As the European Parliament has come into power, the population of lobbyists, PR firms and front groups has boomed in Brussels. In a new report, the Corporate Europe Observatory exposes the work of global PR firm Burson-Marsteller on behalf of the bromine industry as it attempts to stymie bans on bromine-based flame retardants. For example, the Bromine Science and Environmental Forum, which is housed in B-M's Brussels office and staffed by B-M employees, is not much more than a mouthpiece for the world's four major bromine producing companies. "Until recently, the corporate nature of BSEF and the key role of Burson-Marsteller in its operations was routinely kept vague or simply hidden," CEO writes. "To add to the impression of a house of mirrors, Burson-Marsteller’s Brussels office also runs several other bromine industry outfits fighting EU bans, such as the Alliance for Consumer Fire Safety in Europe (ACFSE) and the European Brominated Flame Retardant Industry Panel (EBFRIP), which consists of three of the four BSEF corporations." CEO observes the bromine industry's PR campaign "does not appear driven by the pursuit of scientific truth about the environment and health impacts" of their products, rather B-M's work for the industry is to protect profitable bromine products from EU bans.
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