Midland, Mich. - September 19, 2012
The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) announces its support for a new groundbreaking report aimed at improving the science behind regulatory decision making. Dow is among a diverse group of leaders from industry, environmental and consumer advocacy groups, professional associations and government that helped author the report entitled, Model Practices and Procedures for Improving the Use of Science in Regulatory Decision-Making. The report is the culmination of more than 18 months of deliberations by the Research Integrity Roundtable and builds upon the work of the Bipartisan Policy Center in its 2009 report Science for Policy Project. The Roundtable was formed in 2011 by the American Chemistry Council and The Keystone Center at the request of key stakeholders, including Neil Hawkins, Dow's vice president of Sustainability and Environment, Health, & Safety. The cross-sector nature of the Roundtable project is a novel approach that has yielded valuable recommendations and remarkable consensus in spite of differences in expertise, ideology and background.
"To make the best possible regulatory decisions, government agencies need scientific data and review processes that they can trust," says Hawkins. "The checks and balances recommended in the Roundtable report validate the integrity of the scientific studies under consideration based on their merits, thus mitigating concerns regarding the source of funding. They also provide guidance for appointing regulatory review panels with the right composition of experts."
The ultimate objective of the Research Integrity Roundtable is to better protect consumers, workers and the environment through improved regulatory decision making, which is influenced by the integrity of scientific studies as well as the panel review process. The overarching notion, as stated in the report itself, is that the regulatory process is better when there is greater transparency in selecting panels, and when there is consistent, transparent, and systematic review and evaluation of the scientific literature. Recommendations include specific processes to evaluate and resolve concerns regarding potential conflict of interest, and balancing panel membership to address potential bias. In addition, the report recommends ways to improve systematic reviews of scientific studies by outlining a step-by-step process, and by clarifying the criteria necessary for relevance and credibility of the studies. The report outlines actions that will enhance confidence in the integrity of the regulatory system, thereby protecting the interests of all stakeholders, including industry, non-governmental organizations, the government, academia, and the general public.
The primary audiences for the report are federal regulatory agencies and their scientific advisory committees, but the ideas in the report are relevant to many other entities that work at the intersection of science and regulatory policy, including Congress, the judiciary, governors, state legislatures, and advisory and deliberative bodies convened by private entities. Dow was pleased to play an integral role in the Roundtable, joining other industry representatives from Bayer, Battelle Health & Life Sciences, and DuPont.
Craig Rowlands, senior scientist, Toxicology and Environmental Research and Consulting, is Dow's representative on the Roundtable. "It has been rewarding to work with such a diverse group of individuals with the same passion: making better regulatory decisions for our world," said Rowlands. "Given the many different perspectives of the members and the level of importance of the issues, it was gratifying to find so much common ground."
The Research Integrity Roundtable project is funded by the American Chemistry Council, with additional funding being supplied by the Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology. The Union of Concerned Scientists and the American Chemical Society have also made in-kind contributions to the initiative. Copies of the full report are available at www.keystone.org.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.
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