by Jack Fitzpatrick
The Department of Health and Human Services denied a conservative advocacy group’s Freedom of Information Request about communications on glyphosate, a herbicide at the center of a debate over potential carcinogens.
The Free Market Environmental Law Clinic, which is affiliated with the conservative Energy and Environment Legal Institute, requested communications documents from Gloria Jahnke, a scientist with the department’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, pertaining to glyphosate. But officials rejected the request, saying that even emails in the department’s possession belong to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a wing of the World Health Organization that Jahnke had worked with, which isn’t subject to FOIA requirements.
“IARC is the sole owner of all such materials,” the agency’s response to the FOIA request says. “IARC does not encourage participants to retain working drafts of documents after the related Monograph has been published.”