Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Elections have consequences… even with EPA’s illegal human experiments
The election of Donald Trump seems to have sent some sort of shock wave through EPA’s Office of Inspector General in the saga over EPA’s illegal human experiments.
More than four-and-one-half years ago I wrote to the EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) requesting an investigation into EPA’s illegal human experiments.
Despite Congressional inquiry leading to an OIG investigation and report; a federal lawsuit; much media and an (ongoing) National Academy of Sciences investigation, the OIG never contacted me for more or supporting information.
Then Donald Trump was elected President.
On December 1, 2016 — many moons after my original May 14, 2012 letter to the OIG — I finally heard from the suddenly interested OIG.
Yesterday I had an in-person meeting with four OIG staff to discuss EPA’s illegal human experiments. I related to them the entire story (you can read it for yourself in my new book “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA” Amazon | Signed copy via JunkScience Store).
I also responded to the various nonsense excuses EPA staff had come up with to excuse their illegal experiments and criticized OIG for its failure to contact me earlier. To their credit, OIG staff seemed interested and had good questions. OIG is apparently doing some follow-up report on the EPA experiments.
OIG asked me how I would fix the problem of EPA’s illegal experiments. The first of my two recommendations was that EPA staff should stop lying — that is, lying to the institutional review boards (IRBs) and study subjects about the alleged health effects of PM2.5.
My other recommendation was that, as the last line of protection for the human guinea pigs, the IRBs must be staffed with competent and independent professionals who are not acting as mere rubberstamps for EPA.
If these two recommendations were implemented, the EPA human experiments would not break the law because they would not be allowed to be conducted in the first place. That is, if EPA staff disclosed to the IRBs that it believed any exposure to PM2.5 could cause death within hours, then IRBs could not approve the experiments.
I also told the OIG that, as EPA-funded reviewers have admitted, the EPA’s human experiments are not really scientific research producing generalizable results. The experiments are small (at most dozens of study subjects) and not conducted in any systematic manner (variable forms of particulate matter and exposure levels). Because the experiments are not scientific in nature, they are barred by federal law.
Again on the positive side and in contrast to the National Academy of Sciences panel that Drs. John Dunn, Stan Young, Jim Enstrom, Albert Donnay and I testified before last August, OIG staff seemed genuinely interested and engaged if somewhat bureaucratically reserved.
So what will happen next? I suspect that, with the change of administration, EPA’s illegal human experimentation will be halted. And if past is prologue, it will end long before the OIG can produce its report.