Bureaucrats refusing to release FOIA documents

Bureaucrats

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) filed suit on Tuesday 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.

E&E Legal’s latest Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeks public records held by HHS’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Specifically, it seeks copies of grants approved by HHS and copies of public documents related to the agency’s representative to the International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC). Records already in the public domain show tremendous sums of U.S. taxpayer dollars going to advocates on this issue including participants in the IARC process.

The EPA publish/unpublish episode was among numerous suggestions — including key EPA emails previously obtained by E&E Legal — that proclamations affirming established science on the glyphosate issue ruffled feathers among the team assembled by IARC and other players in a recent campaign 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, particularly on what public grants are being used for.”

Advertisement