Bush Administration Protects Chemical Industy

"Last year the Bush Administration encouraged American chemical companies to lobby against European efforts to strengthen the regulation of thousands of chemicals contained in household, industrial and personal products," BushGreenWash.org writes. "When the chemical industry was slow to respond, Administration officials took it upon themselves to launch 'an unusually aggressive campaign' to pressure the European Union into watering down its comprehensive reform efforts. Documents uncovered by the Environmental Health Fund, using the Freedom of Information Act, showed the U.S. State and Commerce departments, Environmental Protection Agency and office of the U.S. Trade Representative, formed an alliance with Dow Chemical Co. and others to ward off regulations they feared would raise the cost of doing business in Europe." Meanwhile, the environmental group Earthjustice recently filed suit against the Bush Administration, asserting that it had allowed a special task force from the chemical industry to lobby secretly and illegally inside the EPA. According to internal documents obtained through FOIA, the chemical industry is seeking to cut U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries biologists out of the oversight process that determines whether or not a pesticide is safe for wildlife.