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E-M:/ Fw: Moyers Blasts Back at Attacks on Trade Secrets Report.



 
Date: Saturday, March 24, 2001 9:17 AM
Subject: Fwd: Moyers Blasts Back at Attacks on Trade Secrets Report.

Bill Moyers Responds to Chemical Industry Attack on Investigative Report
Based On Confidential Industry Documents

'TRADE SECRETS' Premieres on PBS on March 26 From 9-11 P.M.

NEW YORK, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- ``TRADE SECRETS: A Moyers Report'' is a
two-hour program that lays out an historical record of chemical industry
behavior and devotes 30 minutes, 25% of the broadcast, to a panel discussion
of issues such as what scientists know about the health effects of
chemicals,  how fully chemicals are tested before they come to market,
worker safety and  whether the public is fully informed about chemicals and
their impact on
personal health.

The portion of the program that lays out the historical record is based on
the industry's own words, preserved in black and white in confidential
industry documents that the public was never supposed to see.

The panel discussion, which will be produced live-to-tape the afternoon of
the program premiere, includes two representatives of the chemical industry,
a representative of the public health sector, and a representative of an
environmental organization.

The chemical industry's trade association, the American Chemistry Council,
has begun a campaign to discredit ``TRADE SECRETS'' before it is broadcast
by
attacking Bill Moyers' professionalism as a journalist and the balance,
accuracy and fairness of the program.

Following is a statement by Bill Moyers to industry attacks, as well as a Q
&
A rebuttal to issues the chemical industry has raised in the media:

Statement by Bill Moyers

``As usual, the chemical industry is misleading the American people and the
press. The American Chemistry Council has known that we designed the
broadcast to include industry representatives. Weeks ago we even provided
the
industry with the very questions to be discussed on the broadcast. When
Terry
Yosie, the industry spokesman, told me that the industry wants to address
issues of worker and product safety and the benefits to society of
chemicals,
I agreed. Mr. Yosie won't tell you that, because Mr. Yosie is trying to
defend the industry against the indefensible record in its own documents.

I consider myself in good company to be attacked by the industry that tried
to smear Rachel Carson when she published ``Silent Spring.'' As its own
documents reveal, this is the industry that kept from its workers the truth
about what was making them sick; that opposes the right of citizens to know
what is polluting their communities; that manipulated its own science to
hide
the hazards of chemicals; that spent millions of dollars to buy political
influence, carve loopholes in environmental law, and create a regulatory
system that it controls. The people who watch 'TRADE SECRETS' will decide
for
themselves who is guilty of malpractice.``


                          Q & A about "TRADE SECRETS"

      Q. Why didn't Bill Moyers interview representatives of the chemical
         industry for "TRADE SECRETS"?

      -- He does include industry representatives, in a format that gives
them
         an unedited opportunity to present their point of view.  Half an
hour,
         which is 25% of the program, is devoted to a discussion of issues
         raised by facts in the internal industry documents that are the
focus
         of the first portion of the program.

      -- This discussion provides equal time to chemical industry
         representatives as well as others with differing viewpoints
         representing the public health sector and environmental
organizations.

      -- In the discussion, the industry is invited to offer opinions on
such
         issues as their assessment of the present state of regulation, the
         scientific basis for their confidence that chemicals absorbed by
human
         beings have no health consequences in the short term or the long
term,
         and their plans for the future to ensure that chemicals they
         manufacture pose no threat to the public.

      Q. Why weren't industry representatives interviewed for the
documentary
         portion of the program?

      -- The documentary portion of this program lays out historical
evidence
         about the chemical industry contained in their internal industry
         documents spanning a period of almost 50 years.

      -- These internal industry documents are a fact. They exist. They are
not
         a matter of opinion or a point of view. The documents state what
the
         industry knew, when they knew it and what they decided to do.

      -- In the documentary portion of the program, the chemical industry is
         represented by these documents, which describe the industry's
         decisions -- in their own words in black and white and on paper --
         about how they will behave.

      -- The interviews in this portion of the program focus on determining
if
         the information contained in the chemical industry's documents was
         revealed at the time to company employees, governmental regulators,
         citizens concerned about environmental pollution, or the general
         public.

      Q. The chemical industry has stated "TRADE SECRETS" can not be
balanced,
         accurate or fair because they were not given the opportunity to
         present their side of the story.

      -- Bill Moyers has a different view. Regarding accuracy, every fact in
         "TRADE SECRETS" has been scrupulously sourced. There is no question
of
         accuracy in the presentation of the documents because we have made
         them available for all to see.  The viewer doesn't have to wonder
if
         excerpts from these internal documents were perhaps unfairly taken
out
         of context during the program. The full text of every document
         referenced in "TRADE SECRETS" will be available for all to read on
the
         "TRADE SECRETS" Web site on PBS.org. Nothing could be more fair.

      -- The program is balanced in broadly framing the chemical industry.
The
         program plainly states that chemicals have improved many aspects of
         our contemporary lifestyle. The documentary does not question the
         positive aspects of the chemical revolution of the last fifty
years,
         and acknowledges them.

      -- As the documents reveal, the chemical industry has invested
millions
         of dollars trying to dominate public perception as well as the
         regulatory process. This program is making information available to
         the public that has been deliberately and consciously withheld.
         Attacking the journalism in "TRADE SECRETS" is a strategy to
discredit
         the content so that their own viewpoint can dominate public
         perception.


Additional information on ``TRADE SECRETS'' is available on PBS PressRoom at
pbs.org/pressroom.

SOURCE: Kelly & Salerno Communications

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