Full commentary at: http://www.suntimes.com/output/otherviews/cst-edt-ref29x.html
August 29, 2005
Ignore rumors; Teflon proven to be safe
BY HENRY I. MILLER
... Like many product-safety scares these days, the concerns
that have been voiced about Teflon are bogus. Charges by the radical
Environmental Working Group and their friends at the plaintiffs'
bar that the billions of meals worldwide prepared every day on
Teflon cookware are being contaminated with "Teflon toxins"
... According to Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, a toxicologist and president
of the American Council on Science and Health, "Teflon, probably
more than any industrial product, is the poster child of modern
technology, one that has made our lives easier and more enjoyable,"
and it is precisely the product's "stellar success story
[that] makes it a very ripe target for those who spew chemical-phobia
in their crusade to eliminate the tools modern industrial chemistry
has given us -- pesticides, pharmaceuticals, food additives, and
Never distracted by the facts, the strategy of many self-styled
public health advocacy organizations like the Environmental Working
Group, Greenpeace, Center for Science in the Public Interest,
and the Union of Concerned Scientists realize that their charges
need not be true but merely plausible. The media -- whose motto
is "if it bleeds, it leads" -- does the rest:
... Distortion and manipulation of science by PR-savvy consumer
groups in pursuit of political agendas erodes our society's capacity
to innovate and prosper. In the absence of persuasive evidence
vetted by experts, don't buy the attacks on vaccines, pesticides
and other beleaguered consumer products. They just won't stick.
Henry I. Miller, a physician and fellow at the Hoover Institution,
was an FDA official from 1979-1994.
Barron's selected his most recent book, The Frankenfood Myth,
as one of the 25 Best Books of 2004.
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Note from FAN: Henry
I. Miller is on the Board of Directors of the American Council on
Science and Health. See