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David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, attends an Economic Club of New York event in New York, December 10, 2012.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS) - RTR3BFKF
David Koch
The most egregious of the Koch brothers anti-Obamacare ads has been the one featuring Julie Boonstra, a leukemia patient who made a lot of vague and easily disproved assertions about how Obamacare was hurting her. The response from the Koch brothers' astroturf group, Americans for Prosperity, to anyone pointing out that Boonstra's claims were not believable has been basically "how can you be so mean to a cancer victim?" Well, since the Kochs want to play the cancer victim card, let's do it. Let's start back in 2010.
A prominent philanthropist, cancer survivor, and American businessman, David Koch, has given millions to the cause of cancer research, while his company—Koch Industries—has lobbied against formal recognition of formaldehyde as a carcinogen, The New Yorker reported in a piece published today. [...]

The National Cancer Institute published a study in 2009 concluding that formaldehyde causes cancer in humans. [...] [P]rior to the May 2009 study, the National Cancer Institute had also performed a preliminary study that linked formaldehyde to leukemia, but members of Congress including Sens. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and David Vitter, R-La., managed to delay the EPA from officially designating the chemical as a “known carcinogen.” [...]

In a letter to federal health authorities sent last December, the company’s vice-president of environmental affairs wrote that “the company ‘strongly disagrees’ with the N.I.H. panel’s conclusion that formaldehyde should be treated as a known human carcinogen,” reported The New Yorker.

Koch Industries bought Georgia-Pacific, one of the world’s largest plywood manufacturers—a process that uses and produces a great deal of formaldehyde—in 2005. But David Koch cares deeply about cancer victims. Not so much about preventing people from getting cancer by keeping carcinogens out of the atmosphere, but once they've got it, he's there. You know what else besides formaldehyde are carcinogens? Butadiene and benzene. About that, August, 2013:
Flint Hills Resources reported a benzene and butadiene leak late Tuesday at its olefins plant in Port Arthur, Texas, the company said in a filing with the National Response Center.

According to the filing, 325 pounds of butadiene and 268 pounds of benzene was released into the atmosphere. The report also stated there was an equipment failure that caused the leak and that it has been secured.

You know what happens next: "Flint Hills Resources is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc." And guess who ranks #14 in the top 100 of Political Economy Research Institute's Toxic 100 Air Polluters? "The Toxic 100 Air Polluters ranks corporations based on the chronic human health risk from all of their U.S. polluting facilities."

"Chronic human health risk." Yep, and the fact-checkers are the bad guys when it comes to a cancer victim.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 01:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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