A new environmental rule is being opposed by six scientific journals due to its backward approach to scientific research. The editors-in-chief have released a joint statement condemning this move by the Trump Administration.
Trump’s environmental deregulation has been on the rise since he took office. There have been increased acts being proposed and implemented by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a bid to loosen regulations that had been put in place. However, the latest deregulation policy proposal has caused a stir among the scientific community.
Opposition to the new environmental rule
The new rule would restrict EPA employees from using some research when drafting new regulations. This would mean that they would end up ignoring genuine scientific research when coming up with new regulations. This will lead to a policy that does not protect the environment.
This has led to editors in chief of six scientific journals to oppose these regulations. On Tuesday, they showed solidarity in denouncing this regulation that would limit the scientific process for developing environmental and public health policies.
The rule requires rule-makers to only use studies based on public data in the name of public transparency. This will make it impossible to use studies based on individuals’ medical data.
The rule will also call into question decades of regulations on air quality, water mercury levels or lead levels in paint. This is expected to roll back progress made in ensuring the environment is safe to live on.
The editors in chief of Science, Nature, PLOS, PNAS, Cell Press and The Lancet released a statement saying,
As leaders of peer-reviewed journals, we support open sharing of research data, but we also recognize the validity of scientific studies that, for confidentiality reasons, cannot indiscriminately share absolutely all data.
They also argued that the new rule would weaken regulations in the future. Most of the rules that have been put into place and needs updating in the future will not use all the scientific research available for updating. This will rollback progress made for decades due to a lack of enough research data.
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