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Cancer Action NY Files Complaint Against US EPA Alleging Chemical Industry Control

Cancer Action NY Files Complaint Against US EPA Alleging Chemical Industry Control Renders the Agency Incapable of Utilizing Science to Protect the Environment and the Public Health

04.07.2010 |Cancer Action NY

On May 21, 2010, Cancer Action NY filed a formal complaint against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  Our letter of complaint was addressed to William Cody, in the US EPA OIG.  This letter is provided below together with the documents that serve as the basis of our complaint.

The full correspondence can be found on
The documents provided to the OIG include:  (1) the letter to Mr. Cody, commencing this complaint, (2) a background paper setting forth facts, which serve as a basis for the conclusion that US EPA is engaging in deliberate efforts to delay finalization of the draft dioxin reassessment, (3) a brief statement of the complained of activities alleged to have been undertaken by  EPA, and (4) a Cancer Action NY report describing a pattern of federal government deceptions concerning dioxin exposure cancer risk. (This report is being provided to the news media via an email message separate from the Media Advisory.)

On June 24, 2010, the US EPA Science Advisory Board's (SAB) Dioxin Review Panel conducted a conference call serving to provide a public forum on the "EPA's Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments" draft report.  A lengthy presentation by a US EPA spokesperson was followed by public comments limited to three minutes per speaker.  The Chlorine Chemistry Council (CCC) focused on the question of whether the mathematical model for dioxin exposure and cancer outcome data was linear or non-linear.  Additionally, the CCC argued that the Reanalysis report must be supplemented to provide further analysis of the assumptions and uncertainties that exist in the 2003 draft dioxin reassessment.  The General Electric Corporation's representative spoke of differences in the responses of various species to dioxin exposure.  According to GE, this introduces a considerable amount of uncertainty into the use of Toxicological Equivalence Factors (TEFs), which are used to compare the toxicity of various dioxin cogeners.  Tufts University directed its comments to the need for quantitative assessment of the various uncertainties that exist in the science of quantitative risk assessment as it applies to dioxin exposure cancer risk.

Cancer Action NY Director, Donald L. Hassig, requested that the members of the SAB Dioxin Review Panel summon up the character and courage necessary to confront the chemical industry and US EPA on their long history of efforts to delay finalization of the dioxin reassessment.  The comments of the chemical industry referred to above provide a perfect example of the strategies used by these corporate entities and US EPA to delay finalization.  We have supplemented our complaint to the OIG with the comments made to the SAB Dioxin Review Panel as further evidence of US EPA wrongdoing.


May 21, 2010

Mr. William Cody
Office of the Inspector General

Dear Mr. Cody,

I have recently left a voice mail message and then spoken with you regarding my belief that the US Environmental Protection Agency's (US EPA) National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) is deliberately attempting to deceive the American public concerning the matter of dioxin exposure cancer risk.

All that is stated below serves as a basis for my allegation of deliberate deception.  You will find below the following documents:  (1) a paper describing concerns regarding answers which have been provided by US EPA to certain questions on the subject of dioxin exposure cancer risk, including the questions and answers; (2) a brief statement precisely setting forth the complaint of deliberate deception being made against US EPA and NCEA.  Additionally, I am providing an electronic file containing a report that our organization has produced covering widespread federal involvement in presenting false information to the general public on the subject of dioxin exposure cancer risk.  This Word file is being sent as an attachment to a separate email message.

Please use the powers invested in your office to cause the US EPA and NCEA to stop working to deceive the public as detailed above.  It is our purpose in making this complaint to reform US EPA and NCEA so as to bring about changes in these federal institutions that result in future adherence to a practice of simply setting before the public the state of knowledge science of dioxin exposure and cancer risk.  Thank you for your careful attention to this matter.

joyous in Nature,

Donald L. Hassig

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