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E-M:/ Report avoids linking Great Lakes pollution, illness

TRAVERSE CITY — Wrapping up an eight-year investigation of possible links between industrial pollution and health risks in the Great Lakes region, federal researchers Tuesday said information was too sketchy and called for more study.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released the final version of a much-scrutinized report after drawing criticism from a scientific review panel and accusations of a cover-up from members of Congress.
The agency began its review in 2001 at the request of the International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canadian agency that advises the two nations on the Great Lakes and other boundary waters. The commission wanted an analysis of health hazards in 26 “areas of concern” — rivers, harbors, lakes and other locations severely degraded by toxic pollution.
Rep. Bart Stupak, “It is almost as though CDC is trying harder to protect the polluters than the victims.”