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L'accès aux informations environnementales et sanitaires : le cas des substances chimiques, des OGM et des médicaments

Abstract : Thalidomide, asbestos, tobacco, PCB, benzene, valproate, dexfenfluramine, ECB, PIP implants, chlordecone, BPA, glyphosate, etc., there is now a long list of environmental and health risks that both affected risk management and undermined the public’s trust towards institutions. In this context, the issue of transparency related to environmental and health risks has continued to grow, not only for the purpose of directly informing citizens, but also for the purpose of building a counterexpertise, with a growing number of organizations or researchers seeking to review and check official expertise, and to challenge the action or the inertia of public authorities or companies. As a result, expert agencies increasingly receive requests to access environmental and health information, including to detailed datasets and techniques to test their reliability. Despite the progress that has characterized public rights to access information over the past forty years and the display of an open data policy, this thesis is based on the observation that access to information regimes are not effective. Going beyond the causes traditionally analyzed by doctrine (length of the delays, culture of secrecy, complexity), the thesis seeks to identify systemic limits to public access to environmental and health information. In particular, it highlights three sets of structural factors. First, the system for assessing product safety, entrusted to companies, inherently carries a risk of conflicts of interest and therefore undermines the reliability of the data to which the public is entitled. Second, the claim of intellectual property rights on data produced by companies, subjects them to a privatization process. Third, the lack of enforcement power of expert agencies, caught in a stranglehold between the exclusive rights of companies and the rights of public access. Three case studies – chemicals, GMOs and medicines – are used to highlight these structural limitations to access rights and, simultaneously, to deepen ecological and health democracy.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 2, 2020 - 10:31:16 AM
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Tristan Berger. L'accès aux informations environnementales et sanitaires : le cas des substances chimiques, des OGM et des médicaments. Droit. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020PA01D006⟩. ⟨tel-02955661⟩

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