Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Congress Investigates Weinberg Group

The same congressional committee investigating steroid use in baseball is getting ready to examine an issue that directly relates to a Mid Ohio Valley controversy.

The Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating the use of Bisphenol A in products intended for use by infants and children. The committee is trying to learn whether or not scientific evidence about the chemical has been manufactured by a public relations firm working for industry representatives.

As part of their investigation, the committee has asked the Weinberg Group to hand over documents and information relative to their handling of C8 or PFOA. In an April 2003 offer to DuPont, the Weinberg Group stated they could “harness, focus, and involve the scientific and intellectual capital of our company with one goal in mind – creating the outcome our client desires.”

Members of congress want to know what tactics were employed by the pr group to influence the public discussion about C8. As part of the services offered to DuPont, the Weinberg Group said they would facilitate the publication of scientific papers about C8, conflict out experts to keep them from consulting with plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against DuPont, and reshape the debate about C8 to make it appear as though exposure results in real health benefits.

Bisphenol A and C8 are not related, but the Weinberg Group has done work to promote both chemicals.

Specifically, congress wants to understand the strategies used with C8 to learn how similar tactics may have been applied to Bisphenol A. On February 5, Committee Chairman John Dingell of Michigan asked the Weinberg Group to submit all of their records and emails on C8 within two weeks.

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