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The whole truth

June 18, 2008

Re "That 'new shower curtain smell'? It's toxic, study says," June 13

Thanks to The Times for this report. But one request: If you quote a group denying mounting scientific evidence of a public health threat, please also give the public a way to know who the speaker is.

In this case, the American Chemistry Council is a sophisticated industry player with a $100-million public relations campaign dedicated to promoting the chemical industry. When it formerly called itself the Chemical Manufacturers Assn., there was less risk of mistaking the trade group for an objective scientific body.

If space limitations and attempts to maintain objectivity require presenting two sides without an inquiry into the relative merits, please identify an organization with a vested special interest -- especially when it is campaigning behind a seemingly objective lab coat.

Jasmine Vasavada

Seattle

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