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Krupp's Letter to American Chemistry Council
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March 27, 2001

Frederick L. Webber
President and CEO
American Chemistry Council
1300 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209

Dear Fred:

Last night after the Bill Moyers documentary "Trade Secrets" on public television, the American Chemistry Council told a national audience that industrial chemicals are safe because "they have been tested" and "have been carefully scrutinized." Those misstatements, by your spokesman Terry Yosie, require a public retraction.

As you know better than anyone, what brought the American Chemistry Council to sit down with environmentalists was exactly the opposite: joint recognition that most of the industry's top-selling chemicals have not been tested, even preliminarily, for their human health standards, as far as the public record shows. Two years ago you shared a podium with me and then-Vice President Al Gore to say so, and to announce first steps to doing something about the enormous testing gap that your own research had confirmed.

If your spokesman last night had acknowledged what you personally, your organization's own study, and your work with environmentalists have already stood for, the chemical industry would have deserved credit for a new candor, and for leadership in beginning to close the enormous gap of ignorance about chemical hazards.

But, sadly, telling the public today that industrial chemicals are safe when you know the information isn't there is akin to telling workers 30 years ago that there was no evidence vinyl chloride and benzene were harmful. In both cases, your organization's file cabinets know better.

Mr. Yosie forcefully argued to the television audience that the chemical industry has learned from the mistakes of the past and was committed to openness and transparency. If that claim is to be credible, then it is incumbent on you to issue a public retraction and admission that Mr. Yosie's testing claims were inaccurate. Of course, if the chemical industry does have testing data on the 9,000 chemicals that Mr. Yosie described, then openness requires that you make those test data public. You should do either without delay.

Yours truly

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