Health

Ex-government health chief joins warnings about EPA proposal

A former top government environmental health official is expressing alarm as the Trump administration moves forward with a proposal scientists say would upend how the U.S. regulates public health threats

A former top government environmental health official is joining scientists expressing alarm as the Trump administration moves forward with a proposal remaking how regulators decide public health protections.

Linda Birnbaum, who retired last month as director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, testified Wednesday before a House committee.

The proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule seeks public disclosure of the data underlying any studies that the agency uses in making rules. The Trump administration says the move would increase public transparency.

But opponents fear that could include seeking to release identifying information for patients and study participants in violation of confidentiality requirements, leading important public health studies and other research on people to be taken out of consideration instead.

Birnbaum told lawmakers that the proposal would practically eliminate science from decision-making.


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