At Industry Urging, White House Buries Report on Toxic Threats to Children's Health

January 2, 2013

If you want to know the latest on what chemicals might give your kids learning disabilities, asthma, and other health problems, the White House Office of Management and Budget intends to keep you in the dark. At OMB, which has no scientific expertise, the concerns of industry trump the concerns of parents and doctors.

OMB, at industry’s urging, has buried for some 21 months the third edition of an EPA report entitled "America's Children and the Environment." OMB has previously been criticized for tampering with science produced by actual scientists to meet the political agendas of big-money industry lobbies.

Independent reporter Sheila Kaplan broke the story via American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop. Kaplan, an award-winning journalist specializing in money, politics, and public health, is currently a Lab Fellow with the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

The EPA report was posted in draft form in March 2011. But like many other scientific studies and regulatory actions from EPA, it had to undergo 'review' by OMB before it could become final. The legality of OMB's claims of such authority under various executive orders is dubious, but has rarely if ever been challenged in court.