The Intercept: EPA Whistleblowers Expose Routine Approval Of Dangerous Chemicals & Withholding Of Critical Information


Whistleblowers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have worked with The Intercept to tell their stories about the EPA disregarding information from experts and scientists that would contraindicate the approval of certain chemicals. According to four scientist whistleblowers from the EPA provided The Intercept “with detailed evidence of pressure within the agency to minimize or remove evidence of potential adverse effects of the chemicals, including neurological effects, birth defects, and cancer.”

According to the article, negative information was “deleted from agency assessments without informing or seeking the consent of the scientists who authored them. Some of these cases led the EPA to withhold critical information from the public about potentially dangerous chemical exposures. In other cases, the removal of the hazard information or the altering of the scientists’ conclusions in reports paved the way for the use of chemicals, which otherwise would not have been allowed on the market.

The Intercept is doing a series on the four scientists who have come forward. The first article can be found here and the second here.

The four EPA staff members, who hold doctorates in toxicology, chemistry, biochemistry, and medicinal chemistry, said that they told colleagues and supervisors within the agency about the interference with their work. Each of the scientists also filed complaints with either the EPA’s inspector general or the Office of Science Integrity, which has pledged to investigate corruption within the agency. But because most of their concerns remained unaddressed months after they disclosed them — and because, in each case, the altering of the record presented a potential risk to human health — the scientists said they felt compelled to make their complaints public.

The Intercept

Both of the articles detail the complaints brought forward by the four whistleblowers and show how industry power over the EPA significantly impedes its legal duty to ensure thorough review and testing of new chemicals to protect the U.S. citizenry. Perhaps a large outlet could entice other whistleblowers to come forward – specifically from the FDA – where many researchers say there is undue and unprecedented influence from Big Pharma on medical safety issues like the recent Pfizer Covid approval. The whistleblowers have audio, emails, and other documentation and have attempted to go through their EPA managers and the EPA’s Inspector General – mostly to absolutely no avail.

We applaud them for speaking up.