EPA IRIS program requests conflict-of-interest disclosures by commenters

Richard Denison, Ph.D.is a Lead Senior Scientist.  Lindsay McCormick is a Research Analyst

EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) is now requesting that persons who make oral comments at its bimonthly meetings or submit written comments on its documents disclose whether they have “financial relationships … with any organization(s) or entities having an interest in the assessments or issues under discussion,” and, if so, to identify the nature of that relationship, (e.g., consulting agreements, expert witness support, or research funding).  

IRIS is additionally requesting disclosures by persons presenting or submitting results or analyses of studies to identify the funding sources for the research and the financial relationships between those sources and the investigators.

Importantly, the disclosures are to identify whether sponsors had input into or reviewed the comments being presented or submitted.

EDF strongly supports these disclosure requests, and had previously offered specific recommendations for the needed disclosures and cited the extensive precedent for doing so.

IRIS’s request is made on the webpage for the next IRIS Bimonthly Public Science Meeting, scheduled for February 2015 (scroll to the bottom).  The request reads as follows:

Disclosures for discussants and commenters. To promote transparency, it is requested that persons submitting written or oral comments or participating as discussants on key science questions disclose: (1) The nature of any financial relationships (e.g., consulting agreements, expert witness support, or research funding) they may have with any organization(s) or entities having an interest in the assessments or issues under discussion; and (2) The extent to which their comments were reviewed by an interested party prior to submission.

Disclosures for submitting study results. In addition, if results or analyses of scientific research are submitted or presented, it is requested that the following information be provided where available: (1) Identification of the funding source(s) and sponsoring organization(s) of the research; (2) The extent to which the research findings were reviewed by an interested party prior to publication or submission, and identification of any such parties; and (3) The nature of any financial relationships between investigators who conducted the research and any organization(s) or entities having an interest in the assessment or issues under discussion.

 

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