by Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s cancer agency – which is facing criticism over how it classifies carcinogens – advised academic experts on one of its review panels not to disclose documents they were asked to release under United States freedom of information laws.

In a letter and an email seen by Reuters, officials from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cautioned scientists who worked on a review in 2015 of the weedkiller glyphosate against releasing requested material…

Multiple subsequent freedom of information requests by the U.S. conservative advocacy group the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E and E Legal) have since been turned down by agencies and universities citing IARC’s reasoning that it owns the documents.

David Schnare, General Counsel of E and E Legal, told Reuters his group is now pursuing a legal challenge over whether the documents belong to IARC, or are the property of the U.S. federal and state institutions where the panel experts work.

He said E and E wants access to the documents and emails because it wants to know more about the way IARC reviews the scientific evidence, and about its relationship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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