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A 'special' kind of risk assessment from a 'special' kind of firm

Friday, March 2, 2007

Yesterday I pointed you to the newest EWG investigation exposing the dubious relationship between the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) — an agency under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health — and the consulting firm Sciences International (SI).

EWG found that Sciences International has collaborated with Dow Chemical Co., a major manufacturer of a widely used industrial chemical the agency will evaluate next week, and has also worked for the tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds. Look at this excerpt of a 1999 letter [PDF] from Elizabeth Anderson, president of SI, to R.J. Reynolds, extolling the benefits of her company’s ability to wear many hats—both public and private sector—to wade through regulatory muck.

However, we are different from most other consulting firms in that we also currently serve government agencies . This government work is generally limited to furthering the sciences of toxicology and risk assessment and currently includes contracts with: the Environmental Protection Agency to provide innovative toxicological and risk assessment methodology support ; the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration to provide state-of-the-art toxicological support; and, as noted above, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to operate the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction . Our experience in supporting these governmental agencies in the advancement of science gives Sciences a unique credibility to negotiate with regulators on behalf of our private sector clients, to speak authoritatively in the scientific community, and to be accepted in legal proceedings and by the public.

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