Michael Fumento
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” But how about “Fool me always?” That’s the mainstream media’s relationship with self-styled “environmental” and “consumer” activist groups. And you wonder to what extent the media are being fooled – as opposed to simply repeating what they want to believe.

A current and classic incident involves the Environmental Working Group – “a savvy political animal funded by deep-pocketed foundations” as one columnist nicely put it, “engaged in aggressive eco-lobbying that belies its image as an innocuous public charity dedicated to ‘educating’ citizens.”

Using allegedly “covered up” studies and a valiant “whistleblower” named Glenn Evers, EWG is accusing DuPont of hiding the health dangers of a member of the Teflon family called Zonyl. The chemical prevents food grease from penetrating wrappers and cardboard and staining your clothes.

“ABC News has learned that the Food and Drug Administration has opened an investigation into its safety,” declared the network’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross on Good Morning America. The reason, he said, is a 1987 memo EWG obtained showing that [a type of Zonyl] was migrating into food at a rate “three times what the FDA allowed.”

Sure enough, on EWG’s website there’s a link: “1987 DuPont Internal memo showing Zonyl over 3 times the FDA limit. But the single-page document makes no reference to FDA. Perhaps that’s because there is no FDA standard for Zonyl or other so-called “extractable” chemicals. EWG’s claim is fabricated.

Ross also told viewers: “A former DuPont senior engineer [Evers] alleges the company long failed to disclose all it knew about the chemical,” but that “uncovered internal DuPont documents” had been forwarded to the FDA.

Michael Fumento

Michael Fumento is a, journalist, and attorney specializing in science and health issues as well as author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World .

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