As An Insider Speaks Out, Chemical Industry’s Credibility Sinks
by the Editorial Board, The Sacramento Bee
Politicians know the cover-up can be worse than the crime.
Parents tell their children that no matter what bonehead stunt they pull, they’ll make it worse by lying.
Perhaps some American Chemistry Council and corporate executives whose companies produce certain types of flame retardants didn’t learn that lesson.
The chemistry council denied involvement with an AstroTurf group known as Citizens for Fire Safety, an industry front that lobbied against legislation to restrict what Gov. Jerry Brown calls “toxic flame retardants.” The chemicals had become ubiquitous in the environment and showed up in mothers’ breast milk.
Last month, industry lobbyist Grant Gillham wrote a powerful letter to the California Legislature detailing how he established the front group in 2007 at the request of the American Chemistry Council and three member corporations that produce the flame retardants.
“My role, at the direction of the three companies, and under the oversight of the American Chemistry Council, was to develop a national advocacy and grassroots public relations campaign to defeat the growing body of legislation aimed at banning chemical flame retardants,” writes Gillham, a former legislative aide.