By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only


Dear Friends,

Government agencies extend favors to industry lobbyists,
often hearing just one biased side of the story. Please help
me to gain an audience with the Secretary of the
Environmental Protection Agency, Christie Whitman. You can
do so by sending your Emails to Whitman and her scheduler,


New Jersey has appropriately borne the brunt of a generation
of dioxin jokes. Stop me if you've heard the one about the
New Jersey Turnpike. You know...the scratch and sniff maps,
exit 16, dioxins, exit 15, PCBs, exit 14, sulfur, hydrogen,
iodine, titanium (yeah, I know, titanium has an "i," but in
my acronym I was describing how I feel when speeding by exit
14 with my window open).

We who live in the Garden State send our pollution cloud
each day over the Hudson River into New York City. We sent
our Governor, Christie Whitman, to Washington where she now
presides over the mis-named Environmental Protection Agency

Ex-governor Whitman happens to be a breast cancer survivor.

While Whitman was taking medication for her breast cancer,
the October 1998 issue of Chemosphere reported:

"The primary source of dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans
(PCDFs) and coplanar PCBs for the general population is
food, especially meat, fish, and dairy products."

Christie's breasts have become depositories for many of the
toxic chemicals approved by America's regulatory agencies.
Millions of women are similarly afflicted.

Nearly two decades ago (March 11, 1983), United Press
International reported one of the worst-kept industrial

"Dioxins are the most deadly substances ever assembled by
man... 170,000 times as deadly as cyanide..."

Eleven years ago (April 1991), EPA announced that it would
conduct a scientific assessment of the health risks of
dioxins. From hereon, I will refer to EPA as EDA
(Environmental Deception Agency) until that time when they
get around to submitting their final report. Here's why.

EDA finally got around to publishing an incomplete document
three years later. That initial 1994 draft resulted in the
publication of an incomplete final report published in 1995

The European community has established safe (and unsafe)
dioxin standards. European journals have been more
forthcoming about dioxin news than American journals.

The Polish Journal (1999, 50:3), Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig

"Dioxins are highly toxic by-products of many industrial
processes e.g. chemical and municipal waste incineration or
production of chlorophenols. These compounds penetrate the
environment via air, water and soil and are then
incorporated in food chains. The major source of human
exposure (90% of total exposition) is consumption of a wide
variety of common foods (meat, fish and dairy products)
containing small amounts of dioxins. Food contamination with
dioxins leads to enhanced accumulation of these compounds in
human tissues to the extent of exceeding acceptable level."

The 1995 American dioxin report was just a delaying tactic.
The report recommended that further studies be undertaken to
establish new toxicity standards for dioxin compounds.

What has EDA been doing for seven years?

EDA's Dioxin Reassessment Review Subcommittee (DRRS) met on
November 1 and 2, 2000 to review their 1995 report.

Extensive written comments were submitted to that committee.
In nearly two years, SRRS has ignored those comments, and
has issued no response.

Pressures from the meat and dairy industry and strong
lobbying efforts have resulted in an internal committee
gridlock. Disagreements among panel members suggest that
Americans will never learn the truth about dioxin risk.

Despite enormous scientific support suggesting that dioxins
pose a risk to human safety, only one third of the EDA panel
members support classifying dioxin as a human carcinogen.

About half of the Panel's Members believe that the current
draft overestimates the likely cancer hazard.

With friends in regulatory agencies such as these, who needs

Noted environmentalist, Ben Cohen (Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream)

"The only safe level of dioxin exposure is no exposure at

One American citizen, Steve Milloy, spent thousands of his
own dollars to test Ben's vanilla ice cream for dioxins and

"The level of dioxin in a single serving of the Ben &
Jerry's World's Best Vanilla Ice Cream tested was almost 200
times greater than the 'virtually safe [daily] dose'
determined by the Environmental Protection Agency."

Milloy then issued a press release to America's newspapers.
On November 8, 1999, the Detroit Free Press became the only
major newspaper to report this story.

My prediction:

The EDA will never publish their full findings. Rule by
committees with conflicts of interest protects those whose
products contain dioxins.

Should the truth be revealed, no person in their right mind
would allow their loved ones to eat slow acting poisons.

Christie Whitman paid an expensive price, and is lucky to be
a survivor. Of all Americans, she alone possesses the means
to save millions of lives. To prevent suffering. To release
a truth that all Americans deserve to hear. Such a
revelation will do little for her political career. She will
be asked to resign. Will she do the right thing, or take
this secret to her own grave?

I have requested a meeting with Christie Whitman. I've
spoken to and written to her scheduler, Heather. Please
write to Heather and Christie Whitman:

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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