Thursday, March 17, 2011

Observations from the Back Row

By Rich Kozlovich

It is finally clear to me after this week’s efforts in meeting with the representatives, senators or their aides that something has been missing all along. I didn’t pick up on it before (although I have a vague memory that the National Pest Management's Executive Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Bob Rosenberg, may have mentioned this in passing and I just didn't get it) that this bed bug issue is a back burner issue for them. They aren’t being inundated by calls from their constituents about bed bugs. I don’t think that society sees this as a government issue. 

Each time this is brought up they sincerely seem mystified. They all seem to ask this question, “Yes, I have been hearing about this, what is the story?” Initially I didn’t place too much stock in the way this was asked until this week. I realize now that they have been hearing about this in the news, not from their constituents; or at the very least, not enough to make any impact. Why? Because we are failing the public!

As an industry we have pretty much been satisfied to just “fix” the problem with what tools are available. The problem we now have is that those tools aren’t readily available any longer. It is the Chernobyl paradigm. As I recall the incident, the Chernobyl plant situation wasn’t really an accident in the sense of how we view what constitutes an accident. It was done deliberately, but with unintended consequences! They apparently were removing safety factors in the plant in order to see how far they could go before it was too late. Mostly I understand the need to experiment in this manner, but they ended up going too far and found out they had gone past the point of no return.

This is exactly the situation we are in with the EPA. They keep removing products that work for unscientific and invalid reasons. Why then isn’t the public in an uproar? Because they don’t’ get it! We, as an industry haven’t brow beaten the manufacturers, the distributors, press, the universities or the researchers to start making public statements to the fact that this whole situation is a regulatory problem created by the most dangerous agency in the government to the health and well being of the American people; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  And we haven't even demanded this from our own media deliverers, nor have we devoted the money, time or talent to do so!

Dr. Jay Lehr, one of the original scientists who helped create the EPA and its foundation pieces of legislation oobserves;
Yes, science is following the government money, and it’s a problem in all industries. We’ve totally distorted science, not all of it, but certainly at the university level. They know they have to say what the government wants to hear in the grant proposal process in order to get their money. U.S. EPA rules the roost, and if they’re not out to prove or say bad things about chemicals of all kinds, they won’t likely get the money. This is all driven by the environmental advocacy groups that control U.S. EPA today. It’s a horrible thing, and what it has done to science mostly at the academic level is bad. But U.S. EPA’s goal is to remove every useful chemical from the environment. They are driven by environmental advocacy groups, who are basically Socialists wanting to destroy capitalism and progress and make us a weaker nation. It’s hard to understand their motivation but they are an unhappy bunch. Over time, I’m somewhat confident and hope that the new Congressional administration coming in will right the ship somewhat.
Why aren’t we broadcasting this to the world? Because we as an industry have failed to row against the tide with vigor!  If we are right we must not waver, we must not compromise, we must not capitulate, we must stay the course, because eventually the tide will turn and we will be in the lead. 


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