PBS' "TRADE SECRETS"
perfect followup to CBC's Toxic Legacies
ENN SPECIAL REPORT: VISIT WWW.ENN.COM
WHAT: "TRADE SECRETS"
WHEN: MARCH 26,
| "...more than 75,000 chemicals have been released into the environment. What happens as our body absorbs them, and how can we protect ourselves?"|
On March 26 PBS will air "Trade Secrets," a report on the chemical industry produced by the Peabody Award-winning duo of Bill Moyers and Sherry Jones.
A newly formed environmental campaign hopes to use the broadcast to spark national awareness and action on the issue.
The documentary is based on internal documents about the chemical industry. It addresses a fundamental question about the industry and environmental safeguards: "In the 50 years of the chemical revolution, more than 75,000 chemicals have been released into the environment. What happens as our body absorbs them, and how can we protect ourselves?"
It was the announcement in January of the broadcast of "Trade Secrets" that spurred Montana-based Bryony Schwan of Women's Voices for the Earth to action. She joined forces with other environmental groups to form the Coming Clean Campaign.
Through the Internet, the campaign has extended thousands of invitations to individuals to watch the PBS documentary through community-based "viewing events." The Coming Clean Web site offers a toolkit to help people organize viewings in their communities.
"Coming Clean is assisting groups across the country to use the opportunity of this prime-time television special to boost their ongoing work to fight toxic pollution in their own communities," says Schwan.
| "...this prime-time television special (will) boost (community groups') ongoing work to fight toxic pollution in their own communities,"|
Dozens of cities have planned viewing events, rallying everyone from garden club members to major environmental groups. In San Francisco, for example, Mayor Willie Brown will host an event that will be attended by 42 community groups interested in environmental issues.
In Washington, D.C., policymakers and congressional representatives will gather at a restaurant to watch the documentary. Several cities in Ontario, Canada, will host events, and Boston will gather scientists for a panel discussion the day after the broadcast.
Schwan hopes the campaign will become a resource tool for community-based organizations that want to share information on toxic polluters. To that end, Coming Clean is looking for community stories on chemical pollution that will be posted on its Web site.
"After people view the documentary and see the kinds of issues that groups are dealing with all over the country, they'll be able to see what the toxic issues are in other states. And if a corporation is polluting in your town and planning to open up in another town, people will have that information," says Schwan.
At a time of high-stakes lawsuits against the media by the beef industry and corporations such as Food Lion, some media outlets are stopping short of targeting large corporations that have deep pockets to pursue lawsuits.
Schwan is confident that the credibility of veteran journalist Moyers will erase fears of litigation in the wake of "Trade Secrets." "We're hopeful that Moyers will do a thorough job. He isn't known for being superficial, so we're excited."
The Coming Clean campaign is a joint project of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, the Environmental Health Fund, the Environmental Working Group and Women's Voices for the Earth.