By Rejecting Beck Nomination, Senators Make the Right Choice for Public Health

Statement by Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Jun 18, 2020

WASHINGTON (June 18, 2020)—Longtime chemical industry official Dr. Nancy Beck has been nominated to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) by the Trump administration. That nomination is in danger thanks to bipartisan opposition, including from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). Dr. Beck’s record shows a troubling disdain for science and the impacts of toxic chemicals, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). If the Senate rejects Beck’s appointment, it would be a positive step for public health and safety.

Below is a statement by Dr. Gretchen Goldman, research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“There’s a clear and disturbing pattern across the administration of ignoring or manipulating science for political ends, and Nancy Beck is a perfect example. She’s an incredibly inappropriate choice to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“Dr. Beck has a long record of promoting disinformation as a leader at the American Chemistry Council, and during her time in the Trump administration, she’s repeatedly taken a lead role in distorting scientific evidence—to the benefit of powerful industries and the detriment of public health.

“In particular, Dr. Beck was involved with the effort to bury scientific research into the effects of PFAS chemicals. She’s repeatedly worked to undermine the EPA’s review process for hazardous chemicals like trichloroethylene. She helped craft the EPA’s rule restricting what science the agency can consider. She’s even been involved in suppressing CDC guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The idea that Nancy Beck could be in charge of evaluating the safety of consumer products, including toys, clothing, and furniture, worries me as a scientist—and as a parent. On the Trump administration’s watch, the commission has fallen down on the job of enforcing the law and keeping us safe, and the nominee would take the agency even further in the wrong direction.

“I’m grateful to the senators of both parties who have spoken out to say that Nancy Beck is the wrong choice to head this vital agency.”

Goldman and UCS analyst Genna Reed have written detailed blog posts examining Beck’s record of undermining and sidelining science.