EWG Press Release

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, September 6, 2000

Washington, Sept. 6--The watchdog group that forced John Stossel's on-air apology for an erroneous story on organic food today asked ABC News to make good on a promise to halt circulation of tapes and transcripts of the show. In a September 5 letter to ABC News vice president Kerry Marash, Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook said that both tapes and transcripts were still readily available, two weeks after Marash informed the Organic Trade Association by letter that the "material had been pulled from circulation."

Both EWG and OTA had demanded that ABC News remove the Stossel story from its web site and from circulation. But both organizations have expressed dissatisfaction with the nature and extent of Stossel's broadcast apology.

EWG commended ABC News' decision to "disappear" Stossel's story, leaving only his August 11 retraction and apology in circulation. "Stossel put the blame on his producer and sought to convey that his fabrication of lab test results was an inadvertent, one sentence error in a ten minute report," Cook observed. "By pulling the story, ABC News is acknowledging the whole thing is flawed. That's the right call," Cook stated.

"ABC News has signalled its intent to deep-six Stossel's erroneous story on organic food and now needs to follow through," said Cook. "The good news is, Stossel's own news organization does not stand behind his bogus attack on organic food safety," Cook said. "The bad news is they still employ him after he fabricated source material," he added.

Key Issues: