ACSH responds to misinformation in the CNN special, 'Toxic America'

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ACSH Responds to misinformation in the CNN special,“Toxic America”

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeff Stier, Esq., or Dr. Elizabeth Whelan at (212) 362-7044

June 3, 2010

NEW YORK — The American Council on Science and Health is appalled by the health misinformation in the CNN special “Toxic America,” the first part of which June 2.

Hosted by Emmy-award medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the report claimed that residents of Mossville, La. were subject to extraordinary health risks due to the presence of chemicals plants that manufacture PVC, an essential component of plastics. In a breathtaking segment, Dr. Gupta called to order a town meeting and asked the self-selected residents if they suffered from health effects. Gupta proceeded to link the presence of the chemical companies to high disease rates — from cancer to diabetes to endometriosis and beyond.

“These plants are killing us,” residents repeatedly stated — mixing their purported health effects with a clear resentment of industry coming in and taking over their rural area.

There was absolutely no mention of other obvious risk factors in this town: cigarette smoking and morbid obesity.

It was of interest that this segment was, in part, sponsored by law firms seeking to represent clients in lawsuits against manufacturers of environmental “chemicals.”

“I would expect more accurate and balanced reporting from one of our leading cable news sources,” said ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. “This report was based solely on hype and emotion and lacked accurate scientific investigations.”


To interview any of ACSH’s experts on this issue, contact Jeff Stier or Dr. Elizabeth Whelan at 212-362-7044.