Beware sugar-coated language for sewage sludge | Letter

Synagro has rolled into Plainfield Township with its glossy brochures. The company is counting on residents to be uninformed. If a project is safe, there is no need for advance public relations to convince the inhabitants. Yet it's more pleasant if...

Beware sugar-coated language for sewage sludge | Letter

Synagro has rolled into Plainfield Township with its glossy brochures. The company is counting on residents to be uninformed. If a project is safe, there is no need for advance public relations to convince the inhabitants. Yet it's more pleasant if the affected population believes that the assault is really to its benefit.

The origin of the term "bio-solids" can be traced back to 1995. According to "Toxic Sludge is Good for You: Lies Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry" by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, a group known as the Water Environment Federation coined it to promote land application of sewage sludge. The Water Environment Federation had previously been known as ... the Federation of Sewage Sludge Associations!

Verbiage is key when sugar-coating distasteful reality. The following words have not been ground through the public relations mill. I ask Synagro employees and Green Knight members to carefully consider them."We do not inherit the earth from our grandparents; we borrow it from our grandchildren." (Native.)

"We base our decisions on how the seventh generation will be affected." (Six Nations.)

And Dr. Wally Burnstein's definition of "compromise." He was the founder of Food and Water, organized against the irradiation of food. When asked by polluters to compromise, he responded, "O.K., let's compromise. Who gets cancer -- my child or yours?"

Anna Maria Caldara
Bangor

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