by David W. Schnare, E&E Legal General Counsel
As Appearing in The Hill

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) has begun an inquiry using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to educate the public and policymakers on what are increasing, and increasingly expensive, questions surrounding what appears to be an activist, loosely affiliated arm of the World Health Organization (WHO).

That arm is the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a French-based international body that has also come under congressional scrutiny for its widely publicized studies claiming that everything — and I mean everything, from bacon to pickles to working the night shift — causes cancer. For this, U.S. taxpayers have shelled out to IARC hundreds of millions of dollars, including $39 million to its controversial Monograph program since 1992 (IARC publishes “Monographs” to issue its ritual declaration of carcinogenicity).

Indeed, IARC has concluded just once, out of 989 inquiries, that something is not a carcinogen.  Some critics suggest that IARC’s hazard advisories are geared towards generating headlines, and not advancements in public health research.  The process certainly includes its share of activists, for whom that describes a way of life.  Headlines in turn create public fear and confusion, generate taxpayer funding, and advance agendas.

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