Coalition for Chemical Safety throws first member under the bus

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

Mr. Joe Householder, Executive Director of the chemical industry front group, the Coalition for Chemical Safety, posted a comment the day before yesterday responding to my last blog post about a local Montana chapter of the coalition.  Here’s my reply:

Mr. Householder:  It certainly seems you want to have your cake and eat it, too.  The Coalition obviously has launched a concerted effort to sign up small businesses, and it continues to purport that it’s open to anyone – all in an effort to claim, as it does on its website, that it’s comprised of “people like you.”  The Montana small businesswoman quoted in the radio story is a Coalition member and was handing out Coalition literature at a Coalition-sponsored event at the time she was interviewed.

Yet as soon as she (or, I presume, any one of your other members) speaks up and says something at odds with the chemical industry line, you quickly disavow her, saying she is not an “official spokesperson.”

You then try to claim the high road, asserting the Coalition “does not take a position on any specific products” and avoids “engaging in specific product fights” – truly remarkable statements, given the extent of lobbying against restrictions on specific products engaged in by the Coalition’s principal member, the American Chemistry Council (see my last post for an example).

Isn’t it time, Mr. Householder, for the Coalition to end this charade and come out from behind the curtain?  If it’s not your members, just who are its “official” spokespeople, and for whom do they work?  I assume you’re one of those spokespeople – who is paying you to represent the Coalition?

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2 Comments

  1. Erica Dahl
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Umm. Handing out literature does not make one an official spokesperson. I'm sorry, but I just don't see a big conspiracy here.

  2. Posted January 17, 2010 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to remark on this:

    Comment from Joe Householder
    October 27th, 2009 at 5:32 am
    "… If, as a first time user of the site, you go to the registration page (http://coalitionforchemsafety.com/register.aspx?Code=LoginError) you are directly asked if you are registering to represent a business, if you are an industry worker or if you are a concerned individual. The site's functionality is then to be tailored to your response."

    It'd be interesting to compare what you see depending on how you identify yourself, eh?