Student or Learner
Does "that" refer to "scientific merit"?
The speed and range of the defensive reactions in this case was not sufficient to deflect all concerns. The debate is still unfolding, and unsurprisingly, further accusations are emerging from industry-hostile organizations of a biased attempt to cover up uncomfortable findings. But for anyone with a professional interest in defending their industry’s record, the European biotech industry’s handling of this challenge offers an interesting example of how rapid intervention can at least mitigate negative impacts. And where the negative impact derives from criticisms of questionable scientific merit, that can only be considered good science — and common sense.
I guess "that" here is equal to "which." Not sure though.