Health experts boycott EPA meetings dominated by industry representatives

Tue, Jun 24, 2014

Asbestos, Misc.

Kathleen Ruff,

A group of health experts have decided to boycott meetings currently being held by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protest the fact that the meetings are overwhelmingly dominated by industry representatives.

In a letter of June 24, Kathleen Burns, Director of Sciencecorps, and other leading health experts, state that, in light of the imbalance and the skewed interpretation of the science that results, they question whether the EPA is betraying the public’s trust.

The mandate of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect health and the environment. The mandate of corporations and consulting companies, paid by corporations, is to protect the interests and profits of the corporations.

These particular EPA hearings are to assess the health risks of arsenic and hexavalent chromium, two known carcinogens. The threat posed by industry influence over agencies, that are supposed to protect public health, applies equally to other hazardous substances, whether it be pesticides, electronic waste, chemicals used in fracking, contamination of air and water by the coal industry and other extractive industries.

The letter raises extremely important questions and is well worth reading. Anyone involved in working to protect public health can be grateful to this group of health experts for exposing and challenging the undermining of public health policy by vested interests.

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