Our view: Dow's mixed messages create confusion
The Midland Daily News 10/05/2003 Editorial

The question today is whether The Dow Chemical Co. should have two messages when it comes to the dioxin issue - one for the public during community meetings and one for the courts during litigation.

That's the course the company took last week when it filed a response in the potential class-action lawsuit so far involving about 300 residents of the Tittabawassee River flood plain. In the response, Dow said the dioxin in the river and flood plain does not pose a serious risk for plaintiffs. The company went on to say that dioxin in soil and sediments "is not generally available for significant exposure to people and, therefore, presents no significant health risk."

State Department of Community Health spokesman T.J. Bucholz doesn't see it that way. "Dow Chemical has no data to support that" he said, then added, "We can not say conclusively that dioxin in that flood plain is not available to humans that live there."

Meanwhile, at two recent public meetings, Susan Carrington, Dow director of sustainable development, was sending a different message on dioxin. She was quoted as saying "Dow remains unwavering in its commitment to step up to the plate and do what's right" and "all I can say is there are no quick fixes, that we make things better, not worse; have the right people involved in the actions for the most people long term."

The problem with having one message for litigation and one for public consumption is that, inevitably, they will be compared. When Dow's mixed messages on dioxin are compared, the result is confusion. And a concern about credibility.

İMidland Daily News 2003

For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawasse River Watch web site www.trwnews.net for complete coverage of the Tittabawassee River Dow Chemical dioxin contamination saga. . The Newspaper / Media page of our site contains an extensive archive of media articles dating back to January 2002. The source organization's web site link is listed to the right of the article, visit often for other news in our area. The Newspaper / Media page may be accessed by scrolling down to the bottom of the CONTENTS section and clicking on the Newspaper/Media link.