06 June 2008 03:21 [Source: ICIS news]
PALM DESERT, California (ICIS news)—The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has approved the formation of a new group to explore how to more effectively communicate on issues of public concern, said executives on Thursday.
“We will put in place a process to quickly respond when issues such as public concerns over bisphenol-A (BPA) come out,” said Robert Wood, chairman of the ACC and US-based specialty chemical company Chemtura, at the ACC Annual Meeting.?xml:namespace>
“We have to explore how we more effectively communicate in the 21st century – not just through the airwaves, but through blogs, online forums and grassroots campaigns – some of the same vehicles that our opponents use,” added Wood.
The group will consist of five to six chemical company CEOs and will be supported by senior staff at the ACC, he said.
“Much of the work will be done by the October meeting and then we will put in place more resources so that we’re better prepared,” Wood added.
The ACC was too slow to respond to the growing public concerns over the use of BPA in plastics, said Brian Ferguson, chairman and CEO of US-based Eastman Chemical.
“We should have been more proactive and faster,” he said. “There are lots of positive data on chemicals such as BPA, phthalates and chlorine from third parties. We need to make people more aware of that, directing them to those third parties that don’t have a stake in the outcome.”
Communication will become an increasing area of focus for the ACC, said officers of the ACC.
“As a group of scientists and engineers, we are not natural communicators,” said ?xml:namespace>
“We have to be more aggressive in promoting our fundamental principles of science, research and risk,” said ACC president and CEO Jack Gerard. “We have to look into things like the blogosphere – not just use a controlled approach.”
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