- FAMRI Center
LaDonna Porter, the tobacco industry spokesphysician against Prop 29, advocated for toxic industries against public health
Her work fronting for the tobacco industry in its' advertising against California's Proposition 29 is not Dr. LaDonna Porter's first work promoting a toxic industry. (You the ad she made for the tobacco companies by clicking here.)
According to the Wall Street Journal, she fronted for the chemical industry a decade ago in opposing strict regulation of percholarte, a water pollutant that has particularly bad effects on infants. Here is the key part of the story:
"The furor the EPA had stirred was soon evident at a gathering known as a peer-review workshop, where a panel of scientists discussed the proposal. The workshop took place in early 2002 in Sacramento, near the site of decades of groundwater perchlorate pollution from an Aerojet missile factory.
"The session was tumultuous, featuring environmentalists, regulators, consultants and lobbyists. Among the speakers was La Donna White [now Porter], president of an African-American doctors' group, who said the EPA proposal would divert funds from "real health issues" affecting blacks and "scare the public." She later repeated her points in an op-ed essay in a local newspaper -- and in a news release put out by a lobbying group for perchlorate users, the Council on Water Quality.
"Dr. White, a family physician, says she had learned about the issues from a guest at one of her medical-society meetings, Eric Newman. He is a lobbyist for a Sacramento firm that has lobbied on perchlorate matters for defense contractors. Dr. White says she didn't know he was a lobbyist when he asked her to speak to the EPA. She didn't reply to an email asking whether anyone had helped her draft her perchlorate commentaries -- two of which misspelled her first name. Mr. Newman didn't return messages left for him."
Despite her activities to put industry profits above public health, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Porter to the Proposition 65 Science Advisory Board charged with identifying Development and Reproductive Toxicants (DART). Surprisingly, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown has left her there.
To this day the "Perchlorate Information Bureau," an industry organization is still quoting Porter [White] on its website: "The result [of extremely restrictive risk assessment practices that result in very costly treatment and remediation activities] is the diversion of public and private dollars into unnecessary risk management efforts and away from more immediate, real, health-related programs." Sure sounds familiar.
I wonder what other toxic industries she is working for.