17 August 2009
The report calls for the US Administration to ensure that federal agencies explicitly differentiate between questions that involve scientific judgements and those that involve judgements about other matters of policy (e.g. ethics, economics), and also calls on the federal government and members of the scientific community (scientists, journals, universities) to strengthen the peer-review process in order to improve the use of science in regulatory processes. This could be achieved by expanding the available information on scientific studies and setting standards governing conflict of interest. In addition, the panel produced a number of detailed recommendations about the formation and use of scientific advisory committees, including setting requirements for disclosure and dealing with conflicts of interest and bias.
It is hoped that the recommendations will make the regulatory process more rigorous and transparent, and that “when there are disagreements, officials and the public will have a clearer sense of what they are about”.