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July 15, 2005

Pesticide found in unborn babies?

From Reuters:

Unborn U.S. babies are soaking in a stew of chemicals, including mercury, gasoline byproducts and pesticides, according to a report released on Thursday.

Although the effects on the babies are not clear, the survey prompted several members of Congress to press for legislation that would strengthen controls on chemicals in the environment.

The report by the Environmental Working Group ...

SCREEEEEEEECH!!!!!

Before we go any further, we (unlike Reuters) should take a look at exactly who the Environmental Working Group is.

Michelle Malkin has this to say about them:

The Environmental Working Group is not just a humble "non-profit research outfit," as it is being described by the mainstream press. It is a savvy political animal funded by deep-pocketed foundations with a big-government agenda of their own. And it is engaged in aggressive eco-lobbying that belies its image as an innocuous public charity dedicated to "educating" citizens.

The Environmental Working Group's main claim to fame is its anti-chemical fear-mongering. It scares pregnant women about the non-dangers of chlorinated water and says that even one bite of some fruit sprayed with pesticides could cause "dizziness, nausea and blurred vision." The group has also declared war on nail polish, hairspray, playgrounds, portable classrooms and ABC News correspondent John Stossel.

Bonner R. Cohen of the Capital Research Center reported that...

Dr. [Elizabeth M.] Whelan went on to point out that conspicuously absent from EWG's Web site is any reference to scientific credentials or any other information about those who undertook the salmon study.

"This omission," she pointed out, "is consistent with the fact that the EWG president once conceded to the Weekly Standard that the Environmental Working Group does not have a single doctor or scientist on staff."...

Like Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other highprofile environmental groups, EWG specializes in promoting media-driven, scientifically unsupported health scares...

By now, the EWG modus operandi is predictable. The group releases a “study,” which concludes that exposure to an everyday item—baby food, cosmetics, mother’s milk, tap water, fruit and vegetables— poses a risk to human health. The study then follows the model that the NRDC and Fenton Communications developed for the 1989 Alar scare: EWG “findings” typically show that children are most at risk by exposure to the substance in question. The study is then released at a press conference, often arranged by Fenton Communications, with all the trappings of a major scientific breakthrough.

In 1998 Consumer Alert warned of the EWG's bogus reports. In 2001 when they got word that John Stossel was going to do a report on fear mongering environmentalism, the EWG harassed parents of children interviewed for the program until they requested the interviews be cut. In 2002 the EWG was reported to the IRS for violation of their tax-exempt status.

Given that, is there really any necessity to go further? If Reuters wants to be the willing dupe of EnviroLoonies, that's their business, but we don't have to believe them.

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 15, 2005 08:52 AM

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