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Richard Maltby,03/03/06 Letter to the Editor, Saginaw News

Delay tactics

Editor, The News:

Reading James J. Collins' Feb. 21 letter, "Measuring cancer risks," concerning Dow chemical's worker health studies, I am reminded again of editor Jack Weinberg's testimony given at a congressional hearing on "Scientific Integrity and Federal Policies and Mandates: Case Study 3 -- EPA's Dioxin Reassessment."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had just completed its 1994 "Health Assessment Document for 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenso-p-Dioxin (TCDD) and Related Compounds," describing the health hazards of TCDD to humans and animals.

Regarding Dow's involvement in EPA's dioxin reassessment, Weinberg said that a new trade group, the Chlorine Chemistry Council, was launched "to handle public relations, political lobbying, and 'scientific initiatives' on all issues for the chlorine industry. From its origin, the council was a Dow-led effort. The council's first managing director was Brad Lienhardt, a career-long Dow employee."

Weinberg gave more information in regard to the release of EPA's 1994 long-awaited draft of the dioxin reassessment. Weinberg said, "Dow and the CCC moved immediately to undermine EPA's alarming findings."

In view of this testimony, Weinberg said, "Dow and its chemical industry allies ... have achieved another victory. Delay and confusion have always been primary industry goals. This is the third EPA dioxin reassessment in 10 years, and the existence of an ongoing reassessment has been used as an excuse for making no decisions in the interim."

Apparently, the National Academy of Sciences is now undertaking another scientific review of EPA's dioxin reassessment.

Will the National Academy of Sciences' review result in another delay?

Richard A. Maltby



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