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Dolphin likely was victim of pollution

December 18, 2006

Re "Yangtze dolphin extinct, experts say," Dec. 14

Who is China trying to fool? It remains among the biggest polluters on the planet. In 2005, China was responsible for two of the largest major environmental disasters when separate chemical plant explosions pumped 100 tons of carcinogenic benzene and other toxic compounds into two major waterways, the Songhua and the Yangtze rivers. In pure Mao fashion, the Chinese government delayed alerting 360 million people affected by the spill for 10 days while it figured out what to do.

Are we really to believe the quote from the Chinese scientist concerning the extinction of the 20-million-year-old dolphin species: "It did not appear that pollution was a culprit"? It's time that world leaders accept the fact that environmental toxins are the culprit in many human and animal diseases and catastrophes since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

JOANNE LARA

Van Nuys

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