For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2016
Washington, D.C. – The following statement is from Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) General Counsel David W. Schnare, in response to two significant developments: Reuters reporting that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) instructed U.S. public employees to withhold documents being sought by open records requests, and a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy alleging the Administrator materially misinformed the committee. Here is then non-redacted and redacted versions of the document in question.
Both stories relate to EPA’s and other U.S. public employees’ involvement in the scientific debate over the herbicide glyphosate, long a target of anti-GMO pressure groups:
“Today’s revelations show that EPA improperly withheld from E&E Legal portions of public records as ‘deliberative’ that were not deliberative but were merely embarrassing to the Agency. This revelation comes on the heels of a release of EPA emails made public by a congressional oversight subcommittee letter credibly alleging EPA’s Administrator misled Congress about the same subject. Meanwhile, a Reuters story informs us that EPA is working on the very same controversial matter with people who instructed EPA officials, and others, to hide and even destroy relevant information.
All of this information is contained in public records, underwritten in great part by the U.S. taxpayer. Public employees have a legal obligation to provide it to the public, honestly and accurately. Unfortunately, by their behavior, every player in this unfolding drama thinks they have a right to hide public records from the public. They do not.”