Public Health or Brockovich Wealth?

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A September 29, 2005 column by Michael Fumento criticizes the Harvard School of Public Health's award to Erin Brockovich, noting ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, who brought the dishonorable honor to public attention:

HSPH gives its Julius Richmond Award to those who "have promoted and achieved high standards for public heath conditions." In this case, according to a response to outraged HSPH alum (American Council on Science and Health President Elizabeth Whelan), it's for Brockovich s efforts "on behalf of all of us, and especially the residents of Hinkley, California, whose health was adversely affected by a toxic substance dumped by a utility company."

Do you feel benefited? You shouldn't. Here's why.

The California Cancer Registry showed no excess cancer in Hinkley compared to surrounding counties, despite the claim of Brockovich and her law firm that they suffered terribly high rates from exposure to chromium-6 in drinking water. Indeed, there was no evidence of any excess illness at all.

See also:

"Shaky Science at Harvard" (from the Wall Street Journal)