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CRE Watchlist: Special Projects
HHS/NTP Report on Carcinogens Program



NTP Defers Listing Proposals for Talc
Dr. Kenneth Olden, NTP Director, has informed stakeholders that both proposals to list TALC have been deferred pending further review. The review will determine whether clear definitions of the different kinds of talc can be developed and whether additional research is appropriate. He stated that the decision to defer did not address concerns over potential lung cancer hazard from talc containing asbestiform fibers, nor potential ovarian cancer hazard from cosmetic talc. Dr. Olden also invited further input on the issues.

  • Comment on Item

    National Cancer Institute, NTP Executive Committee Member, replies to CRE's inquiries on Talc
    "We have a meeting next week," says Dr. David Longfellow, NCI Executive Committee and RG2 Panel Member. He recognizes the weight votes carry on talc. "The predecessor to this was glass wool," he adds (fiberglass). Dr. Longfellow says substances executing a wide impact on producers and consumers, such as talc and fiberglass, make for variegated voting. "There have been calls that are not clear, or straight down the line," he says. "Sometimes some of these things have been awkward and controversial enough that Dr. Olden gets outside, additional input." Dr. Longfellow explains the sought out sources consist of "people who have, historically, been players in the carcinogenis community." He states that sometimes this input is sought before the Executive Committee meets, sometime after. It's all based on "the body of information we have" and "industry comment."

  • Comment on Item

    NTP Executive Committee to Vote on Talc in The Report on Carcinogens Program
    CRE Website Reporter, Sydney Smith, conducts extensive interviews with National Toxicology Program (NTP) Executive Committee Panel. The purpose of the article is to educate the public on the process and procedures used by the Committee. A current split-vote on talc cosmetic powder lends controversy to the next committee meeting and depth to the CRE's reports.

  • Read the CRE Guest Column Article
  • Comment on item
  • Vote Against Listing Talc in 10th Report on Carcinogens Puts at Issue the Value of the External Peer Reviewers
    The Program's external expert review panel voted 8-2 against an NTP proposal to list cosmetic talc which does not contain asbestiform fibers as "reasonably anticipated" to be a human carcinogen. Previously, two internal government review groups had voted in favor of listing. The divergent recommendations will now be sent to the NTP Executive Committee, and then to the NTP Director and the Secretary. CRE has submitted comments explaining how this unprecedented decisive contrary external peer review vote resulted from finding serious flaws in the earlier internal reviews, and was far more rational and supportable. The CRE comments question how the Executive Committee, the Director, and the Secretary could override such a strong external peer review vote and still maintain that those reviewers perform the valuable function envisioned when the RoC Subcommittee was created in 1996.

  • Read CRE letter to the National Toxicology Program
  • Comment on Item

    Report on Carcinogens Reviewers Vote Against Listing Talc
    The Program's external expert review panel, after hearing public comments, voted 8-2 against an NTP proposal to list cosmetic talc which does not contain asbestiform fibers as "reasonably anticipated" to be a human carcinogen. Previously, two internal government review groups had voted in favor of listing. The reviewers also deadlocked 5-5 on whether to list talc which contains asbestiform fibers as "reasonably anticipated". CRE comments addressed fundamental programmatic issues such as proper characterization of exposures, adherence to the listing criteria, and consideration of all relevant information. The next steps in the review process are consideration by the NTP Executive Committee, then decisions by the Director of NTP and the Secretary of HHS.

  • Click to view CRE comments
  • Click to view CRE white paper
  • Click to view final CRE comments.