EPA regulatory science

For regulatory science, from Covid-19 to environmental regulations, today’s mantra is to “follow the science.” If only we had more and better science, they exclaim, we would know the correct answers and better protect public health. But “more” and “better science” often result in the opposite effect – i.e., less protection of public health. By trying to do “perfect science,” we often get in the way of good results in the protection of public health.
This week, Jay Barber, one of our readers wrote to us asking about an article he had seen in The Intercept regarding the EPA ignoring a possible cancer risk. Luckily we have two toxicologists among our Board of Scientific Advisors, one of who was able to offer a critique.
The Trump Administration has sought to change how we review scientific studies used in regulatory decisions. Those changes have caused quite a bit of controversy, and now the Courts have sent it back to the EPA to "redo."