Underage Drinking Study: Wasteful and Biased
The largest taxpayer watchdog group in the US, Citizens Against
Government Waste has condemned a National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
report intended by Congress to identify effective programs to reduce
underage drinking. However, the citizens’ group charges that
the report instead promotes an unproven agenda, violates the congressional
mandate, and wastes $500,000 of taxpayer money.
An analysis by Citizens Against Government Waste concludes that:
- “NAS failed to follow the intent of Congress, which was
to have the panel review existing programs aimed at combating
underage drinking and determine which are the most effective.
Instead, NAS appointed a biased pane with preconceived notions
that increasing taxes and restricting advertising on alcoholic
beverages would reduce underage drinking
- “NAS failed to divulge conflicts of interests among the
panelists in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
A majority of the panelists have been associated with or received
funding from anti-alcohol organizations.
- “The panel’s actions have raised concerns among
(at least 140) members of Congress.
- “A May 2001 General Accounting Office report identified
23 federal agencies which spent a total of 71.1 million in fiscal
2000 on efforts to prevent underage drinking. The $500,000 spent
on the NAS study was a waste of taxpayers dollars as it will do
nothing to identify which of these efforts are successful.”
“When Congress commissions such a study, it is imperative
that politics and bias be put aside. Taxpayer money should not be
used to promote a political agenda through such studies. the NAS’s
actions warrant a congressional investigation” said Tom Schatz,
President of Citizens Against Government Waste.
“Underage Drinking Study: Wasteful and Biased” can
be accessed at www.cagw.org.
- Freydenlund, John E. Underage
Drinking Study: Wasteful and Biased. - National Academy of Sciences
Squanders $500,000 and Violates Federal Law. Washington, DC:
Citizens Against Government Waste, 2003. Document can be accessed