Cancer activist’s CDC interview requests denied
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 1:37 pm

To the Editor:

I have communicated with several members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) media relations office concerning my interest in conducting an on-the-record interview with administrators or scientists in the National Center for Environmental Health on the subject of carcinogenic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the US food supply.

I have carefully explained I am not seeking information on POPs. I have made it clear I am seeking an interview to create a public record of the failure of the CDCP to conduct public educational outreach on POPs exposure reduction. The CDCP media relations office continues to deny my interview request.

Many nations have now ratified the Stockholm Convention on POPs. The United States has not ratified this international instrument for change.

I have worked to educate the public concerning POPs exposure reduction since the mid 1990s. It is outrageous that the CDCP chooses to not educate the public on POPs contaminants in the U.S. food supply and strategies to decrease exposure in 2010.

The lack of educational outreach on POPs is another case of the widespread lack of public education on pollutant carcinogens that exists within the federal and state government health entities. It is important that public records of failure to act be created when government fails to take action to protect the public health at a time when a vast body of scientific literature exists that serves as a basis for health protective actions.

The public deserves to hear the voices of federal government employees attempting to defend their totally indefensible conduct. I want to confront the CDCP on its choice to spend a large amount of money and employee time on educating Americans about sanitizing their hands in public places at a time when the CDCP is making no effort to educate on the subject of carcinogenic POPs in foods that nearly everyone eats.

The only explanation of these failures is the existence of controlling influences of chemical, manufacturing and food industry corporations over the federal government.

The failure of government health agencies to educate the public on pollutant carcinogen exposure reduction is possibly the most egregious of any outcome of corporate control over government.

There are many Americans who have developed cancer and died needlessly because government is failing to fulfill its mandate to protect the public health.

Science is not being used to prevent cancer. Many exposures to pollutant carcinogens can be avoided. People can only avoid chemical substances that they have obtained knowledge of concerning the name of the chemical and where the chemical exists in the environment. With this much information people will figure out for themselves how to avoid exposure.

The CDCP chooses not to tell Americans the names and environmental location of the POPs carcinogens and many other non POPs carcinogens. Enough already! This has to change now.

Donald L. Hassig, Director

Cancer Action NY