Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Chimp will not be deterred:

U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings

"More than half of the biologists and other researchers who responded to the survey said they knew of cases in which commercial interests, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies, had applied political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions deemed harmful to their business.

"Bush administration officials, including Craig Manson, an assistant secretary of the Interior who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, have been critical of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, contending that its implementation has imposed hardships on developers and others while failing to restore healthy populations of wildlife.

"Along with Republican leaders in Congress, the administration is pushing to revamp the act. The president's proposed budget calls for a $3-million reduction in funding of Fish and Wildlife's endangered species programs.

"'The pressure to alter scientific reports for political reasons has become pervasive at Fish and Wildlife offices around the country,' said Lexi Shultz of the Union of Concerned Scientists."