The shock factor never ends in the Ohio trial against DuPont involving its Teflon cancer-causing chemical C8.

In trial testimony yesterday, Dr. Michael Dourson (of a company called TERA) stated that he was hired by DuPont to establish a health-based screening level of the toxin known as C8 in drinking water. Under cross-examination, however, he admitted to his company having numerous and longstanding ties to industry. In the course of the cross-examination conducted by attorney Gary Douglas (of the NYC law firm Douglas & London), Dr. Dourson stated he likened his relationship to the industry as “Jesus hanging out with prostitutes.”

A review of Dr. Dourson’s company’s website shows that TERA presents itself as toxicology risk assessment group associated with the University of Cincinnati, but records of its funding sources show that in some years more than 50% of its work is “industry or industry-related.” Financial reports from TERA show that its “for-profit project sponsors” have included the American Petroleum Institute, the American Chemistry Council, Eli Lily and Amgen. The company’s Board of Directors includes Vice-Chair Gregery S. Romshe of the Procter & Gamble Company.

Given its dependence on industry funding, one must wonder how these ties affected the “Independence and Transparency” that are part of the Core Values touted by TERA.
Dr. Dourson was hired to defend DuPont against the claims of Carla Bartlett, who lived near the DuPont Washington Works Plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. It was at this plant that DuPont was discharging mass levels of the Teflon toxin C8 into the local drinking water. Local residents, like Ms. Bartlett, who experienced certain cancers (such as kidney), which have been directly related to C8, have cased pending against DuPont. There are presently 3,500 claims pending.