In an article published on January 25, 2017 the industry group American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced the launch of a new initiative entitled “Campaign for accuracy in public health research (CAPHR).” The campaign seeks reform of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans (short IARC monographs). The IARC is the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) concerned with international public health.

The ACC claims that the IARC’s monographs program “suffers from persistent scientific and process deficiencies that result in public confusion and misinformed policy-making.” The ACC criticizes that “rather than informing consumers of carcinogenic risks in realistic exposure scenarios, IARC considers only a substance’s hazard—whether the substance could cause cancer in humans under any circumstances, in most cases at exposure levels far beyond what is typical.” In this manner, the IARC monographs have been “responsible for countless misleading headlines about the safety of the food we eat, the jobs we do and the products we use in our daily lives,” stated Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the ACC. The campaign has its own website and twitter account, providing “fact sheets, infographics, and relevant news stories that will better inform the public about the methodology and research behind IARC’s monographs and other public health studies.”

The IARC provided a statement regarding the ACC’s campaign to news provider Plastics News: “The American Chemistry Council campaign against IARC is the latest in a series of attacks aimed at discrediting the WHO Cancer Agency and its Monographs’ evaluation program, through misrepresentations and inaccuracies.”

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ACC (January 25, 2017). “ACC launches campaign to promote credibility in public health research.

Campaign to promote credibility in public health research

Kelly Franklin (January 26, 2017). “ACC begins campaign to change basis of UN cancer agency classifications.Chemical Watch

Steve Toloken (January 27, 2017). “ACC launches campaign against IARC decision-making on carcinogens.Plastics News