November 8 roundup

by Ted Frank on November 8, 2007

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Montgomery Blair Sibley suspended
05.15.08 at 12:01 am

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1 E-Bell 11.08.07 at 11:10 am

Regarding the “junk science verdict” against Dole and Dow, the link doesn’t really tell us much about why it’s junk science.

The LA Times article about the verdict indicates that Dow warned Dole back in the 1970s about the chemical’s dangerous properties and even ended its production but Dole threatened suit if Dow didn’t honor an earlier production contract.

I know, I know, it’s the LA Times, so take whatever is written with a grain of salt, but from their reporting it seems like Dow acknowledged that the chemical could cause sterility, which is what the plaintiffs complained of.

So, rather than question the science behind the chemical, I think the question we should be asking is why was Dow held to be 20-40 percent liable for the verdict? It seems to me that Dole continued using the chemical despite Dow’s warning about the danger and reluctance to sell it to Dole.

2 Ted 11.09.07 at 8:46 am

• All the independent scientific research demonstrates that, to be possibly injured, a
man would have to be exposed to hundreds of times the amount of DBCP that an
agricultural worker could possibly receive. The only possible injury caused by
exposure to DBCP is male sterility, and even that effect can occur only at very
high levels of exposure over extended periods of time.
• Some of the plaintiffs claimed to have been made sterile by DBCP even though
they were still fertile after they left work on the farm.
• Some of the other plaintiffs were sterile before they came to work on the farm.
• Other plaintiffs had become sterile through common causes like serious
alcoholism and sexually transmitted diseases.

3 E-Bell 11.09.07 at 10:54 am

Thanks, Ted. I didn’t really doubt the junk-science aspect; I just didn’t see where it came from.

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