Has someone been telling porkies? Or was there a leak?

coyote“The comments made by Mr Miles George of Infigen regarding the outcome of the systematic review, to which you make reference in your email, are incorrect. NHMRC does not know where Mr George has obtained his information from. The systematic review is still being conducted and the outcomes are yet to be finalised. Access to information regarding the outcome of the systematic review will not occur until the draft is approved to be released for public consultation later this year.”

– National Health and Medical Research Council

(Read the following emails then see our comment at the end.)

From:
Sent: Saturday, 2 March 2013 12:14 AM
To: Wind Turbines
Subject: Outcome of the wind turbines and health review by NHMRC [SEC=No Protective Marking]
 
Hello,

Could you please tell me whether what Infigen’s Miles George says is true?  He is quoted in an interview here:  published on 22 February stating that  “The NHMC report that is due next month. That shows that no credible evidence that the antis claim. What we are trying to do is to get that information in front of people.”

Please confirm whether or not what he has said is true.  If it is true, how is it that someone in the wind industry would be the first to hear of the outcome of the NHMRC literature review?  We are aware that several of the reviewers are tied strongly to the University of Sydney where Professor Simon Chapman is a Professor of Public Health.

We have great concerns that the review is not as impartial or independent as we have been lead to believe.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

From: Wind Turbines [mailto:WindTurbines@nhmrc.gov.au]
Sent: Thursday, 7 March 2013 3:29 PM
To:
Subject: RE: Outcome of the wind turbines and health review by NHMRC [SEC=No Protective Marking] [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
 
SEC=UNCLASSIFIED

Thank you for your email on Saturday 2 March 2013, regarding the outcome of NHMRC’s systematic review on Wind Farms and Human Health.

The comments made by Mr Miles George of Infigen regarding the outcome of the systematic review, to which you make reference in your email, are incorrect. NHMRC does not know where Mr George has obtained his information from.

The systematic review is still being conducted and the outcomes are yet to be finalised. Access to information regarding the outcome of the systematic review will not occur until the draft is approved to be released for public consultation later this year.

elmer-fuddAs you are aware, the NHMRC commissioned an independent reviewer to conduct the systematic review of scientific evidence into the possible impacts of wind farms on human health in August 2012.

In addition to conducting a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature, the reviewers are also considering ‘grey literature’ that has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, to ensure that emerging evidence is considered. NHMRC received over 500 submissions of ‘grey literature’ for consideration in the review during the call for public submissions in September 2012.

NHMRC had published provisional timeframes which indicated that the systematic review would be published in March 2013.  However, the project has experienced delays due to:
·         the complex and highly technical subject matter;
·         the comprehensive nature of the review and its broad scope;
·         the importance of allowing sufficient time to properly consider the literature, including the substantial volume of literature submitted to NHMRC from stakeholders; and
·         the robust quality assurance process that supports all NHMRC health advice products.

It is now expected that the systematic review will be released for public consultation in the second half of 2013, along with any update to the NHMRC Public Statement on Wind Turbines and Health.

Progress of the systematic review will continue to be updated on the NHMRC website at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/your-health/wind-farms-and-human-health. We can ensure that you will be notified when the documents have been released for public consultation.

The NHMRC Wind Farms and Human Health Reference Group has been established to oversee the systematic review and any update to the public statement, as well as to identify any gaps in the available evidence.

Reference Group members have been selected for their expertise in environmental epidemiology, sleep, social psychology, acoustics and community representation. To ensure transparency of processes, two observers have also been appointed to the Reference Group.

Each Reference Group member and observer is required to disclose any factors that may cause or be perceived to cause a conflict of interest. All declared interests are published on the NHMRC website at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/your-health/wind-farms-and-human-health/wind-farms-and-human-health-reference-group.

NHMRC has reviewed each member and observers’ declared interests and does not consider any of the factors identified at present as being an unmanageable conflict. In addition, all members and observers have signed the NHMRC Deed of Confidentiality as per NHMRC policy, and are required to preserve and maintain the confidentiality of information to which they may have access by virtue of their membership on the Reference Group.foghorn leghorn

As part of NHMRC’s robust quality assurance processes, the draft report will be subject to independent expert and methodological review before being finalised, to examine the methodology of the review and application of the science. The methodological and expert reviewers will also be required to declare any interests, which will be published on the NHMRC website at the conclusion of the review processes.

While Professor Simon Chapman was asked to peer review NHMRC’s 2010 Rapid Review, Professor Chapman has no involvement in the current systematic review.

I hope this email has addressed your concerns. Thanks again for your ongoing interest in this project. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

Kind regards

Bec, on behalf of the,
Wind Farms and Human Health Project Team.

Rebecca Parnell
Wind Farms and Human Health Project | Environmental Health and CAMS
National Health and Medical Research Council
* windturbines@nhmrc.gov.au  | ; http://www.nhmrc.gov.au

STT Comment:pepe le pew

Let’s assume for a moment that George was telling the truth, that he knows the NHMRC outcome.

If this is the case, it raises serious issues.

It means a member or observer has breached the confidentiality agreement. Only George call tell us if this is the case, and who this might be.

Who was  your informant, Miles? Who is the rat in the ranks of the NHMRC who is feeding information to the wind industry?

Who on the NHMRC panel review committee just MIGHT have a vested interest here – declared or otherwise?

The stakes for the wind industry are huge.

Unless, as George so casually stated in the quoted interview, the decision has already been made.

In our opinion, his comments have cast a serious shadow over the NHMRC process.

In light of the regrettable Simon Chapman’s previous involvement in the first literature review (what a farce!), this is nothing new. Again, something is starting to stink.

Could it be George inadvertently let the skunk out of the bag?

porky-pig

Is that all, folks? Definitely not.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. ex Green now Milne is in charge says:

    Wow! The literature review has a “… robust quality assurance process that supports all NHMRC health advice products”. Where was it last time around, and what, if anything, has changed since?

    I guess Chapman citing his own blog last time round was a bit of a quality issue, and his anankastic attachment to nocebo is another, and who determines what is an “unmanageable conflict”?

    I think they need a new script writer… the next episode is shaping up to promise everything and deliver nothing, a repeat episode where the actors have changed, the original producer is still in charge and the plot stays the same.

  2. Mr Miles George obviously takes his management lessons from Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s latest version of the Fearless Leaders they have churned out since the late 40s. You know the type: big on political polemic, huge on threats and short on facts.

    Why worry about what the NHMRC is actually going to find when you can go for the big political preempt and say that this is what they’re going to find which is just next door to what they should find and right across the street from what they want them to find.

    Hopefully, the NHMRC will actually review the evidence, come to their own conclusions and maybe, just maybe, come up with the fact that most people who bother to think already know…

    Wind turbines are very evil things that are bad for you.

  3. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb hmm…..

  4. Jackie Rovensky says:

    Its either a ‘skunk’ in the works or its George trying to get everyone worked up and angry at the NHMRC so they get upset with us. We may have to wait and see, but if they do say there is no evidence again or not enough to warrant funding research I’m sure there will be questions asked about their integrity. As we all know the information, reports etc coming out around the world. Has there been anything new from the ‘dark side’ proving we are wrong to believe that?

  5. I wonder about the “water-tightness” one of the NHMRC panel members, Elizabeth Hanna, associated with CAHA and most likely well known by Chapman who is employed by CAHA as a consultant.

    I also wonder about the choice to appoint Norm Broner to the NHMRC panel, employed or associated with SKM, a company involved in the installation of wind turbines. He also was employed to prepare the acoustical report on the Capital Wind Farm on behalf of the wind developer.

    I also wonder why the NHMRC did not include any figures known to be raising concern over wind turbines?

Trackbacks

  1. […] most certainly won’t be built by Infigen.  STT’s favourite whipping boys – formerly known as Babcock and Brown – are under pressure from their banker to sell […]

  2. […] weasels.  How else was it that Babcock & Brown’s – oops, we meant Infigen’s Miles George could tell us – in advance – what the next piece of NHMRC dross was going to […]

  3. […] of the topics for review at the hearing of that Commission will be the tentacle like grip the wind weasels have had over certain aspects of political life and over certain academic […]

  4. […] much so the Tribunal has refused to approve Infigen’s proposal in the absence of conclusive evidence that large industrial wind turbines do not cause […]

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