May 9, 2001

The Honorable Members
Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
United States Senate
340 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators,

We write as scholars of law, medicine, economics, business, public health, political science, psychology, ethics and the environmental sciences to oppose the nomination of John Graham to direct the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget. We hope that the Governmental Affairs Committee will conclude that Professor Graham is the wrong person to supervise the nation’s system of regulatory safeguards.

Professor Graham’s controversial risk management methodology discounts the real risks of well-documented pollutants such as dioxin and benzene, and makes use of extreme and highly-disputed economic assumptions. Professor Graham has shown his willingness to over-ride health, safety, environmental, civil rights, and other social goals in applying crude cost-benefit tools far past the point at which they can be justified by existing scientific and economic data.

In his statements to the media and Congress, he has undermined regulatory efforts by understating many of the potential benefits of health, safety and environmental regulation and overstating their costs. Moreover, Professor Graham has publicly rendered many opinions on complex and imperfectly understood scientific phenomena, such as the etiology of cancer and other diseases, despite his lack of a degree in the hard sciences.

Graham’s work has, overall, demonstrated a remarkable congruency with the interests of regulated industries. In contrast, the position at OIRA requires a much more even-handed approach. Reviewing officials should respect the democratic process by which Congress assigns legislative mandates to the agencies, consider the investment of the public and stakeholders in the regulatory process and its results, and defer to the expert technical and scientific judgments of federal agencies.

We also have serious concerns about Professor Graham’s disregard for widely-accepted fundraising and research norms within academia. He has solicited and accepted unrestricted funds from corporations with a direct financial interest in particular regulatory issues addressed by his work, without acknowledging the role of his corporate benefactors. Unlike many research scientists, he has often operated without the guidance of restricted-funding contracts designed to minimize conflicts of interest and to protect credibility and public trust.

Graham’s record shows that he is unlikely to serve as an honest broker as OIRA director. Because we view his candidacy as an invitation for undue industry influence in the regulatory process and as a vehicle for application of a highly controversial methodology, we urge you to oppose John Graham’s nomination to Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Sincerely,

Frank Ackerman, Ph.D.
Global Development and Environment Institute
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts

William L. Andreen
Clarkson Professor of Law
University of Alabama School of Law
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Barbara A. Babcock
Judge John Crown Professor of Law
Stanford Law School
Stanford, California

Dr. John H. Baldwin
Planning, Public Policy and Management
Department
University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon

Candice Bauer
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana

Lisa A. Bero, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Institute for Health Policy Studies
Department of Clinical Pharmacy
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California

Amanda Behrens
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland

Patricia Blanchette
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana

John Bonine
Professor, School of Law
University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon

David C. Christiani, M.D.
Professor
Harvard Medical School and
Harvard School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts

Richard Clapp
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Health
Boston University School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts

Michael H. Davis
Professor of Law and
Registered Patent Attorney
Cleveland State University College of Law
Cleveland, Ohio

Michael R. DePaul
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana

Martin Donohoe, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
and Senior Scholar
Center for Ethics in Health Care
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland, Oregon

David Driesen
Associate Professor
Syracuse University College of Law
Syracuse, New York

Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Social Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Thomas G. Field, Jr.
Professor of Law
Franklin Pierce Law Center
Concord, New Hampshire

James K. Galbraith
Professor of Economics
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas

John Gartner, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

Eileen Gauna
Professor of Law
Southwestern University School of Law
Los Angeles, California

Linda Ginzel
Clinical Professor of Managerial Psychology
The Graduate School of Business
The University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Robert Glicksman
Professor of Law
University of Kansas School of Law
Lawrence, Kansas

Leonard Greenhalgh, Ph.D.
Professor of Management
Amos Tuck School of Business
Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire

Matthew R. Glucksberg
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois

Sam Glucksberg
Psychology Department
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey

Claude Guillemard
Department of Romance Languages
and Literatures
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland

Michael R. Harbut, M.D., M.P.H., F.C.C.P.
Past Chair, Occupational and Environmental Health
American College Of Chest Physicians
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine,
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan

Michael P. Healy
Professor, College of Law
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky

Philip Johnson-Laird
Psychology Department
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey

Boaz Keysar
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Professor R. A. Kinchla
Department of Psychology
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey

Howard A. Latin
Professor of Law and Justice
John J. Francis Scholar
Rutgers University School of Law
Newark, New Jersey

Richard Levins
Professor, Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard University
Boston, Massachusetts

Charles Levinstein, Ph.D., M.S.O.H.
Professor of Work Environment Policy
Department of Work Environment
Francis College of Engineering
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts

Thomas McGarity
W. James Kronzer Chair
University of Texas School of Law
Austin, Texas

Don Milton, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Associate Professor of Occupational and
Environmental Health
Harvard School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts

Paul Mushak, Ph.D.
The Children's Hospital at Montefiore
Albert Einstein College of Medicine & PB Associates
Durham, North Carolina

Herbert L. Needleman, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Jerome A. Paulson, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine,
Pediatrics & Community Health
Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's
Health & the Environment
George Washington University
Washington, D.C.

David N. Pellow, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor,
Departments of Sociology and Ethnic Studies
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado

Zygmunt J.B. Plater, S.J.D.
Professor of Law
Boston College Law School
Newton Centre, Massachusetts

Marc R. Poirier
Professor of Law
Seton Hall University School of Law
Newark, New Jersey

Margaret Jane Radin
William Benjamin Scott and
Luna M. Scott Professor of Law
Stanford Law School, Stanford University
Palo Alto, California

Adrienne Randolph, M.D., M.Sc.
Department of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Professor Clifford Rechtschaffen
Golden Gate University School of Law
San Francisco, California

Lynne M. Reder
Professor of Psychology
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

John Rosen, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, New York

Sidney A. Shapiro
Professor of Law
University of Kansas School of Law
Lawrence, Kansas

Kristin Shrader-Frechette
O'Neill Chair of Philosophy
and Concurrent Professor of Biological Sciences
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana

Steven Sloman
Associate Professor
Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences
Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island

Mark Squillace
Professor of Law
University of Wyoming College of Law
Laramie, Wyoming

Rena Steinzor
Professor
University of Maryland Law School
Baltimore, Maryland

Sandra R. Waxman
Professor of Psychology
Department of Psychology
Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois

 

 

 



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