Nearly seventy public health, medical, academic, and scientific groups representing millions of Americans released the following statement to express concern over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposed rule:
We strongly oppose EPA’s efforts to restrict the use of the best available science in its policymaking and encourage EPA to withdraw its proposal.
We support the goal of improving the transparency of science and access to data. When feasible, scientists should strive for appropriate public access to data to maximize independent validation and trust in the scientific process. However, there are many credible scientific studies where the exposure of raw data to the public is infeasible, or would reveal confidential patient information.
The research EPA relies on to make determinations is already transparent in most cases. Many scientific journals and research agencies now have policies governing the sharing of data among researchers and with appropriate access by the public at large.
If EPA excludes studies because the data cannot be made public, people may be exposed to real harm. The result would be decisions affecting millions based on inadequate information that fails to include well-supported studies by expert scientists. These efforts are misguided and will not improve the quality of science used by EPA nor allow the agency to fulfill its mandate of protecting human health and the environment. For the sake of the country’s health, EPA must not restrict this research.
Read full PDF of statement with list of participating groups: Public health, medical, academic, and scientific groups oppose EPA transparency rule