Newswise — (March  9, 2020) -- “Worse than the first, and still a bad idea,” was the reaction of  ATS spokesperson Mary B Rice, MD, MPH, to the EPA’s proposed rule,  “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.”

Dr. Rice, chair of the ATS Environmental Health Policy Committee, added:  “The deceptively titled proposal borrows heavily from Big Tobacco’s secret memos about how to discredit science, and amounts to a poorly disguised attempt by the EPA to sideline pivotal science that would force the agency to take action.” 

The supplemental proposal is a broad expansion of the original, which was heavily criticized by the scientific community. It would require public data sharing or otherwise downgrade the EPA’s level of consideration of “influential science” studies.  Nearly every decision that the EPA makes that is informed by data and scientific analysis (i.e. air and water quality and other standards to protect health and the environment) would be subject to this rule.

“My primary concern with the proposed rule is that by excluding or differentially weighting studies whose underlying data cannot be shared in a public database (e.g. due to study participant privacy concerns), this rule would effectively block the use of most epidemiological research studies from EPA rule-making.  Instead of promoting transparency in regulatory science, this rule would decrease transparency, by giving the EPA administrator unchecked authority to pick and choose which research studies will inform policies that affect the health of the U.S. population,” said Dr. Rice.

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The Revised Transparency Rule is another poorly disguised attempt by @EPA to sideline pivotal science that would force the agency to take action. #censoredscience @atscommunity


About the American Thoracic Society

Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. The Society’s 15,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care and advocacy. The ATS publishes three journals, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

The ATS will hold its 2020 International Conference, May 15-20, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where world-renowned experts will share the latest scientific research and clinical advances in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.

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