American Chemistry Council Lied About Lobbying Role On Flame Retardants, Consultant Says

by David Heath, The Daily Beast

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The chemical industry’s powerful trade group, the American Chemistry Council, has long maintained that it had nothing to do with an enormously successful but deceitful lobbying effort in state capitals to defend the use of potentially ineffective and toxic flame retardants in furniture.

Now, in a rare breaking of ranks, a top industry consultant is discrediting that story — and in so doing providing a window into the shadowy world of corporate advocacy and its use of front groups that aren’t what they appear.

After a Chicago Tribune investigation in 2012 exposed Citizens for Fire Safety as an industry group masquerading as a coalition of firefighters, educators, community activists, doctors and others, the chemistry council disavowed any affiliation with or support for the group.

The political consultant who ran Citizens for Fire Safety, however, says the council lied about its involvement. Grant David Gillham said the ACC helped create Citizens for Fire Safety and frequently coordinated with his organization.

“They flat out lied about it,” Gillham said in a recent interview. “They denied that they ever did anything with us.”

Still, nearly every major environmental group opposes it, in part because the American Chemistry Council supports it.

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