Tittabawassee River Watch Editorial          Back to editorial page  

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Rochelle Miller, Saginaw

6/21/04

Editor, the Saginaw News

The June 13 My View by Dr. Neil Varner of the Saginaw County Health Department requires a few comments.

As a health care professional, I have followed this issue with interest and read a great deal about dioxin and its ability to mimic hormones and suppress immune systems.

The extent and the pervasiveness of this chemical in people's yards and parks warrant concern. Children and developing fetuses have vulnerabilities to dioxin like compound that may not manifest for years to come. My understanding is that the state level of 90 parts per trillion is there to protect children before any adverse health effects occur. Dr. Varner is calling for this compromise at the same time as Dow Chemical Co. is calling to raise the level to 1,000 ppt.

While quick to criticize the environmental community, Dr. Varner seems intent on defending a position to placate Dow Chemical and the city of Midland.

Dr. Varner talks about Machiavellian tactics used to attack Dow. How about the paralysis by analysis that public officials and politicians have fostered for the last 30 years by supporting one study after another funded by Dow and Dow's handpicked researches? One more study and never any cleanup. One more study and another generation of kids exposed and no cleanup.

Dow's money talks loudly and I contend the problem is not the citizens or activists. It's the unwillingness of public officials to hold Dow accountable or responsible.

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