Monday, August 23, 2010

Who muzzled the RCMP on Insite?

Paul Wells today on the bogus “academic” argument against Insite and the muzzling of RCMP's attempts to fix their earlier support of it.
"The only “research” the Harper government is prepared to rely on, as it fights Insite all the way to the Supreme Court, was not research; was secretly bought and paid for with federal tax dollars; contradicts the actual research; has been disowned internally by the police force that bankrolled it; and would have been disowned publicly by that police force if somebody at the RCMP’s highest ranks or outside it hadn’t put the kibosh on."

In December RCMP in BC were set to hold a presser to acknowledge :
"an extensive body of Canadian and international peer-reviewed research reporting the benefits of supervised injection sites and no objective peer-reviewed studies demonstrating harms.” As well, [Chief Superintendent] Harriman said the RCMP would admit that “reviews” commissioned by the force, which contested the centre’s research, “did not meet conventional academic standards.”
Then BC's RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass called it off on orders from ??? who exactly?

John Geddes wrote the original piece on Friday about federal RCMP or higher up interference at Maclean's, already linked by Pogge and The Jurist, and today Wells is writing to get some traction on an issue that, regardless of what anyone's opinion of Insite may be, clearly points to government data fudging. Where the hell is the rest of the media on this?

Comments under both Wells and Geddes are running to the nuancy "oh well, research, who can tell what's true?" and "who said the government interfered?"variety.
Well, you can tell a couple of things about one of those RCMP commissioned reports, written by Dr. Colin Mangham, and how government figured in them.

Flashback : In May 2008, Tony Clement, then Health Minister, turned up at the Standing Committee on Health intending to combat Insite with one doctor in tow - Colin Mangham, "Director of Research" for the Drug Prevention Network of Canada.

The Drug Prevention Network of Canada is a member org of the Canadian government's National Drug Prevention Advisory Committee and an offshoot of the Drug Prevention Network of the Americas, dedicated to "combating the drug legalization movement globally".
The current president of DPNCanada is also on the board of DPNAmericas; the Canadian vice pres is Gwen Landolt of REAL Woman. Rounding out the board of our own Canadian clonetank is founder and past president ReformaCon MP Randy White, plus a couple of Scientology Narconon graduates.
"Honorary board member" Calvina L. Fay of Drug Free America and Save Our Society From Drugs is touted as having "served as an advisor to President Bush on drug policy".
Yeah, war on drugs!

So did Clement's Dr. Maugham have any data for the Health Committee in 2008 to support his contention that 22 independent research papers in support of Insite were worthless? No, he was just offering an opinion, a "critique".

Cathie was on this back in 2007 with the publishing of Mangham's "critique". The new wrinkle is that someone muzzled the RCMP on coming clean about it.
Now who do we know that has made a career out of muzzling civil servants again?


Holly Stick said...

Wow, look at the Insite website, and there is all sorts of good information and links:

Look at the Drug Prevention Network of Canada website and it is crap. Astroturf, anyone? And where does that private funding come from?

Alison said...

Holly : By comparison, check out the one single entry on the DPN Canada "Scientific Reports" page :

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Working well

Anonymous said...

They are funded by an American org called the Drug Free America Foundation Inc. There is a murky underworld of these 'foundations' and the money usually leads back to the same place: drug testing companies who are lobbying to expand their markets.

There is very little widespread workplace drug testing today, since human rights take precident (unless it's safety sensetive). These companies would like to change that and make billions for getting Canadians to pee in a cup. Harper is only too willing to help him.

It gets better: DPNC is on a federal drug advisory board, as well as an evangelical minister trying to justify the debunked 'pot makes you crazy' saw:

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pledged $555,000 to study the links between cannabis and mental illness, and has put evangelical pastor Chris Summerville in charge of the project.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and read these emails:

RossK said...

Cathie was, indeed, on this from the beginning.

I too weighed in with my own thoughts some time ago, particularly with respect to the total bastardization of the peer review process by these people.

This is shameful.


Alison said...

Hi Ross. Great to hear from you.

I reread your fine posts on Insite when I posted this, but then I thought - hell, this is getting pretty long and no one clicks through the links anyway.
Here are a few of my favorites for those who do :

One Good Pillar Does Not Prevent the Building of Others

I Don't Want To Debate Them

The Ladder of Scholars

There was one other I linked to back in May 2007 specifically about
peer reviewing and citing Montaner I thought but I can't locate it now.

Good on Wells and Geddes though, huh?

I have friends who work at Insite. Unbelievable this ideological slagging is still going on 3 years later.

RossK said...

It most definitely is good on Wells and Geddes...Especially because they keep going back to the well on this one....Which is important, because clearly the professional obfuscators cound on the press just giving up after the newscycle leaves the station...


(you're right, by the way...I'm going to have to do a summing up of my own on this one and make it more concise, because these people are starting to pull this crap with any and everyone who offers up reasoned and reasonable arguments based on verifable facts rather than myth, conjecture and belief on all manner of subjects of real import to the citizenry)

Alison said...

Anon, thanks for your heads up on Summerville's pot project. Will check it out.

Ross : Like you aren't busy enough already! But if you do manage a summing up, please let me know and I'll link from Dawg's or the Beav.

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