From this morning's New York Times:
A report released by a House committee on Thursday describes how the Bush administration worked with the United States chemical industry to undermine a European plan that would require all manufacturers to test industrial chemicals for their effect on public health before they were sold in Europe.Not only does American and Transnational industry control policy in our country, they are well on their way to controlling policy in other countries as well. With their much stronger environmental laws, the EU appears well able to resist such interference from BushCo. and industry. Appearances, however, can be deceiving:
Behind the scenes, the administration was working with the chemical industry to devise a plan to undermine the proposal, according to e-mail messages and documents released in the report.
The report, requested by Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, says that American environmental groups and the general public were kept out of the administration's closed discussions and strategy sessions.
"We were frozen out," said Joseph Digangi of the Environmental Health Fund, an advocacy group cited in the report. "The administration went directly to the U.S. chemical industry and adopted their position whole cloth."
Anthony Gooch, the spokesman for the European Commission in the United States, said of the report: "There would seem to be an inordinate weight given to only one side of a complex argument. Significant concerns about the environment and public health seem to be totally absent from their policy."
The lobbying efforts of the United States appear to have succeeded. The European Union revised the proposal, known as Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals, or Reach.
Five months after trade officials sent e-mail messages discussing how to persuade senior European officials to demand new cost-benefit analyses, France, Germany and Britain wrote to the president of the European Commission requesting a new assessment of the effects that the program would have on the industry.