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OpenMarket: Chemical Risk

  • CIRCLE of Misinformation Spread by Environmental Health Centers

    July 8, 2019
    This is the second in a series of posts regarding the Trump administration’s plan to cut Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants to children’s environmental health centers. As noted in a prior post, while presented as funding for scientific, university-based research, much of the funds simply advance junk science and environmental activism.
  • Federal Grants to 'Children's Health Centers' Fund Junk Science

    June 24, 2019
    Environmental activists threw an ever-predictable tantrum after Environmental Protection Agency officials indicated last month that they may eliminate EPA grants to a number of university-based children’s environmental health centers. Headlining their rhetoric were assertions that defunding these centers represents a heartless attempt to undermine children’s health. Lost in this melee is the fact that these centers don’t have any measurable impact on children’s health, nor do they add much to the body of research on that topic.
  • Activists Build False Narrative to Fight Trump Reforms at EPA

    March 26, 2019
    Expect accusations to fly tomorrow as Democrats attempt to build a narrative that the Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to skirt science to allow industry to poison the public with supposedly toxic chemicals. The setting will be the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment.
  • Setting the Record Straight on IRIS Reform Progress

    February 13, 2019
    The Competitive Enterprise Institute published my paper this week on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). This is a research program that assesses chemical toxicity, generating assessments that EPA program offices use to develop regulations under federal laws. As I point out in the paper, IRIS has a long history of sloppy research and lack of transparency, which the National Academies of Sciences pointed out back in 2011, along with recommended reforms.
  • Greens Want to Hide the Truth about Chlorpyrifos

    October 26, 2018

    Environmental crusades to ban pesticides often exaggerate chemical risks with little, if any, consideration of how bans undermine food production. And there is a reason for that: a balanced approach undermines the greens’ radical agenda. Just recently, some activists have gone as far as to ask a federal court to basically ignore an amicus brief filed by farm groups. It details the damage that a court-ordered pesticide ban could cause.

  • Unfounded Accusations Regarding Bees and Glyphosate

    October 3, 2018

    Recent accusations that a popular weed killer harms honeybees have become headline news in a wide range of sources including CBS News, The Guardian, and Popular Science. Yet the solitary study they all cite doesn’t hold much water.

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Should Halt Grants to UN Cancer Agency

    September 19, 2018

    Yesterday, Congress passed an appropriations bill that kept funding intact for the United Nations body known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The House version of the bill originally included a provision that would have placed strings on U.S. funding for IARC. That language was stripped out at the last minute, unfortunately, so now the funding has been retained in the next fiscal year’s appropriations for the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education.

  • Reform Federal Process for Environmental Permits

    August 24, 2018

    The Trump administration has initiated several steps to streamline the federal permitting process for major projects, including resource extraction and infrastructure. In particular, it has focused on the need to fix the problems surrounding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which can add years of delays and tens of millions of dollars to the cost of job-creating projects and serves to kill some worthy projects outright. 

  • Claim that 99% of Species Are Saved by ESA Not Supported by Data

    August 22, 2018

    An urgent fundraising appeal from The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) “Global Policy Lead[er]” warns of congressional and administration efforts to change—and from the perspective of many—improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As a recent Competitive Enterprise Institute analysis demonstrates, the overall costs of the federal ESA program are easily in the tens and more likely hundreds of billions of dollars, begging the question, are we getting what we pay for? Campaigners for the current law like TNC skip over such information and make nice-sounding claims like: “the Endangered Species Act is one of our nation’s most effective environmental laws. 99% of the species it's protected have been saved from extinction!”

  • Weed Killer Hype Lacks Scientific Support

    August 21, 2018

    The latest Environmental Working Group (EWG) “study” sounds an alarm regarding the chemical known as glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide known as “Roundup.” EWG claims that Cheerios, Quaker Oats and other cereals contain dangerous levels of glyphosate. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has also jumped into the fray.

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