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[greenyes] Corporate PR Campaigns Against Regulation


New product for U.S. industry: 'manufactured doubt'
Industries growing adept at manipulating science to suit their needs
By Jeff Nesmith


Sunday, June 26, 2005

WASHINGTON - In the 1970s, facing the loss of millions of dollars in sales
because of fears that chemicals it produced were shredding the Earth's
protective ozone layer, DuPont Corp. fought for time.

It got what it wanted.

A carefully designed campaign by the Hill and Knowlton public relations firm
attacked the science behind the ozone depletion fears and delayed government
action for two years, enough time for DuPont to bring new, ozone-friendly
chemicals to market.

The campaign employed a tactic that is now being used by more and more
industries to ward off costly government action, says George Washington
University epidemiologist David Michaels.

He calls it "manufactured doubt."

By generating and publicizing uncertainty about the scientific underpinnings
of proposed action on air pollution, global warming, the health effects of
tobacco and other subjects, industries have been able to ward off regulation
and buy valuable time, Michaels said.

Now, with the Bush administration's skepticism about regulation, the
"manufactured doubt" tactic is more effective than ever before, Michaels
wrote in the current edition of Scientific American.






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