Outdoor Updates: The US EPA has been sued for banning scientists from advisory panels

The US EPA has been sued for banning scientists from advisory panels

The Natural Resources Defense Council has sued the EPA over a recent directive that bans many scientists from panels that advise the agency on scientific matters. The directive came from former administrator of the EPA, Scot Pruitt, who banned anyone granting money to the EPA from serving on advisory panels. The directive upended years of standard EPA practice and was made without public input. It has since been used to remove qualified scientists from 23 advisory committees and replace them with industry representatives.

FDA tests confirm PFAS chemicals are in the US food supply

Samples taken by the Food and Drug Administration found substantial levels of PFAS, a compound used in non-stick pans, in some meats, seafood and boxed chocolate cake sold in grocery stores. A federal toxicology report released last year drew links between PFAS in people’s blood and health problems but said they weren’t certain the PFAS were the cause.

There is currently only one federal advisory level for PFAS found in drinking water. The levels found in the grocery store meat and seafood were two or more times higher than that advisory level. The levels of PFAS in the chocolate cake mix were more than 250 times the federal advisory level. PFAS, of which there are nearly 5,000 varieties, are considered “forever chemicals” because they take thousands of years to degrade and because they accumulate in the body.

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