While EPA seems to be trying to invoke a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, Politico is trying to fill the agency’s deafening silence.
The tale of today’s two Politico articles on the EPA human testing scandal exposes a federal agency in dire circumstances.
PoliticoPro (subscription only) this morning first published “Suit casts spotlight on EPA’s human soot experiments,” an article which surprisingly began:
Opponents of EPA soot science are asking the agency to pick a side: evil or inept.
Because EPA failed to provide comments for the story, the article was largely limited to describing our claims that the EPA has conducted illegal human testing.
Someone (either at Politico or EPA) realized that the agency’s not responding was a bad idea. So Politico published a follow-up article, “EPA: Human studies follow ethical rules,” which seemed to promise a response from EPA.
As reported by Politico, the response was as follows:
… Milloy had previous raised his complaint in an April op-ed in the Washington Times titled “Did Obama’s EPA relaunch Tuskegee experiments?”
That prompted a response from EPA’s Director of the Environmental Public Health Division Wayne Cascio, who said the agency and its partners subject their human research to the oversight of an independent institutional review board, as required under the Common Rule, to ensure that any risks to study volunteers are minimized and justified.
“Precautions are taken throughout the volunteer’s participation to ensure his safety. In the case of the EPA’s research on particle pollution, scientists studied biological changes that carry no or minimal risk while providing evidence for the reasons that particle pollution can lead to serious health problems,” Cascio said.
Scientists from the EPA, U.S. universities and medical centers have published more than 50 clinical studies in the last decade involving human volunteers, he said.
The research into the pollutants was crucial, he said, because in the United States, a heart attack occurs every 34 seconds and more than 2,200 people die of cardiovascular disease each day.
“It is estimated that tens of thousands of premature deaths and nonfatal heart attacks are triggered by air pollution, and this emphasizes the importance of research in this field,” Cascio said.
Yes, that’s right. Today’s EPA response actually dates back to a May 1 letter to the editor of the Washington Times from Cascio, which we debunked at the time.
Moreover, our response to Cascio was developed before we obtained thousands of pages of documents detailing the illegal experiments and EPA’s lies to the study subjects and University of North Carolina institutional review board.
As Sen. Jim Inhofe stated in a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer on Friday, in words that no doubt gave Sen. Inhofe great pause before committing them to paper:
Indeed the EPA may be criminally liable for its conduct.
EPA, you have the right to remain silent…