Cooptation or Cooperation? Chemical Industry Helps Fund National Research on Chemicals

The American Chemistry Council, the trade association of the chemical industry, has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences "to improve testing chemicals for potential human developmental and reproductive effects," according to a July 26 NIEHS press release. ACC will provide $1 million and NIEHS $3 million to a $4 million fund that will support research "on the mechanisms of action of potential developmental toxicants using state-of-the-art tools, including genomics and genetic animal models." According to Our Stolen Future, however, the arrangement's main effect may be to undermine the independence and integrity of NIEHS science. ACC representatives will sit on the panel that selects research to be funded. This means NIEHS's $3 million budget for independent research will now be influenced by the priorities of the ACC.