Washington, D.C. – The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) filed suit today against the Department of Health and Human Services. This is the latest in a series of E&E Legal actions centering on the complex questions surrounding the agricultural chemical glyphosate, a recent target of environmentalist activists and, it seems, friends in government and academia. Last week E&E Legal was also forced once again to file suit .
E&E Legal’s latest Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeks public records held by HHS’s National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Specifically, it seeks copies of emails and other public records related to two individuals using agency resources as part of HHS’s participation in efforts to rewrite established science on the glyphosate issue by a team assembled under the auspices of the International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC), and other players. Records already in the public domain show tremendous sums of U.S. taxpayer dollars going to advocates of this rewrite including participants in the IARC process.
E&E Legal began requesting public records relating to this campaign by activists after a curious EPA publish/unpublish episode. Key EPA emails previously obtained by E&E Legal suggest that proclamations affirming established science on the glyphosate issue ruffled feathers among the team campaigning to alter that widely accepted understanding.
IARC’s report was drafted with the participation of a host of authors affiliated with the Collegium Ramazzini, which is affiliated with Italy’s Ramazzini Institute (IBR). Ramazzini openly boasts of its receipt of large sums of U.S. taxpayer money, free, to date, from public or congressional scrutiny of information typically available to the public as to what this is for or what the public receives for these sums. Public records show not only IBR’s dependence upon grants from its associates also working for the U.S. federal government, but that it is a major player in this campaign.
“Following up evidence of very close relationships between IBR and officials in several federal agencies, E&E Legal has other outstanding FOIA requests, at both EPA and NIH’s National Toxicology Program”, said E&E Legal President Craig Richardson. “All of these agencies’ use of taxpayer dollars to fund IBR and IARC are of increasing public interest and importance, as evidence of what seems to be transpiring emerges. The taxpayer has a right to the details and extent of this relationship. The endless delays we have faced and the failure to even acknowledge FOIA requests should be deeply distressing to all concerned with transparency in government.”
About EE Legal
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues. Primarily through its petition litigation and transparency practice areas, E&E Legal seeks to correct onerous federal and state policies that hinder the economy, increase the cost of energy, eliminate jobs, and do little or nothing to improve the environment.