Organic Consumers Association

California Contemplates EU-Style Precautionary Principle Law on Toxic Chemicals

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Industry Poised to Clash with California Over Chemical Testing

California, ever on the cutting edge of
environmental policy, is considering following
the lead of the European Union by requiring more
safety testing of chemicals -- a move the
chemical industry doesn't plan to take lying
down. According to a memo from the American
Chemical Council leaked to the Environmental
Working Group, the industry is contemplating an
undercover campaign to derail efforts to require
companies to prove that their chemicals are safe
prior to marketing them. (Currently, the burden
of proof falls on consumer groups or government
agencies to prove that a chemical already on the
market is harmful.) The ACC, which represents
most chemical manufacturers in the U.S., denied
that it was launching a campaign but acknowledged
circulating a note outlining a plan to
"stigmatize" advocates of chemical testing and
create a so-called "independent ... watchdog
group" to propagate pro-industry information.

straight to the source: Oakland Tribune, Douglas Fischer, 21 Nov 2003

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