Environmental Risk Expert Responds to PBS Documentary on Chemicals

Washington, DC, March 27, 2001—The director of risk and environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute is criticizing PBS for its slanted, anti-technology report on chemicals. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


“PBS did a disservice to the public by presenting a very biased and factually questionable picture of our modern technological society. It pushed an agenda that could actually undermine public well being and safety,” said Angela Logomasini, in response to Bill Moyers’ investigative report that aired Monday night.


The program focused on documents and studies that Moyers claimed were kept secret from the public. While Logomasini says companies have a moral obligation to take care of their workers, she also points out that many of the so-called secret studies were actually published in major medical journals, like the Journal of the American Medical Association.


“If PBS was truly concerned about others being forthright about the facts, they should have at least tried to do the same with their program,” said Logomasini. “By creating the impression that our technological society is comprised of companies engaged in a mass conspiracy to literally poison the public, the program promises to undermine the institutions that have improved the human condition to the extent that our life span is nearly 80 years today, compared to the pre-industrial life span of around 30 years.”


Anti-technology advocates believe companies should be forced to follow the Precautionary Principle: that products have to be proven safe before allowing use. Logomasini says this is a very dangerous policy and that if we attempted to do that, Americans would never have access to medicines that save lives or technologies that ensure a stable food supply and control infectious diseases.


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