EPA s agenda outranks scientific concerns

One need not look any further than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to realize that science often kowtows to politics in today s policy debates. In an op-ed featured in yesterday s Daily Caller, ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross points to the most recent example of the agency s agenda-driven bias: its rushed and sloppy draft of its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment of formaldehyde toxicity, which the prestigious National Academy of Sciences concluded to be fundamentally flawed and reflective of the persistence of problems encountered with [IRIS] assessments over the years. The preliminary formaldehyde toxicity report is among the unprecedented number of chemical safety assessments the EPA is pushing to complete before a possible change in administration in 2013. As Dr. Ross observes,

It s easy and politically correct to call for chemical bans in order to protect our children. But from what, exactly? The Jackson-era EPA seems to love using the precautionary principle (better safe than sorry) to play whack-a-mole with various chemical threats. The ideologues blame chemicals for any ill that befalls us and for which medicine and science have not yet come up with a specific cause or cure. Their mantra is, there are 80,000 chemicals in the environment and very few have been tested, so how do we know they re safe ? But most of these chemicals have been around for 50+ years, so why are we only now having more obesity or autism? But alarmism attracts media attention; logic doesn t.