Based on the newly-released Poison Papers, Dr. Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News slams the EPA and its predecessors. Latham is also executive director of the Bioscience Resource Project, which has released a huge trove of documents from industries and regulators, the Poison Papers. Visit Independent Science News here.
We open with a discussion of recent moves by Trump’s EPA under Scott Pruitt, which just announced very narrow enforcement of 2016’s updates of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. Latham is dismissive, saying the EPA “already had its agenda for not doing anything”, and that EPA “has never done its job”.
This leads to his description of the Poison Papers, which date to 1920 and show that pattern of weak regulation, unchanged by the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. We walk through searches for “Agent Orange” and “glyphosate”, and he comments on the range of documents in the collection.
Latham offers a sweeping indictment of EPA and regulation of toxic chemicals in general, describing a game where the industries are always outraged at “over-reach” and EPA enables the industries while appearing to regulate them. He sees little difference between Democrats who champion science as the basis of regulation and Republicans who promote corporate profits over sensible regulation.