This week, the October 2006 issue of National Geographic magazine is hitting newsstands and mailboxes with an important, ground-breaking feature story: "Pollution Within." The piece chronicles the pollution of author David Ewing Duncan's body with hundreds of industrial chemicals.
What National Geographic is not telling readers is that its piece makes extensive use of Environmental Working Group (EWG) intellectual property. The reason for this omission, offered by Duncan, is that EWG is an advocacy group. That's not the point. The research on which this reporting is based closely follows the research protocols, structure and design of a series of studies first developed by EWG and communicated to Duncan and his assistants over the better part of a year of research, analysis and fact checking. Duncan and National Geographic did quote a lobbyist from the chemical industry trade association. Are they really under the impression that the American Chemistry Council is not an advocacy group?