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Bipartisan Panel of Industry, NGO and Academic Experts Proposes New Rules for Science in Federal Regulation
Date:8/5/2009

Goal to Distinguish Science Questions from Policy Debates

Agencies Should Empanel Scientific Advisory Committees Solely of Members with Relevant Scientific Expertise; Improve Disclosure and Transparency

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A bipartisan panel of top scientific and regulatory experts today released recommendations calling on the White House and federal agencies to make specific changes in the regulatory process to clearly distinguish scientific questions from policy disputes. The report comes from the Science for Policy Project (SPP). A project of the Bipartisan Policy Center, SPP is co-chaired by former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), past chair of the House Science Committee, and Donald Kennedy, former editor of Science; and eleven other ideologically diverse members from business, academia, government and non-profits. The complete list of panel members appears below.

"The fundamental theme of the report is that the Administration needs to put in place procedures to try to distinguish science questions from policy questions," said Boehlert. "Often, policy disputes are cast as fights over science. This damages the credibility of science and obscures the real issues that ought to be debated. For example, how much risk a substance poses to human health or the environment is a science question; how much risk is acceptable is a policy question."

"Our recommendations would make the regulatory process more rigorous and transparent," said Kennedy, who headed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under President Jimmy Carter. "That should lead to better, more thoughtful regulations and greater consensus when the government is considering whether or not to regulate. And perhaps most important, when there are disagreements, officials and the public will have a clearer sense of what they are about."

The report recommends re
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SOURCE Bipartisan Policy Center
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