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Who is the face of the chemical industry?

We recently learned some startling things about the chemical industry. Since 2005 they have spent $375 million dollars on elections and lobbying Congress. In just the third quarter of 2012, the chemical industry trade association spent $3.48 million dollars lobbying Congress to block reform. And in the first six months of this year, Dow Chemical spent $6.57 million dollars lobbying Congress.

Enter, Joe Chemical.

You may be wondering, who is this guy? He made his public debut this summer and I thought it would be helpful to paint a fuller picture of this cat (or should I say camel?) – who he is and why you should join us to defeat him.

You see, Joe Chemical grew up like the rest of us. He had a tough older brother who ditched class to smoke cigarettes behind the bleachers. He razzed his younger siblings, but talked smooth with all the ladies. Little Joe looked up to his older brother a lot. You probably know him too… Joe Camel.

Things went awry for both Joes; they got sucked into the business of greed and deception.

As you may remember, Joe Camel was the face for Big Tobacco for over two decades. The use of Joe Camel by the tobacco industry was so effective that in 1991, children age six could equally identify that Joe Camel was associated with cigarettes, as the Disney logo was with Mickey Mouse.

In his shadow, followed his younger brother. Joe Chemical had big shoes to fill, but well versed in the game of deception. It wasn’t just the cartoon charm that was effective.

[pullquote]Critics have called the chemical industry the new “Cancer Lobby,” citing that carcinogens have their own representation in Washington.[/pullquote] The chemical industry is using the same maneuvers the tobacco industry did years ago, including: distorting the science on chemicals, creating front groups to fool the public and elected officials, spending millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign ads, and blocking regulations in Congress every step of the way.

Here’s just a taste of what Joe Chemical has been up to:

  • He beat up on government scientists who classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen, even though the classification wasn’t linked to any regulatory action.
  • Spent $375 million of dollars lobbying Congress since 2005 and made campaign contributions to candidates running for office. Read the Common Cause report on their toxic spending here.
  • The chemical industry trade association spent $3.48 million dollars lobbying Congress in the third quarter alone in 2012!
  • And Dow chemical spent $6.5 million lobbying Congress in the last six months.

Joe Chemical is well resourced, but he can be beat.

So here’s where we come in. Learning from history is the only way we can ensure we don’t repeat bad mistakes. We’re starting a campaign to let the public know that we are saying “No to Joe Chemical.”

Joe Chemical is talking to Members of Congress every single day, and lobbying newly elected Members of Congress. We need your voice to stop him in his tracks. Will you join me in saying no to Joe?

Here’s how you can participate:

  • Send an email to your Members of Congress asking them to stand up for your family.
  • Spread the word on Facebook.
  • Follow us on Twitter: @SaferChemicals.