Corporate Junk Science in the Media

prime mark of industry control over environmental policy is that its right to
put chemicals into the environment without independent testing is unchallenged
even today. This hegemony is so complete that only a small fringe of
environmentalists question this industry prerogative. Mainstream
environmentalists take producer sovereignty for granted and seek only marginal
changes that are perceived to be within the realm of the politically feasible.

Following the furor over Silent
in the early 1960s, there was no slackening in the production and
use of pesticides either here or abroad. Pesticide use doubled in this country
over the next 30 years, from 540 million pounds in 1964 to well over a billion
pounds in 1993; intensity of application per acre of farmland more than
doubled, and pesticide use in households and home lawn care skyrocketed. Some
poisons like DDT and PCBs were eventually banned, but others took their place,
and dozens of chemicals that are carcinogens or with known damaging effects on
neurological and immune systems remain in widespread use.

Atrazine, a suspected human
carcinogen, is one of the most widely used pesticides in U.S. agriculture, and
has contaminated ground water supplies over virtually the entire country. In Toxic
, Fagin and Lavelle describe how Ciba-Geigy has been able to keep
atrazine in the market for 30 years, despite the accumulating evidence of its
dangers, by manipulating science, the EPA, the political system, and the
media. This is a major story of political-regulatory-scientific corruption,
with serious public health consequences. But the mainstream media have not
been interested, because as members of the corporate system the media’s role
has been to protect the powerful chemical industry’s rights, to avoid and
deflect fundamental criticism, and to normalize the ongoing arrangements. As
in the case of the military budget, we sometimes get brief, usually back-page,
pieces of information on damage and scandals, but a great deal of information
is blacked out and serious and extended analyses and debates about the
industry’s abuses, modes of self-protection, social costs, and alternatives
to poisoning, are off the agenda.

Industry’s ongoing right to
poison first has been dramatically illustrated in recent years by the
introduction of Monsanto’s recombinant bovine hormone drug rBGH and some two
dozen genetically engineered food crops. As in the case of chemicals, this has
been done almost entirely on the basis of industry assurances of safety,
without testing or serious independent evaluation of potential downstream
effects. As Peter Montague says, “Putting genetically-engineered plants and
animals into the natural environment is nothing more than a crap shoot—one
with potential consequences far greater than Monsanto’s previous calamitous
experiments, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and Agent Orange” (Rachel’s
Environment & Health Weekly
, October, 29, 1998). Harvard geneticist
Richard Lew- ontin says that, “I would be surprised if we don’t get one
rude shock after another” under a regime of engineered plants. It is already
a concern of U.S. organic farmers that Monsanto’s incorporation into its
potato seed of a gene from the bacteria bacillus thuriengensis (Bt)—which
kills Colorado potato beetles—will quickly bring forth resistant insects,
thus harming organic farmers who use Bt sparingly. A recent study of the
effects of growing genetically modified crops on a commercial scale in
Britain, commissioned by the British government, concluded that there were
insufficient safeguards to prevent the creation of hybrid, multi-resistant
plants, and that such a development posed major dangers to British hedgerows,
birds, and indigenous plants. (This report, which remains unpublished because
of its “controversial” nature, is described in “Revealed: Risks of
Genetic Food,” by Marie Woolf, The Independent, December 12, 1998.)

Monsanto and its comrades
have invested vast sums in biological research, and they want a market payoff
now. Long-term ecological and safety effects have never been a prime concern
of the chemical industry, and Phil Angell, PR director of Monsanto,
acknowledged recently that safety is not his company’s business or
responsibility: “Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible.
Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job” (NYT, October 25, 1998). (Of
course, when the FDA [or EPA] is too aggressive about safety, the industry
works hard to weaken or capture the agency, to make it responsive to industry
demands. If successful, as is often the case, the industry can produce and
sell without much impediment based on possible safety threats, while claiming
that the FDA [or EPA] is taking care of safety and the public interest.)

rBGH has not been accepted
for use in Canada because, among other reasons, no long-term toxicology
studies were ever required of its manufacturer, and Canada’s science
evaluators concluded that the only short-term toxicology study was improperly
reported by both Monsanto and the FDA to have found that the growth hormone
“was not and could not be absorbed into the bloodstream.” Thus, despite a
$1-2 million bribe offer from Monsanto for an expedited approval, and support
for the company by the top officials of the Canadian health regulatory body,
Monsanto’s effort there remains stymied (Richard Lloyd, “Health Canada
scientists told to serve drug companies,” CCPA Monitor, December
1998-January 1999).

Despite the Canadian setback,
and the fact that European authorities and many scientists have grave doubts
about the effects of genetic engineering on human health and ecology, it has
moved ahead in the U.S. With no serious regulatory impediment or public debate
within the media. One exception was a critical article by Michael Pollan On
“Playing God in the Garden” (NYT Magazine, October 25,
1998), but this article stood alone. The Canadian dispute, which included the
dramatic bribe effort by Monsanto, and the recent disclosure of a highly
critical British government-sponsored report on the risks of genetically
engineered food, were both ignored by the mainstream U.S. media.

Another manifestation of
industry control has been the media’s selective treatment of books on the
environment. Those that seriously challenge the industry tend to be ignored;
those compatible with the industry’s agenda and that attack the industry’s
enemies get more generous treatment. The New York Times, for example,
has never reviewed Samuel Epstein’s Politics of Cancer (1978), Marc
Lappe’s Chemical Deception (1991), Jennifer Curtis and Tim
Profeta’s After Silent Spring (1993), Fagin and Lavelle’s Toxic
(1995), or the eloquent personal-scientific memoir by Sandra
Steingraber, Living Downstream (1996). Theo Colbourn, John Peterson
Myers and Dianne Dumanoski’s Our Stolen Future (1996) was given a
hostile and dishonest review in the Times by Gina Kolata.

Joe Thornton’s Science
for Sale
(1990), published by Greenpeace, which described Monsanto’s
abuse of science in its dioxin studies, was neither reviewed nor mentioned by
the New York Times, Washington Post, or Los Angeles Times.
On the other hand, Marcia Angell’s Science on Trial (1996), which
gives the industry perspective on junk science, was reviewed twice in the New
York Times
(as well as in the Washington Post and widely
elsewhere). Gregg Easterbrook’s A Moment on the Earth (1995), which
celebrated the successes of environmentalism, chided environmentalists as
negativists, and suggested that things were under good control—a book
described by scientist Peter Raven as offering “a Panglossian world view, in
which he offers us a sugar-coated invitation to inaction”—was greeted
warmly in all the mainstream media. It was also welcomed by the chemical
industry as it met their crucial demand of reassurance, along with minimal
criticism of industry or the regulatory system.



the Damage

Steingraber, in Living Downstream, lays great stress on the fact that
while cancer rates have increased steadily in parallel with the
chemicalization of the environment, and hundreds of micro-studies have shown
the linkage in particular cases, the connection “has not been pursued in any
systematic, exhaustive way. The environment…keeps falling off the cancer
screen.” She illustrates this, among many other ways, by the fact that when
an Illinois State Cancer Registry was established in 1984 to monitor health
effects of hazardous substances, the cancer registry was funded, but not the
registry of hazardous substances (which industry strenuously opposed). She
notes how regularly public authorities and public educational campaigns stress
“life style” causes of cancer, not environmental facts related to industry
products and wastes. She hints at what I believe is obvious: that the chemical
industry, wanting environmental causes played down, has succeeded in getting
governments and mainstream educators to do the same.

So do the mainstream media,
which have had hundreds of opportunities to open the Pandora’s box—but
with each report suggesting chemical damage, the media at best give the local
facts, with “balance”; at worst, they ignore or misread such reports. They
don’t allow them to provoke a larger investigation. Thus a typical news
report tells us that the EPA has decided to permit the continued use of
alachlor “despite its potential for causing cancer and contamination of the
drinking water supplies in farm communities,” because of the “substantial
benefits” that “outweigh the risks.” Environmentalists are angry at the
decision, whereas Monsanto says that this reflects “good science”; and
this superficial account and balanced debate was given a short article on page
25 of the Washington Post (December 16, 1987). A Greenpeace campaign
against the use of vinyl in toys, including rattles and early teethers, based
on the evidence that the compound causes liver and kidney tumors, gets
balanced back- page attention, and sits alone without editorial comment (NYT,
November 13 and 18, 1998).

The International Joint
Commission (IJC), a joint U.S. and Canadian venture dating back to 1978, was
given the formidable task of trying to halt the flow of toxic chemicals into
the Great Lakes. It reports each year that it has failed to stem the tide,
that the toxic flow continues to increase and is seriously damaging to human
health. From 1992 onward the annual reports of the IJC have called for an
ending of the use of chlorine in manufacturing as the crucial requirement for
meeting their assigned task. They find, not surprisingly, that industry is not
interested in curtailing the use of chlorine. But the national media also
treat the IJC’s annual reports with extreme brevity and no followup. The
IJC’s U.S. co-chair, Gordon Durnil, has remarked that “we have a societal
problem about how to deal with this, but 90 percent of the population
doesn’t even know there’s anything to worry about.”




Regulatory Failure

accord with industry domination of the agenda, the media portray the EPA as a
powerhouse organization, possibly too aggressive and adversarial in its
pursuit of the public interest. The reality—a seriously underfunded
organization, unable to do its job properly, sometimes captured and often
driven to industry-friendly compromises—can only be grasped, if at all, by a
very close, often between-the-lines study of media reporting. The media do not
feature the fact that, contrary to the stated aim of the 1976 Toxic Substances
Control Act, the EPA has not been able to cope with the toxic chemical flood,
and an estimated 70-75 percent of the chemicals in wide use have still not
been tested for toxicity.

Neither does the media focus
on other evidence that the system of leaving industry to test for safety has
failed. For example, in the course of a struggle with Monsanto over the
company’s right to introduce Santogard between 1986 and 1990, the EPA
discovered that some years back Monsanto had found negative effects of
Santogard in a study that the company had failed to submit to the EPA,
contrary to law. Monsanto was fined $196,000, although by law the fine should
have been $19.7 million. The company was then allowed to search for other
delinquent toxicity studies, and turned up 164, for which it was fined another
nominal $648,000. Realizing that the other chemical companies were also
probably failing to submit studies the EPA arranged an “amnesty” with the
industry, promising only nominal fines for the next three years in exchange
for the industry coughing up previously hidden studies. Under this amnesty the
industry produced some 11,000 documents. Although the nominal fines, and the
demonstration of a massive industry failure to provide evidence of chemical
effects as required by law, showed gross inadequacies in the ongoing methods
of evaluating chemical risks, the media did not find this story of even
passing interest.

Equally sensational, and even
more revealing of EPA’s regulatory weakness and frequent connivance with
industry, was the sequence of events involving dioxin regulation between 1986
and 1993. The paper and pulp industry produces dioxin and became worried over
the regulatory threat in the 1980s. In their book No Margin of Safety,
published by Greenpeace in August 1987, Paul Merrell and Carol Van Strum
showed how the EPA had colluded with the paper industry to keep information
out of the public domain, to characterize any they were compelled to release
as “preliminary,” and to fix dioxin standards at politically acceptable
levels. Following publication of the book, a paper industry official leaked
300 pages of documents to Greenpeace, which fully confirmed the claims in No
Margin of Safety
, demonstrating joint EPA-industry planning to lower the
risk assessment of dioxin and to assuage public fears by reassurances of
safety and labeling study results only “preliminary.”

This sensational inside
material was first offered as an exclusive to the New York Times, where
an article based on it was killed. The Times article which eventually
appeared (September 24, 1987) merely noted that “industry executives were
concerned about public responses when the contamination of paper products
became known.” Not only was the evidence of industry-EPA collusion
suppressed, the article also stated that the EPA had “found less
contamination than officials had expected,” which, given the suppressed
internal documents’ proof of the EPA’s agreement to help soften the public
impact of the findings, represents exceptionally dishonest journalism. The Washington
, following an article that reported the EPA’s finding that dioxin
levels were “seen as no threat to health” (September 25, 1987), did
finally devote a piece to the industry’s PR campaign and attempt to
influence the EPA, and contained hints that this campaign was successful
(Michael Weiskopf, October 25, 1987). But the article was put on page 23 and
had no follow-up.

Equally enlightening has been
the media’s treatment of evidence of industry falsification of data. The
EPA’s fixing of tolerances on dioxin had been founded in part on Monsanto
and BASF studies of the effects of accidents involving dioxin. These studies,
which claimed no serious human damage, were both eventually shown to have been
based on data manipulation; when corrected for the tricks used (mainly
inappropriate inclusions and exclusions of workers), there were very
significant negative health results. Monsanto’s falsifications and their
implications for dioxin regulation were brought to the attention of EPA
officials—as well as environmentalists and veterans groups that had been
adversely affected by the industry’s junk science—by EPA chemist Cate
Jenkins in 1991. EPA began a criminal investigation of Monsanto’s fraud,
which was quietly dropped, following Monsanto pressure and private exchanges
and assurances between the company and EPA officials. On the other hand, Cate
Jenkins, the whistleblower, was subjected to harassment and a series of
internal legal proceedings (all of which failed).

Neither the New York Times
nor Washington Post ever mentioned the Monsanto/BASF frauds, the
abortive EPA criminal investigation of Monsanto, Cate Jenkins, and her memos
on the dioxin frauds and regulation, or her persecution as a whistleblower.
What makes this blackout especially important is the fact that both the Post
and Times lined up with the paper industry during this period in
claiming that “good science” was showing the old dioxin nemesis to have
been inflated. So just as Monsanto and BASF doctored evidence, so the major
papers doctored the news, suppressed negative evidence on both “good
science” and EPA industry collusion (with a partial exception in the Post‘s
treatment of the collusion scandal of 1986-1987), and scoffed at the dioxin

The National Research
Council’s 1993 report on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children
made it clear that in establishing pesticide “tolerances” the EPA and FDA
had used adults as a standard, failing to take into account the fact that
children were far more vulnerable. Once again, the pro-industry bias in
regulatory standards manifested in this case went unrecognized by the
mainstream media. More recently, Monsanto successfully petitioned the EPA to
increase allowable residue levels for the chemical glyphosate, the active
ingredient in its genetically reengineered soybean, Roundup Ready, from 6 to
20 parts per million. As Marc Lappe and Britt Baily note, what was “safe”
in 1987 “was considered ‘safe’ eight years later at three times the
original tolerance” (Against the Grain: Biotechnology and the Corporate
Takeover of Your Food
). This is not discussed in the mainstream media.



the Right Not-To-Know

decades the chemical industry has fought against disclosure of the effects of
its products, on the grounds of “proprietary information” and the free
speech right to be silent. Although full disclosure would seem especially
urgent where products can harm and potential victims need to know as much as
possible for dealing with damage, the industry has been remarkably successful
in preserving its right to silence and the public’s right not-to-know.
Worker knowledge of the effects of workplace chemicals came only by decades of
struggle, and it wasn’t till 1986, after Bhopal (and a leakage of the Bhopal
death chemical in West Virginia), that Congress finally passed an Emergency
Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act. The act was passed over furious
industry opposition and by one vote.

Under the Act, the larger
chemical-producing firms were obliged to make public information on their
releases into the environment of some 654 named chemicals. The mainstream
media did not find the industry’s resistance to informing the public, or the
passage of the act and the act itself, or its effects, of great interest.
Steingraber cites industry admissions that this enforced disclosure compelled
industry members to pay attention to the chemicals they were pouring into the
environment, a point that would seem of enormous significance to public
health. The Toxic Release Inventory showed startling figures—several billion
pounds of toxic chemicals each year—even with the limited coverage of
chemicals and companies, self-reporting, and many refusals to comply. But you
will look in vain in the mainstream media for detailed reports of these
releases, calls for better data, discussions of the health consequences of
these releases, or indignation at a system permitting such large-scale
emissions of poisons.

From 1993 onward, business
has been getting states to pass “Audit Privilege Laws,” which give
companies the right to make their own environmental audits, to report this
fact to state authorities along with promises to correct noted deficiencies,
and then to be free of any requirement to disclose environmental information
to the public or in court proceedings. EPA official Steven Herman states that
such laws are “anti-law enforcement, impede public right-to-know, and can
penalize employees who report illegal activities to law enforcement
authorities. They interfere with government’s ability to protect public
health and safety. They prevent the public from obtaining potentially critical
information about environmental hazards…” (National Environmental
Enforcement Journal
, February 1998). But 24 states have passed such laws,
and once again the mainstream media have been exceedingly quiet about this
regressive process, with a few back-page articles, but without featuring this
development or giving it critical editorial attention.

There has also been a very
important right-to-know issue connected with the new bio-technology products.
Many consumers and environmentalists have insisted that the milk produced by
cows given Monsanto’s growth hormones, and soybeans and other farm products
that are bio-engineered, should be labeled as such. Vermont and other states
have tried to legislate labeling, and a number of European countries have been
concerned about allowing such products entry as well as sale without labeling.
There are deeper problems at stake here than disclosure to consumers, but it
is notable that the mainstream media in the U.S. do not consider either issue
of great importance. These matters have been given back-page treatment at
best, and no editorial criticism in the national media. The New York Times
editorially condemned the “food disparagement” laws in the case of Oprah
Winfrey versus the Texas cattle ranchers (“Free Speech About Food,”
January 19, 1998), but neither it nor the other national papers have spoken
out in favor of labeling bio-engineered products (or against “audit
privilege laws”). It would appear that in these cases producer sovereignty
overwhelms any concern for biological threats or consumers’ right to choose.



Science-Based “Scares”

noted earlier, the media use the phrase “junk science” mainly as the
industry uses it, to refer to non-industry-friendly science, not DuPont-,
Ciba-Geigy-, or Monsanto-friendly science, despite the long record of the
industry’s scientific frauds and its use of science as a public relations
tool. Similarly, the media tend to jump on each industry bandwagon claiming
that a challenge to industry products is a “scare” based on bad science.

This was dramatically illustrated following a CBS “60 Minutes” broadcast
in February 1989 which featured the cancer risk of Alar, a chemical used on
apples to keep them from dropping early and to improve their color. The EPA
had stalled in taking action on Alar for 16 years, following lab tests in 1973
that showed that Alar produced cancer in mice. Later tests confirmed this
result. In May 1989 the EPA finally banned Alar as posing a carcinogenic
threat, and in 1992 the National Academy of Sciences confirmed the seriousness
of this threat. Alar should have been banned in 1973 under the Delaney clause,
which barred the use of any carcinogen in food.

Nevertheless, after the CBS
program caused a sudden shrinkage of apple sales, the industry and its PR and
media allies, with initial support from the EPA, denounced an “Alar scare”
allegedly based on junk science. This claim was quickly institutionalized in
the mass media, and Jane Brody, Walter Goodman, and Gina Kolata in the New
York Times
have referred to this scare repeatedly as established truth.
Most recently, Brody’s article on “Health Scares That Aren’t So Scary”
(August 18, 1998) cited Alar as the number one case in point. Brody used as
her sole uncontested source on this and other scares a document put out by the
American Council on Health, an industry-funded propaganda operation,
identified by Brody only as “based in New York.” She falsely stated that
the EPA had not found Alar unacceptable as a carcinogen, and implied that the
high dosages given mice in laboratory tests made the tests useless (a regular
industry gambit—when the tests do not yield the right conclusions). On
September 5, 1998, a “Corrections” in the Times acknowledged
Brody’s failure to properly identify the Council and to admit that the EPA
had found Alar carcinogenic and banned its use.

The dioxin scare.
As noted, the New York Times and Washington Post both failed to
mention the 1990-1991 disclosures that Monsanto’s and BASF’s dioxin
studies were fraudulent, and the Times never reported the compelling
1987 evidence of collusion between the EPA and paper industry to downplay the
dioxin threat. These suppressions set the stage for both papers, but
especially the Times, aggressively taking the industry line in the
1990s that the dioxin threat was overrated, that in the words of Times
reporter Keith Schneider, dioxin exposure “is now considered by some experts
to be no more risky than spending a week sunbathing” (August 15, 1991).

In a devastating critique of
Schneider’s reporting (“See No Evil,” American Journalism Review,
1993), Vicki Monks showed, first, that the sunbathing analogy was concocted by
Schneider and was repudiated even by his pet expert Vernon Houk. In a later
report (September 26, 1993), allegedly based on the findings of a panel of
independent scientists assembled by the EPA, Schneider claimed that the panel
found that, “the risk to average Americans exposed to dioxin…is lower than
previously believed.” Schneider cited no panel scientist to this effect, and
Monks quoted several that say his conclusion had no basis in the panel’s
findings. The panel members and other scientific studies in the same period
suggested that dioxin is even more dangerous than previously recognized; that
it posed a threat to reproductive and immune systems at levels already
occurring in people’s bodies. Schneider never reported this important
finding. When questioned by Monks about his subsequent March 21, 1993
statement that “new research indicates that dioxin may not be so dangerous
after all,” he told her that he was referring only to dioxin’s
cancer-causing potential, but his article never stated that qualification, and
Monks showed that the scientific consensus contradicted his statement on
dioxin’s cancer threat as well.

On March 21, 1993 Schneider
claimed that there was a new “third wave” of more reasonable
environmentalism based on “science” and not driven by “popular
panics.” He cited no scientist supporting the third wave, but did include
the wise use movement in the vanguard (without mentioning its industry
funding), and cited Monsanto head David Mahoney’s observation that people
were finally recognizing the truths that industry has been pushing. Throughout
his writings on dioxin, Schneider’s main—almost exclusive— scientist
spokesperson was Vernon Houk, who in May 1991 gave his opinion that the Times
Beach, Missouri residents who had been evacuated from a dioxin contaminated
town in 1982 never should have been moved. Schneider and the Times
played this up on the front page, and Schneider claimed that this
“reversal” by Houk also reflected the new wave. But Houk hadn’t reversed
his position at all—and Vicki Monks showed that Schneider knew this from his
own earlier reports. Houk had long been a dioxin defender, was responsible for
the sabotaging of a study of the effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans,
and eventually ended up as an open spokesperson for the paper industry (all
unreported by the Times).

Schneider’s terrible
reporting was widely picked up in the media and was cycled and recycled—in
both the Times and elsewhere. It was repeatedly stated that dioxins
were no more harmful than sunbathing and, as the Chicago Tribune editorialized,
“dioxin has turned out to be something of a non-issue where humans are
concerned.” This is the process whereby industry junk science becomes
institutionalized and genuine chemical threats are transmuted into

Our Stolen Future, Kolata,
and Times policy.

Peter Montague has shown convincingly that Gina Kolata’s hostile Times
review of Theo Colbourn (et al’s) Our Stolen Future was an
incompetent and extremely biased hatchet job (Rachel’s Environmental
& Health Weekly
, #486, March 21, 1996). Other Times reporters
also disliked Our Stolen Future, with its message of possibly serious
environmental damage attributable to the industrial status quo. In his Nation
article on “What’s Wrong With The New York Times’s Science Reporting?”
(July 6, 1998), Mark Dowie reports that when Colbourn and her co-authors
visited the Times to discuss their book, Nicholas Wade, Kolata’s
then-superior flew into a rage, denouncing them as “creating an
environmental scare without evidence.” Wade hadn’t read the book, but his
reaction to “bad [i.e., critical of industry] science” was automatic. It
is evident that Kolata, who Dowie calls “a faithful apologist for corporate
science,” reflects New York Times policy. Dowie points out that the
paper has repeatedly refused to publish corrections of Kolata’s
misquotations and errors, and she has remained in place to do her industry
service for a decade. Keith Schneider also lasted almost a decade as an
environmental reporter, and according to Dowie, senior editors in New York
called Schneider to congratulate him on his dioxin series. Meanwhile, Philip
Shabecoff, Philip Hilts, and Richard Severo were pushed out of environmental
reporting as too critical. Shabecoff recalled that his boss told him that,
“New York is complaining. You’re too pro-environment and they say you’re
ignoring the economic costs of environmental protection.”

Other alarms.
Along with the Alar, dioxin, and immune system scares there have been toxic
waste site scares, asbestos in schools scares, power line leukemia scares,
silicone breast implant scares, and others. The mainstream media have picked
these up with an enthusiasm they rarely display in pursuit of industry-imposed
damage or regulatory malpractice, and with remarkable gullibility, as in the
Alar and dioxin scare cases. When the Times’s Brody, Schneider, or
Wade mention the asbestos in schools scare, they never refer to the long
history of asbestos industry denial of harm from asbestos. They regularly fail
to discuss how industry power constrains, influences, and sometimes dominates
regulatory policy. Never in all of their accounts of scares, risks, and
cost-benefit tradeoffs, do they ever suggest that the precautionary principle
should be controlling or that risks and costs should be borne by those
imposing a product on society. They have internalized the deep agenda that
serves industry needs, and push industry interests, often with enthusiasm and



environmental movement has brought important benefits, both educational and in
policy actions. However, it has not changed the industry’s right to put
chemicals into the environment without independent testing in advance of
general use, and with only limited provision of public information. There is
even a strong regressive movement currently to reduce information availability
by means of Audit Privilege Laws. The rule is still caveat emptor, not
precaution and reverse onus; the producers remain sovereign; and the
mainstream media, by normalizing industry rights and the deep agenda, help
preserve that producer sovereignty.