The Formaldehyde Council (FCI) has taken out the long knives against Good Morning America, and it's about time.
Here are some excerpts from the press release it issued today, entitled "Stories on Formaldehyde in Clothing and Kitchen Cabinets by Good Morning America are False, Distorted."
The first story, by reporter Andrea Canning and aired by GMA on Nov. 11, 2008, alleged that Victoria's Secret bras tested positive for formaldehyde and may have caused a severe allergic reaction in an Ohio woman who had brought a lawsuit. But subsequent legal discovery revealed that, in fact, the plaintiffs conducted no testing whatsoever, the company uses no formaldehyde in their products, and two independent labs determined that formaldehyde was "undetectable" in the clothing.
What's more, the plaintiff admitted to wearing the garment for four days straight, day and night, and had washed it herself with homemade cleaning agents. A basic and harmless skin patch testing can be done to pinpoint the cause of allergic skin reactions; yet the Ohio plaintiff had refused that test prior to GMA's reporting.
FCI brought all these substantiated facts to the attention of Ms. Canning and her producer, Michael Corn—both of whom failed to reply to proof that their story misled viewers, let alone issue a clarification.
A second story that aired on Dec. 31, 2008, on "future-proofing" a home to preserve its value included an interview with Wall Street Journal contributing editor Wendy Bounds. In that segment, Bounds warned viewers against purchasing cabinets that contained urea formaldehyde because "it's a carcinogen."
The truth is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's assessment of formaldehyde's hypothetical carcinogenicity requires extremely high and prolonged exposures over a lifetime. Realistically, this is not possible because given the strong odors presented by formaldehyde, no human being could tolerate those levels even temporarily.
When an FCI representative contacted ABC producer Anna Robertson to ask that she correct the reporting, she also refused—claiming, incredibly, that Bounds had made no connection between cancer and formaldehyde.
Here's my take on what's going on here:
Armed with zero knowledge of science, the typical journo drinks the simplistic leftie Kool-Aid whereby all industry is bad, and all claimed horror stories, regardless of the source, must be correct. Another way to describe this is "ideology."
You know, that's when you are about to be executed and you still yell "Thank you, Comrade Stalin." Or, If your name is Ethel Rosenberg, rather than save your own life, and not leave your sons orphans, you choose to die for the cause.
The irony here, of course, is that Communist countries—especially in Eastern Europe—created the worst industrial pollution of all time.
FCI should keep turning up the heat, as it sets an example for all the shrinking violet industries, and their timid trade associations.