Posted on March 21, 2022

By Jayla Burton, Program Manager

Breast cancer has become a political issue.

One of the many ways it must be addressed is by ensuring that decisions made by federal agencies are based on scientific evidence free of partisan influence.

Take action and urge Congress to pass the Scientific Integrity Act, H.R.849, an important step toward ensuring decisions are not made on the whims of ideologues or by powerful lobby groups.

When the Biden-Harris administration first took office, you joined us in calling for them to prioritize the breast cancer crisis. We depend on high-quality federal scientific research and the hard work of federal scientists to protect our health and environment. The Scientific Integrity Act will safeguard the rights of scientists working at federal agencies by:

  • Prohibiting political appointees from tampering with or suppressing scientific findings.
  • Giving scientists autonomy and final review, without agency interference, over how their research is disseminated, and permit them to talk directly with the public about their work.
  • Strengthening the rights of scientific whistleblowers.

This bill will keep agency leaders from disregarding the science and will implement key protections that prohibit political interference. The bill would ensure more transparency and accountability from federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As more and more evidence links environmental risk factors to health harms, including breast cancer, science and evidence-based information must be at the forefront of policy-making decisions that prevent these exposures.

As Dr. Diana Zuckerman, President of the National Center for Health Research, recently wrote regarding the COVID-19 pandemic: “We learned a tragic lesson in 2020 about the importance of scientific integrity, and how lives can be lost when science is manipulated, ignored, politicized or misinterpreted.” Weak regulations put us all at risk for developing diseases such as breast cancer.

Science must guide policy decisions — not the other way around. Take action and protect scientific integrity.