best of our ability. While some of those facts may seem inflammatory or speculative to Mr. Bosum, they are gathered in a professional manner. Anything else would be a disservice to our readers.