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Segment 3 (PBB) #497735

NBC Evening News for Monday, Feb 06, 1978
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(Studio) Earlier reports on apparently isolated incident in Michigan involving accidental feeding of chemical PBB to cattle and, through beef and milk products, to people noted. Report with regard to more widespread effects of incident and questions being raised about it.
REPORTER: David Brinkley

(No location given) Details given of mixup in shipment of cattle nutrient to farm bureau livestk. feed mills, with chemical used as flame retardant, by Michigan Chemical Company Latter chemical's market name is Firemaster; chemical name is polybrominated biphenyl (PBB). Results of mixup described; cost noted. [Dairy farmer Roy TACOMA - cites amount he's lost due to incident, and says he hasn't gotten any of it back.] Lawsuit of Tacoma and others against chemical company and Michigan farm bureau outlined. Econ. power and political influence wielded in Michigan by bureau described, along with its efforts to minimize extent of problem. Audio tape played. [MAN - says there's no reason for concern with regard to Michigan food products.] Claims of plaintiffs' attys. with regard to relations between bureau and government cited. [Farmers attorney Gary SCHENK - points out letter received by Tacoma telling him no PBB was sent to his area. Says this is either misleading or lying.] Details given of bureau lobbying efforts in state legislature against bills to protect public from PBB and with regard to private meeting among representatives of bureau, state agriculture department, United States Agriculture Department and FDA, at Lansing restaurant. Is noted copy of FDA (Food and Drug Administration) representative's memo with regard to meeting has been obtained; details of memo outlined. [FDA (Food and Drug Administration) representative Alan HOETING - was at meeting; wasn't mistake for him to be there, but as he sees it now from hindsight, he'd have been better off not to have gone.] Justice Department probe of matter and filing, last November, of misdemeanor charge against Farm Bureau Services, Incorporated, and against company owning Michigan Chemical, by Grand Rapids United States attorney noted. Has been learned FBI investigates possibility of more serious charges in case; refusal of farm bureau and Michigan Chemical to grant interviews to reporter cited. Tacoma's reports of being called liar and cheat in attempts to get reimbursement for losses stated. [TACOMA - says people will pay for saying such things.]
REPORTER: Brian Ross

Brinkley, David;
Ross, Brian

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