Scott Jensen (202) 249-6511
October 28, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 28, 2010) – An overwhelming scientific consensus was confirmed this week by experts who testified before a public meeting of an EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) that the EPA’s approach to reassessing the health and environmental risks of dioxin is scientifically flawed.
A diverse group of stakeholders addressed a public meeting of the SAB on Wednesday as the panel conducted a review of the Agency’s “Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to National Academy of Sciences (NAS)” and indicated that the EPA has failed to adequately respond to consensus recommendations of the 2006 NAS panel.
Individuals representing science, public policy, agriculture, and business interests voiced their concerns regarding EPA’s dioxin reassessment and its implications for the U.S. food supply, municipalities, businesses, and the economy.
David Fischer, Assistant General Counsel of the American Chemistry Council, issued the following statement on the public meeting:
"It is clear that the EPA is overstating the risks from what are now exceptionally low exposures to dioxin, driving ever more stringent and costly regulations without any clear benefit to public health. EPA’s draft reassessment offers little, if any, public health benefit—as environmental and human exposure levels have declined dramatically—yet it would cause serious unintended consequences for people’s lives and livelihoods across the country.
“Multiple science and academic experts indicated that the Agency’s conclusions exaggerate the risks of dioxin and are out-of-step with some of the most respected scientific bodies in the U.S. and abroad, from the National Academy of Sciences to the World Health Organization (WHO). As these experts testified, EPA risk assessments should be consistent with guidance set by the WHO, a host of other nations, and public health agencies.
“Studies by the EPA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that exposure to dioxin from the environment, in the food supply, and in blood serum levels are exceedingly low and continue to decline. The EPA has acknowledged that ‘U.S. dioxin emissions from man-made sources have declined more than 92 percent since 1987.’
"EPA’s dioxin reassessment as it stands would likely lead to concerns about U.S. food safety, uncontrolled and artificial trade barriers for commodity exports, major challenges to urban renewal and brownfield redevelopment, and massive cleanup and remediation costs for states and municipalities. Homeowners, businesses, farmers, employees, taxpayers, and local governments are depending on the EPA to get this right. The stakes are too high."
Many of the public comments by science, business, agriculture, and other experts which were delivered on October 27th are posted on EPA's SAB web page.
Learn more about dioxins.