By Lindsay Dahl

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.

Critics have called the chemical industry the new “Cancer Lobby,” citing that
carcinogens have their own representation in Washington.
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 and to “Say no to Joe!”
  • Follow Joe Chemical on Twitter and join
    us in saying #No2JoeChemical
  • Spread the word on Facebook by sharing our fun Joe Chemical images and action!

 

Follow us on Twitter: @SaferChemicals and our Deputy Director @Lindsay_SCHF