A new government report, made by the investigative arm of Congress, implies the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being increasingly influenced by non-scientists. The report also suggests political pressure may be putting Americans’ health at risk. For many years, the EPA has tried, and failed, to regulate hundreds of toxic chemicals, including some that have contaminated drinking-water supplies across the country.
The report concludes that the procedure for investigating the health effects of toxic chemicals is on the verge of becoming obsolete due to continual delays and secrecy. Critics say the source behind the problems in reviewing the toxic chemicals is the White House. They think politics has taken over the entire screening process. An EPA scientist even told CBS News the chemicals they examine have dangerous side effects from learning disabilities to cancer, and the EPA cannot do anything because of interference from the White House. Five years ago, the screening process for assessing toxic chemicals was a simple chart. Now, however, with the layers and layers of review, it looks a lot like a complicated maze. The EPA has also severely dropped its goals for chemical assessment. Five years ago, their goal was to assess fifty chemicals a year; in the past two years, however, they have completed a total of four. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/28/eveningnews/main4052923.shtml
What is the point of having these agencies if they cannot streamline the process enough to make it effective? While they debate the issues and obfuscate the process, people get sick and die, and big corporations, like major defense contractors and big oil, get richer and richer. The corporations succeed by influening those who should be protecting the public’s welfare, and encouraging delay.