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Re: E-M:/ Tragic News



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Enviro-Mich message from Claire O'Leary <claireoleary@comcast.net>
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I didn't know Mary Beth personally, but my one encounter with her made a lasting impression. I feel very saddened by this news.

Back in January, maybe it was '02, I attended a symposium offered by the U of M school of Public Health that focused on genetically engineered foods. The U of M was erecting their new biotechnology building and the panel of presenters was loaded with pro-biotech heavy weights. There wasn't a single voice in the speaker line-up to truly represent the opposing point of view. For the feigned attempt, Peter Sandman, the risk management guru was there with all his "impartiality" saying that the risk of problems with GE foods was real and that Biotech had gone about flooding the market with GE products in a rather stupid way leaving lots of room for outrage from the public, but with some improvement to their PR they could dampen the potential backlash.

The bulk of the participants in the audience were students. The morning session trudged forward with all the hoopla of a cheerleading squad. I say "trudged" because those of us in the audience who could vocalize the opposition were not given the opportunity to speak. Lunch came and went and the auditorium predictable began to slowly empty as many of the students left having put in an appearance and probably having many other things to do. Finally, finally the panel of speakers assembled themselves on stage to take questions and give their predictable answers. The questions from the remaining students reflected the effects of listening to the speakers all morning. This is great stuff, this genetic engineering of foods! The activists in the audience were feeling all kinds of outrage!

Then Mary Beth stood up. She briefly addressed some of what the panelists had been saying, quite graciously, while publicly noting that there were no voices for the opposition on the panel. Then she turned away from the stage and with mic in hand began to address the students. She was so eloquent, so smart, and so empathetic as to how this may impact them personally. She spoke directly to the issue without flinching, without disrespect for the speakers, but with a solid and convincing slam dunk argument that for anyone listening would have brought about either significant doubt about the veracity of the earlier messages or the outrage that Sandman had warned of earlier.

I was new to activism that day. Mary Beth showed me what kind of activist I want to be. It's a nice goal to keep stretching toward.

I just wish that I could have seen her do that again.

Claire O'Leary
Sierra Club national Genetic Engineering Committee
MOFFA Board Member


On Nov 14, 2004, at 11:55 AM, Alex J. Sagady & Associates wrote:


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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Prominent Michigan environmentalist and frequent contributor to
the EM list, Mary Beth Doyle of the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor
died early Saturday of injuries from a automobile accident on Friday night.


Funeral arrangements are not known at this writing.

Mary Beth was well known to local citizen groups with environmental
health problems and was a key leader in the battle to shut down
medical waste incineration at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit
and efforts to address similar incineration problems in Hamtramck.

I'd invite others on the EM list to post their memories of
Mary Beth's life and accomplishments in her memory.

Alex Sagady
EM Listmanager


========================================== Alex J. Sagady & Associates http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com
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==============================================================
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
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