Environmental Defense Rebukes American Chemistry Council

Responding to nationally televised claims by the American Chemistry Council

that its products have been “carefully scrutinized” for safety, Environmental

Defense executive director Fred Krupp asked the chemical industry’s

top official to prove it or publicly back down.

Krupp reminded Fred Webber, head of the industry association previously

known as the Chemical Manufacturers Association, that Webber himself had

spoken up for the urgent need to test industrial chemicals, after his own

group’s exhaustive study confirmed that less than 10% of top-selling U.S.

chemicals could show even preliminary test results in the public record.

The documentary “Trade Secrets” by journalist Bill Moyers, which aired

on March 26th on public television, was immediately followed by an on-camera

discussion including American Chemistry Council spokesman Terry Yosie.

Yosie insisted to Moyers that the public could rely on chemicals having been


In fact, Krupp wrote to Webber, “what brought the American Chemistry

Council to sit down with environmentalists was exactly the opposite: joint

recognition that most of the industry’s top-selling chemicals have not been

tested,” and a sense of urgency about starting to fill “the enormous gap of

ignorance about chemical hazards.”

Krupp called on Webber to produce test results for the 9,000 chemical

products his spokesman had referred to on Moyers’ program, or “issue a

public retraction and admission” that Yosie had misled the public.

Read the letter to Fred Webber

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