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Feb 29,2008
Report: Lobbyist had EPA panelist booted
by UPI

WASHINGTON - Industry lobbyists won the removal of a neurologist from a U.S. review panel on whether to ban a chemical used in TV housings, a published report said.

Deborah Rice chaired the Environmental Protection Agency committee on deca, a brominated compound, the Los Angeles Times reported. She had studied the effects of deca in animals and reported that it affected their neurological systems.

Officials removed Rice from her position last August because of the "perception of a potential conflict of interest," after the American Chemistry Council complained of bias, the newspaper said. At issue was testimony she gave to the Maine legislature in which she urged a ban on deca.

Rice's contributions have been expunged from the report on deca and her name has been removed, the Times said.

The Environmental Working Group said the EPA's concern with bias appears to be one-sided. The organization found 17 members of seven EPA review panels organized last year who worked for or were funded by chemical companies or had publicly described the substances they are reviewing as safe.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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