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Program Information
Loving the Earth Environmental Revolution
Actuality (Uncut Material)
Dr. Susan Hathaway, Director, St. Lawrence County (SLC) Public Health Department, Sallie Brothers, Chair and Scott Sutherland, member of SLC Legislature, Jason Pfotenhauer, Deputy Director and John Tenbusch, SLC Planning Office, Cancer Action NY
 Cancer Action News Network  Contact Contributor

On 7/16/12, Cancer Action NY participated in a meeting on the subject of strategies whereby St. Lawrence County government would provide educational outreach on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) exposure minimization to the residents of the St. Lawrence River Valley. Dr. Susan Hathaway, Director of the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, Sallie Brothers, Chair of the St. Lawrence County Legislature, Scott Sutherland, member of the St. Lawrence County Legislature, Jason Pfotenhauer, Deputy Director of the St. Lawrence County Planning Office and John Tenbusch, staff of the Planning Office, as well as Lewis M. Shepard, a founding member of Cancer Action NY and Donald L. Hassig, Director of Cancer Action NY were present. The meeting had been requested by Cancer Action NY.

We began the meeting with a brief Cancer Action NY presentation on the subject of the 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) report titled, "Persistent Organic Pollutants: Impact on Child Health". Mr. Hassig then request that Dr. Susan Hathaway share her position on the validity of this WHO report. Dr. Hathaway stated that the report was not valid due to the fact that there were no epidemiological research findings supporting the conclusion that POPs exposure imposes disease risk.

What Dr. Hathaway stated is false. A great volume of peer reviewed scientific literature has been published on the subject of POPs exposure disease outcome. Many of the research articles are epidemiological studies in which a statistically significant correlation was reported between POPs exposure and disease outcome. The position that sufficient scientific knowledge does not exist upon which to base the conclusion that POPs exposure imposes significant disease risk is frequently taken by those who serve as spokespersons for chemical corporations and food corporations. Administrators of governmental public health agencies also take this position. Those who take this position almost invariably have a vested interest in suppressing the scientific knowledge, which serves as a basis for concluding that POPs exposure imposes significant disease risk at current levels of food supply contamination. Dr. Susan Hathaway has a vested interest, which determines the position that she takes. Public health agency administrators want to be comfortable with the politicians who have a say upon their continuing employment. Under corporate pressure, the politicians prefer to maintain government silence on the subject of chemical exposure health hazards.

The Chair of the St. Lawrence County Legislature, Sallie Brothers made a wise assessment of the opposition to being a part of educational outreach on POPs exposure minimization, which existed in the County Public Health Department and moved the meeting forward by soliciting ideas on how to proceed without the involvement of that part of county government. Mr. Pfotenhauer suggested that the Environmental Management Council (EMC) might be interested in having a link to POPs exposure minimization educational materials on their website. This idea met with the approval of all parties. Thus, a small step was taken toward the eventual creation of a POPs exposure minimization educational outreach within St. Lawrence County government.
Cancer Action News Network
Donald L. Hassig, Producer
Feel free to rebroadcast. Please credit as above.

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00:44:55 1 July 16, 2012
Legislative Board Room, St. Lawrence County Courthouse, Canton, New York USA
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