PBS show triggers chemical reaction

WASHINGTON: The American chemical industry and a cadre of activist organizations are gearing up for a public showdown later this month when PBS airs a controversial documentary entitled Trade Secrets: a Moyers Report.

WASHINGTON: The American chemical industry and a cadre of activist organizations are gearing up for a public showdown later this month when PBS airs a controversial documentary entitled Trade Secrets: a Moyers Report.

WASHINGTON: The American chemical industry and a cadre of activist organizations are gearing up for a public showdown later this month when PBS airs a controversial documentary entitled Trade Secrets: a Moyers Report.

Created by PBS correspondent Bill Moyers, the show allegedly exposes 'secrets' of the chemical industry, such as how it avoids testing its products for safety. Activist groups including the Center for Health, Environment and Justice and Women's Voices for the Earth (WVE) have formed the Coming Clean campaign, which seeks to galvanize local communities around the show and the issues it presents.

Bryony Schwann, executive director for WVE and spokeswoman for Coming Clean, said 'We have left it open to local groups to do whatever they want. Most people are organizing some kind of public viewing event.'

The chemical industry is likewise channeling its energies into a single entity: trade association the American Chemistry Council. Its main focus at this time, however, appears to be trying to influence the actual content of the program. According to a source close to the industry, neither Moyers nor anyone at PBS consulted with any chemical companies during the making of the program.

'We are working with Moyers to ensure that the program is accurate, balanced and fair,' said Terry Yosie, spokesperson for the American Chemistry Council. 'We believe it's important that the program echoes both sides of the discussion.'

Dow spokesperson Leslie Hatffield, however, suggested that the industry had yet to develop a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the situation, saying, 'At this time we don't have any information about the content of the program on which to base any action.'

The program is scheduled to air on Monday, March 26.

Moyers has previously produced such programs as The Arab World and Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth.



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