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Killing Right-to-Know: Putting the public on a need-to-know basis

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While the CMA insists that its efforts are merely aimed at making sure that money is properly spent on the most urgent health and safety issues, familiar buzzwords in their own documents reveal a different agenda: release of "appropriate information . . . without undue administrative burden to state and local agencies, taxpayers or industry." (view entire document) A 1997 CMA policy statement warns of the dire consequences of giving the public information that is not "relevant:"

"If that information fails to inform the public or misinforms, then the resulting decisions will be flawed, resulting in potentially greater risk and in the misuse of resources. The greatest overall improvements in health, safety and environmental performance can best be achieved by using the limited resources of government, the public and industry in the most effective manner." (view entire document)

Long before the popularity of the Internet, CMA developed a sophisticated computerized information system - the State Chemical Affairs Network, or SCAN - to monitor even the most modest local efforts to require companies to warn workers and the public about potential threats. (view entire document) CMA bragged that "the latest information on Proposition 65 in California or anywhere in the U.S. can be obtained on a daily basis in the SCAN system." (view entire document)

CMA and its affiliates also organized state and national strategy conferences to plot how to stop the spread of Proposition 65-type legislation and initiatives. (view entire document)(view entire document)

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last updated: march.27.2009

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