ACC Seeks Reform Of Program Classifying Carcinogens

Feb. 14, 2017
The American Chemistry Council launches the Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) launches the Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR), an initiative it says is designed to “promote credible, unbiased and transparent science as the basis of public policy decisions.” In particular, CAPHR will seek reform of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s Monographs Program, which evaluates the carcinogenic hazard of substances and behaviors, according to the organization.

“The IARC Monographs Program has been responsible for countless misleading headlines about the safety of the food we eat, the jobs we do and the products we use in our daily lives,” says Cal Dooey, ACC president and CEO. “By offering specific proposals for reform, the CAPHR hopes to play a constructive role in improving the IARC Monographs Program to ensure consumers, public health officials and regulators benefit from more credible and relevant information.”

IARC’s decisions have a significant impact on U.S. public policy and marketplace deselection, according to ACC. The organization cites California’s chemical labeling law, Proposition 65, which uses IARC classifications to require warning labels on consumer products despite what the ACC deems, “an often infinitesimal risk of developing cancer as a result of products’ proper use.”

“Public policy must be based on a transparent, thorough assessment of the best available science,” says Dooley.  “Currently, IARC’s monographs do not meet this standard though U.S. taxpayers foot the bill for over two-thirds of the international program’s budget.”

According to an article in Plastics News, the IARC reportedly says its science is “transparent, independent and rigorous” and that the ACC is trying to discredit the organization through “misrepresentations and inaccuracies,” and using strategies similar to those used by the tobacco industry to spread doubts about scientific conclusions. IARC is part of the World Health Organization.

ACC launched the campaign with a new website and Twitter handle.

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