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Greenpeace Toxic Tech Test Fails To Answer Questions
Greenpeace has a form letter campaign to force High Tech companies not to make products that have "toxic chemicals." Winston agrees that computers, televisions and cell phones should not be "toxic," but Greenpeace never expressly explains what they think "toxic" is. Based on the their website, Greenpeace apparently believes that any chemical should be considered toxic unless the company using it proves that the chemical poses no risk under any circumstances.

Winston does not think this is a necessary or reasonable position. Any product, anything, might pose a human health risk under some the right circumstances, but those potential risks do not automatically outweigh the value of the products's use. Should cars be banned because thousands of people die each year in automobile accidents? Should all electrical devices be banned because some people get electrocuted?

Winston has some other questions about Greenpeace's "Toxic Tech Test." Their website invites viewers to "[d]iscover the good companies removing these poisons from their products and pressure the bad guys by doing our Toxic Tech Test." Winston cannot find on the website the text of the form letter that viewers apparently send to companies listed on the website as "bad guys" by simply clicking on the box beside a company's name. Nor can Winston find any explanation of why the listed companies are "bad guys."

Winston believes that Greenpeace is exploiting people's fear cynically when it uses undefined, unsupported terms like "toxic" to frighten them into emailing undisclosed form letters to "bad guys" without explaining why the companies are "bad." Greenpeace should be educating the public so that individuals can make informed choices about risk, not scaring them into blind, uninformed actions that may or not be worth taking.

  • Click to read Greenpeace's "Toxic Tech Test."

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