- - Thursday, July 27, 2017


Richard Berman’s recent op-ed in the Times (“Peddlers of junk science,” Web, July 24) was intended to be about misinformation, but instead was an example of it. If Mr. Berman had bothered to do his research on Environmental Defense Fund, or had even just read The Washington Times, he’d know EDF has a reputation for working constructively with both Democrats and Republicans. For example, last year we joined with Sen. Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, to pass smart chemical-safety reform.

Mr. Berman’s attack on Chris Portier is equally misguided. Dr. Portier is a distinguished scientist, a former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who has advised EDF as a senior contributing scientist on the health impacts of air pollution and lead in drinking water.

Mr. Berman’s larger point is also wrong. Sure, science takes time to discover complex truths, such as whether coffee is good for you. But this is also the process that demonstrated that smoking causes cancer and that in many cases chemicals taken into our bodies can be dangerous to our health. Similarly, we shouldn’t be afraid to admit when good science shows that developments in chemistry may improve health and the environment. We’d all be better off if we could turn down the temperature and respect good science.


Vice president for health

Environmental Defense Fund


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