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Coalition Seeks Greater Transparency, Unbiased Assessments, Credible Conclusions

WASHINGTON (January 25, 2018) – A diverse group of industry and business interests today announced the launch of a new coalition to advocate for reform of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Monographs Program. The Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR) Coalition will advocate to modernize the Monographs Program through greater transparency and balanced assessments that produce credible conclusions.

The Monographs Program, which evaluates cancer hazards, has been criticized by leading scientists and regulators for its lack of transparency, frequent conflicts of interest, questionable carcinogen classifications and misleading communications. The CAPHR Coalition was formed to address concerns that have been raised and reinforced by numerous credible and independent experts about IARC’s efforts to suppress and omit relevant data, as well as the organization’s well-established track-record of manipulating outcomes when it comes to designating key carcinogenic classifications.

“Recent conclusions from the IARC Monographs Program, along with media reports that Monograph Program leaders have manipulated outcomes, should raise serious concerns for all governments and private organizations that donate the funding that makes up IARC’s annual budget,” said Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC). “Reform should be a shared priority for all who support IARC’s mission and rely on IARC for useful information about how to enhance public health.” 

The Coalition includes the following partners:

  • American Chemistry Council
  • American Petroleum Institute
  • Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
  • CropLife America
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association
  • Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates
  • United States Council for International Business

“Manufacturers, governments, and individuals around the world are prioritizing transparency as a means to build trust, promote inclusion and ensure smart policies,” said Linda Dempsey, Vice President of International Economic Affairs Policy of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). “IARC’s Monographs Program, however, is blatantly pursuing a policy of secrecy and exclusion, prohibiting participants and observers from discussing how Monograph conclusions are reached, even threatening lawsuits against those who reveal information about the proceedings. These systematic efforts to conceal information and intimidate those with concerns directly contradict the values of IARC, the World Health Organization, and the member states that support their work.”  

As part of its commitment to the improvement of IARC’s Monographs Program, the CAPHR Coalition has released principles for reform. These principles will strengthen the integrity of Monographs Program processes and ensure that IARC updates the methods and assumptions of the Monographs Program to reflect modern scientific practices, rather than the outdated approaches that the Agency has relied on since the program was established in 1969.

“Concerns about the conduct and credibility of the Monographs Program are detracting from IARC’s important mission to track and help fight cancer, particularly in the developing world,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC). “The members of CAPHR are committed to working with the World Health Organization and the leadership of IARC to implement fundamental reforms so that the Monographs Program produces information that is relevant to public health policymakers and the public.” 

Coalition members will work with the United States Government as well as their international colleagues to encourage other voices from industry, donor communities, and the public sector to call on IARC to reform the Monographs Program. 

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About the Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR)

The Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR) is an education and outreach initiative to promote credible, unbiased, and balanced assessments of science as the basis of policy decisions and help the public and policymakers understand the relevance of public health studies in our daily lives. In particular, CAPHR promotes reform of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Monographs Program and brings to light the deficiencies, misinformation, and consequences associated with its work.

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