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The chief of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Durham, North Carolina, has gotten into hot water with Republicans on the House of Representatives science committee for writing an editorial urging citizens to advocate for environmental protection laws. NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum says she violated no ethics laws, however, and some legal experts agree.
In the editorial, published on 18 December 2017 in PLOS Biology, Birnbaum and a PLOS Biologyeditor summarize the articles appearing in a special issue on U.S. policies regulating chemicals. They end with the sentence: “Closing the gap between evidence and policy will require that engaged citizens, both scientists and nonscientists, work to ensure our government officials pass health-protective policies based on the best available scientific evidence.”