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According to New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof, the chemical industry is engaged in a grand conspiracy to hide the fact your kitchen cabinets and other home products contain a “dangerous” chemical. He explains:
The chemical industry is working frantically to suppress that scientific consensus — because it fears “public confusion.” Big Chem apparently worries that you might be confused if you learned that formaldehyde caused cancer of the nose and throat, and perhaps leukemia as well. …The industry’s strategy is to lobby Congress to cut off money for the Report on Carcinogens, a 500-page consensus document published every two years by the National Institutes of Health, containing the best information about what agents cause cancer. If that sounds like shooting the messenger, well, it is.
Since then, hype about the risks of formaldehyde continues to circulate on the internet as if Kristof made some new discovery. For example, OMB Watch cites the article as authoritative evidence of an industry conspiracy in a blog entitled “Chemical Industry Spending Millions to Hide Danger of Cancer-Causing Products.”
But before you agree formaldehyde is the “new tobacco,” let’s put the issue in perspective.
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