Committee on Energy and Commerce
Rep. John D. Dingell, Chairman
Contact: Jodi Seth or Alex Haurek, 202-225-5735
Energy and Commerce Leaders Investigate Cover-Up of Great Lakes Report
Washington, DC – Reps. John D. Dingell (D-MI), the Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-MI), the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, announced an investigation today into the withholding of a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that reportedly demonstrates a correlation between pollution in the Great Lakes and health issues such as cancer mortality and higher infant mortality rates.
“Pollution in our Great Lakes can have very real health consequences for the millions of Americans who live in and around the Great Lakes basin,” Dingell said. “If the Administration has willfully withheld a report from the public, it raises questions about whether they are putting the public health at risk and about the scientific integrity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
“With a mission to promote health and prevent disease, CDC has an obligation to share the results of this report with the American public,” Stupak said. “Instead it appears CDC has made a concerted effort to conceal this information. The health challenges facing these Great Lakes communities will not go away by ignoring the scientific facts. This report could be a valuable tool as federal, state and local governments allocate resources for Great Lakes clean-up efforts. We intend to determine through our investigation who at CDC made the decision to withhold the report and whether the author was penalized for advocating for its publication.”
The study, officially entitled “Public Health Implications of Hazardous Substances in the Twenty-Six U.S. Great Lakes Areas of Concern,“ was completed in July 2007, following several years of work and extensive scientific peer review. According to a recent article by the Center for Public Integrity, officials at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registration, a division of the CDC, blocked the study’s publication.
In a letter sent today to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dingell and Stupak asked that the Great Lakes Report be published so that the validity of its findings can be fairly evaluated. The letter also requests information on events surrounding the suppression of the study. According to the article by the Center for Public Integrity, the Great Lakes Report’s chief author, Dr. Christopher De Rosa, was demoted after working to see the Great Lakes Report released to the public.
The full text of the lawmakers’ letter is available at http://energycommerce.house.gov. Excerpts purported to be from the Great Lakes Report are available on the Center for Public Integrity’s website at http://www.publicintegrity.org/GreatLakes/excerpts.htm.
PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CALL (202) 225-5735. THANK YOU.