Take with a grain of salt

I am starting a new category today after reading a story in the Boston Globe. This category will feature “voices of authority” with hidden agendas.

The Globe story tells of one woman’s victory, after 8 years of struggle, in getting a settlement for illness caused by toxic mold exposure. The article also contained some negative quotes from an “apparently reliable” source, The US Chamber of Commerce.

I have a personal interest in this type of situation as I saw a younger member of our family seriously affected by exposure to toxic mold.

UPDATE: I have deleted the rest of the details because the mere mention of them causes distress to those involved.

Now, back to the US Chamber of Commerce.

The article includes mention of studies made by the US Chamber of Commerce concluding there’s no evidence linking mold to health problems. Since this is contrary to almost everything I have seen and read, I thought I would see how reliable a source the US Chamber of Commerce is.

From their website it is immediately apparent that their mission is to advance the interests of American businesses before Congress, government agencies and the courts. The Chamber has created the Institute for Legal Reform, which is the Chamber’s arm to accomplish “sensible” legal reform. By sensible, they must mean more favorable to business, not consumers.

If you go to their website and search for “Institute for Legal Reform”, you will see a list of press releases that have a disturbing anti-consumer flavor. Obviously mold suits are not good for business, so mold can’t be a health hazard. This group has taken similar positions on tobacco, lead paint, asbestos, and class action suits.

Bottom line, if the US Chamber of Commerce is quoted in an article, what they say is probably damage control for some business interest. You had best take what they say with a grain of salt. Be very skeptical.

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