(NaturalNews) A collection of science and journalism organizations is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to stop its policy of restricting independent scientists who advise the agency against talking to media outlets without first getting permission.
In a memo that was sent earlier this year, the EPA's chief of staff "reaffirmed" the policy. That agency memo said scientists who are counseling the agency "should refrain from directly responding to external requests."
EPA is facing increased criticism and scrutiny from the media for its lack of transparency, as well as its penchant to provide journalists only with background information instead of on-the-record interviews.
In fact, the Center for Public Integrity has recently accused the EPA of stonewalling after the group attempted to interview officials from the agency on the record.
The Hill reported that an EPA spokesperson has (of course) defended the policy, saying, in an Orwellian manner, that "transparency and openness are key operating principles" of the environmental agency.
Dozens of federal government watchdogs also say they are having transparency issues with the Administration. In an August letter to congressional leaders, 47 of the government's 73 independent watchdogs known as inspectors general (IG) accused a number of major agencies, including the Justice Department, the Peace Corps and the chemical safety board, of imposing "serious limitations on access to records."
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