remember, tuesday is soylent green day
What about the plastic in containers of Soylent Green? Isn't it bad enough that it's made of people?
I'd opened this link with the intention of getting some more info on what the NIA had to say bisphenol A (hey - I made a rap! I'm a rap star!), which is in practically everything plastic we put to our lips. Indeed, long term plastic poisoning is one of the dirty little secrets of the Plastic Age.
But I think the real story's a little bit further down, at least in the LA Times version:
The bisphenol A report, which some scientists say has a pro-industry bias, is a public document scheduled for review by the center's scientific panel on Monday. Employees of Sciences International involved in writing it will preside over the meeting.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) in a Wednesday letter called for an explanation of the company's role and disclosure of its potential conflicts of interest before the panel convenes Monday. Boxer chairs the Senate's environmental committee and Waxman chairs the House's government oversight and reform committee.
Sciences International executives declined to comment to The Times, referring all questions to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Michael Shelby, director of the federal reproductive health center, which is based in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, also declined to discuss Sciences International.
But Robin Mackar, a spokeswoman for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which oversees the reproductive center, said Sciences International "has worked for the center since 1998 without any problems" and has participated in reports on 17 chemicals.
"These contractors have no decision-making or analytical responsibilities," she said.
But according to company and government websites and Federal Register documents, Sciences International is involved in management and plays a principal scientific investigative role at the federal center. The company has a $5-million contract with the center, according to an NIEHS document.
"The most significant project at our firm is the management of the National Toxicology Program's Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction," the Sciences International website says. It says half its clients are from the private sector, but its health studies are independent and it "is proud of its reputation for objective science."
Its current website contains no list of industry clients. But a 2006 version names BASF and Dow Chemical — which manufacture the plastics compound BPA — as well as DuPont, Chevron, ExxonMobil, 3-M, Union Carbide, the National Assn. of Manufacturers, and 45 other manufacturing companies and industry groups.
In 1999, Sciences International represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in fighting an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to regulate a pesticide used on tobacco crops. In 2004, its vice president, Dr. Anthony Scialli, who is identified as the federal center's "principal investigator," co-wrote a study with a Dow Chemical Co. researcher on how to extrapolate data from animal tests to humans.
In addition, another Sciences International employee who works at the federal agency, Gloria Jahnke, has collaborated nine times on chemicals research with another company that gets funding from the plastics industry, according to a Times review of medical publications.
Sciences International's president boasted about its close collaboration with the federal reproductive health center, as well as the EPA and other federal agencies, in a letter soliciting R.J. Reynolds as a client in 1999.
Signed by company founder Elizabeth Anderson, the letter stated that Sciences International "serves the private sector, including many trade associations, on a wide range of health and risk assessment issues. However, we are different from most other consulting firms in that we also currently serve government agencies," which, the letter said, gives the company "a unique credibility to negotiate with regulators on behalf of our private sector clients."
Scientists quite often collaborate with industry, but it looks as though the group's '06 clinet list, as well as their work back in 1999 (man, I miss the days when the Fresh Air Nazis only wanted to take away our cigarettes, our guns, and make us eat soy. It beats the pants off of that whole habeas corpus thing) pretty much them squarely on the side of the coporados.