Government Health Agencies and Their Chemical Brothers

The U.S. Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction "was established within the National Institutes of Health to assess the dangers of chemicals and help determine which ones should be regulated," reports Marla Cone. "But much of the agency's work has been conducted by a private consulting company ... that has been funded by more than 50 industrial companies." Sciences International "produces the first draft of the center's reports" and helps select "members of its scientific review panel." Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Henry Waxman are calling for "disclosure of Sciences International's potential conflicts of interest" before a review of its report on bisphenol A, "a compound in plastics that has been linked to reproductive damage." Sciences International's private clients have included DuPont, ExxonMobil and Dow Chemical. "In a letter soliciting R.J. Reynolds as a client in 1999," the company's president "boasted about its close collaboration with the federal reproductive health center, as well as the EPA and other federal agencies."