BEIR VII meeting postponed

Rick Jostes
Study Director, BEIR VII

The first information-gathering meeting of the National Research Council committee examining "health risks from exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation" (BEIR VII-phase 2), which had been scheduled for June 27 and 28, 1999 in Philadelphia, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in the near future. This information-gathering meeting has been postponed in order for the Research Council to have more time to assess the appropriate balance and potential conflict of interest issues associated with the membership of this committee.

No appointment of a Research Council committee is considered final until the Academy has evaluated relevant information bearing on the committee's composition and balance. This information includes the confidential written disclosures to the Academy by each member-designate concerning potential sources of bias and conflict of interest pertaining to his or her service on the committee; information from discussion of the committee's composition and balance conducted in closed session with the provisional members; and the public comments on the membership that have been received by the Academy during the public comment period. It is through this review process that the Academy evaluates whether the committee contains the requisite expertise to address its task and whether the points of views of individual members are adequately balanced in the Academy.