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    Program ID - bo011806

    Gulf Coast Cough & Government Spin

    An estimated 100,000 homes in New Orleans suffered severe flooding when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast last fall.

    According to Dr. Gina Solomon, a senior scientist with the National Resources Defense Council, those homes are now contaminated with a mold growth that could pose a serious health hazard to over 20 percent of the population.

    So why are the EPA, FEMA and other government agencies dismissing the warnings of scientists and telling residents they can safely return to their neighborhoods?

    Join host Jerry Kay, as we hear about Dr. Solomon’s recent research trip to New Orleans.  We’ll also find out how Eric Schmeltzer and his group of former congressional and EPA staff are using a watchdog blog to cut through government spin on Gulf Coast environmental health.

    This Week's Guests:

    Dr. Gina Solomon — Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council

    Dr. Solomon is a senior scientist and physician in NRDC's health program. She specializes in internal medicine and occupational/environmental medicine. She is also an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco where she is a teaching physician at the pediatric environmental health specialty unit. Dr. Solomon received her medical degree from Yale University and her specialty training at Harvard. She is a co-author of Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment.

    Eric Schmeltzer — New Orleans Environment Watch

    Schmeltzer is a political and communications consultant in New York City. From 1999 to 2003, he was press secretary to New York City Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and was instrumental in encouraging the media to write about the EPA’s shortcomings in responding to the environmental damage caused by the fall of the World Trade Center. He left Rep. Nadler's office in 2003 to join the Howard Dean campaign for President, where he served as press secretary and deputy New York state campaign director. New Orleans Environment Watch is a group of former Congressional staff, EPA staff, and environmental group staff tracking and analyzing the news, in real time, from New Orleans from an environmental health perspective.

    More information:

  • 2005 Complete Guide to Hurricane Katrina Disaster – US Government
  • Hurricane Katrina: The Storm that Changed America – Time Magazine editors
  • Generations at Risk – Solomon, Schettler, Valenti, Huddle

  • New Orleans Picayune - New Orleans Declared Safe to Return to
  • PBS - Testing for Safety

    Web Resources:
  • Natural Resources Defense Council – New Orleans Air Quality Test Results
  • New Orleans Environment Watch
  • Louisiana Environmental Action Network
  • New Orleans Independent Media
  • Louisiana Bucket Brigade

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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