Asbestos lobby hopes to block asbestos bans with its bought science

Fri, Mar 3, 2017

Asbestos

Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca

The International Chrysotile Association (ICA) is hoping that the almost quarter of a million dollars it paid for an article, claiming that chrysotile asbestos can be safely used, is money well spent. The article, Health Risk of Chrysotile Revisited, by David Bernstein and Jacques Dunnigan et al., was published in Critical Reviews in Toxicology in January 2013.

In a piece it has posted on its website, entitled The Strength of Science-Based Evidence, the ICA describes the Bernstein article as “real science and well articulated research” and expresses the hope that “such a crucial document” will persuade governments that chrysotile asbestos “can be used safely everywhere, including in emerging countries” and should not be banned.

The ICA omits the following facts:

  • The ICA paid David Bernstein $200,000 and Jacques Dunnigan $35,000 for writing the article.
  • The Directors of the ICA are representatives of asbestos mines in Russia, Kazakhstan, Brazil and Zimbabwe and representatives of asbestos products industries in India and Mexico.
  • The $235,000 did not come from the ICA’s regular budget. ICA records show that the asbestos mining companies in Russia, Kazakhstan and Brazil, who are Directors of the ICA, agreed to pay a “special contribution” for the article.
  • The article did not disclose the extensive, long-lasting financial ties of Bernstein and Dunnigan to the asbestos lobby.
  • A complaint was submitted to the journal, Critical Reviews in Toxicology, regarding serious ethical violations in the article.
  • The editor of Critical Reviews in Toxicology has testified for asbestos interests.
  • The conclusions that the article puts forward have been rejected by every reputable scientific body that has examined the asbestos issue.
  • The information put forward in the article that “low exposures to chrysotile do not represent a detectable risk to human health” has been dismissed as dangerous misinformation by the world scientific community and is supported only by the asbestos lobby and scientists financed by asbestos interests.

The ICA has operated out of Quebec for the past twenty years. In the past, it had the support of the Quebec and Canadian governments.

The ICA and its bought “science” have been defeated in Quebec and Canada and are now totally discredited, just like the tobacco industry and its bought “science”.  Bernstein, in fact, was paid for many years by the tobacco industry before switching to being financed by the asbestos industry.

The ICA is becoming more desperate, accusing those who oppose asbestos use (namely the world scientific community) of “demagoguery, propaganda and manipulation”.

The ICA is looking for a new home now that it is no longer welcome in Canada.

The ICA will be unwelcome in any country that supports scientific evidence and human health.

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