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  • Rogene S
    Thank you silent sister! Rogene http://www.mcsrr.org/pressreleases/prmcs98.html 9 September 1998 CONTACT: Albert Donnay, MHS MCS Referral & Resources
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2006
      Thank you silent sister! Rogene


      9 September 1998
      CONTACT: Albert Donnay, MHS
      MCS Referral & Resources
      618 Wyndhurst Avenue #2, Baltimore, MD 21210

      Deceptive Draft Report on Multiple Chemical
      Sensitivity Released For Public Comment by U.S.
      Federal Interagency Workgroup on MCS: Workgroup
      Provides Only Limited Information on 8 Federal
      Agencies and Fails to Correct Numerous Errors &
      Omissions Reported in Prior Review

      Dr. Grace Ziem, medical director of MCS Referral &
      Resources, a Baltimore-based non-profit organization,
      and Albert Donnay, executive director, today called
      for Congressional hearings into the federal
      government's recently released "Draft Report on
      Multiple Chemical Sensitivity," which they described
      as grossly deceptive.

      Dr. Ziem was one of 12 "MCS experts" whose comments
      were sought by the Interagency Workgroup in an earlier
      round of external peer review, but few of the errors,
      misrepresentations, and omissions that she documented
      have been corrected. "This confirms my suspicion that
      the authors of this report are covering up both the
      medical literature on MCS and the federal government's
      own extensive experience with this disorder," said Dr.
      Ziem, who has personally treated dozens of federal
      employees from many different agencies who developed
      MCS while working in "sick" government office
      buildings. Among the Draft Report's most telling
      omissions are:

      The MCS policies of at least 14 other federal
      authorities that were not represented by the 8-agency
      Workgroup, including the Departments of Justice,
      Education, Health and Human Services, and Housing and
      Urban Development; the Agency for Health Care Policy
      and Research; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
      National Council on Disability; National Park Service;
      and the Social Security Administration.

      Research reported in 1998 by the US Dept of Veterans
      Affairs (NJ Environmental Hazards Research Center)
      finding MCS in 35.7% of over 1000 veterans randomly
      selected from the Gulf War Registry. The Workgroup
      mentions this study but not its results, even though a
      preliminary finding of 26% with MCS was published in

      Research reported in 1997 by the US EPA (Office of
      Prevention, Pesticides & Toxic Substances) identifying
      MCS as the most commonly reported chronic health
      effect from exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos,
      aka Dursban. The Workgroup mentions only other
      unpublished EPA research on MCS and policy papers
      without any data.

      Research funded since 1988 by the US National
      Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
      Disorders on chemosensory perception, including
      olfactory (smell) and trigeminal nerve disorders (over
      $29 million in FY97).

      Reports published in 1983 and 1985 by Dr. Philip
      Landrigan of the US National Institute on Occupational
      Safety and Health linking toluene and other solvent
      exposures to a severe MCS-like "neuarsthenic

      The Draft Report makes numerous references to an MCS
      Workshop hosted by the International Program on
      Chemical Safety (IPCS) in 1996--even listing its still
      unpublished report in a section entitled
      "Organizational Statements on MCS"--but it never
      includes the disclaimer required by IPCS specifying
      that the workshop's conclusions and recommendations
      are only those of the 17 workshop participants and not
      those of either the IPCS or its sponsoring agencies:
      the World Health Organization, the International Labor
      Organization, and the United Nations Environmental
      Program. The report also fails to note that two of the
      participants, including the chair, Dr. Howard Kipen,
      were among 80 scientists who published a letter
      criticizing the IPCS and this workshop in particular
      for its chemical industry bias.
      The Draft Report also fails to disclose the obvious
      conflict of interest posed by the Workgroup's hiring a
      member of the board of directors of the Environmental
      Sensitivities Research Institute (Dr. Frank Mitchell,
      now chair of ESRI's Scientific Advisory Board) for
      more than a year to write and edit the first several
      drafts of its report. ESRI is an anti-MCS front group
      funded by the chemical industry that has not actually
      done or funded any MCS research. Other ESRI board
      members include representatives of Amway, Bayer,
      Colgate-Palmolive, DowElanco (now Dow AgroSciences,
      manufacturer of Dursban), Procter & Gamble,
      Rh\364ne-Poulenc, the Chemical Specialty Manufacturers
      Association, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance
      Association, and Responsible Industry for a Sound
      Environment, a pesticide industry association.

      MCS Referral & Resources first learned about and
      complained to the Workgroup about Dr. Mitchell's ESRI
      affiliation in July 1996, after which his contract was
      not renewed. Despite a formal request that Mitchell's
      ESRI affiliation and key role as the report's primary
      author be disclosed, the Workgroup denies any conflict
      of interest and still lists him only as a
      "consultant." Dr. Mitchell was not hired as a
      consultant, however. He had recently retired as Chief
      Medical Officer of the Agency for Toxic Substances &
      Disease Registry (ATSDR) and his old boss, Workgroup
      co-chair Dr. Barry Johnson, arranged for him to be
      rehired through a Postgraduate Research Program
      normally reserved for "academic" scientists.

      The letter awarding Dr. Mitchell this appointment
      specifically states that any work to which he
      contributes should carry an acknowledgement that "This
      research was supported in part by an appointment to
      the Postgraduate Research Program at the ATSDR
      administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science
      and Education through an interagency agreement between
      the US Department of Energy and the ATSDR" -- but the
      Workgroup's Draft Report fails to mention any of this.

      "No one should be lulled into a false sense of
      complacency by this report's extremely narrow and
      misleading view of MCS," said Donnay. "In commenting
      on this draft, Congress and the American public need
      to be aware of the many government policies and
      research findings on MCS that, like Mitchell's ESRI
      and ATSDR affiliations, are not disclosed."


      Copies of the Draft Report are available free from
      1-800-447-1544 (or via email request to Dr. Lester
      Smith, the Workgroup's executive secretary, at
      lxs2@...) and public comments may be submitted
      until 30 October 1998.
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