The chemical papers 

Billy Baggett Jr. can’t say for sure what will be in the Bill Moyers exposé on the chemical industry set to air on PBS Monday, March 26. What the Louisiana attorney does know for certain is the explosive information contained in the more than 1 million documents he has obtained through the discovery process during the past decade.

“I’ve made those documents available to every public-interest group that has wanted to review them,” Baggett told the Metro Times. “I also made them available to Moyers’ people.”

How much the Moyers special will rely on the information contained in documents provided by Baggett is unknown.

Some of the information regarding the way the industry operates and the hazards it poses saw the light of day when the Houston Chronicle broke part of the story in 1998 (Those stories can be found on the Web here. However, the Chronicle articles, good as they were, fall short of telling the whole story, according to Baggett.

“There’s a much larger picture of corporate influence contained in these documents than has been revealed,” said Baggett.

The documents, he said, demonstrate what he calls the “dirty science” regularly practiced by the chemical industry. “If a study contains information they don’t like, then they rewrite the study,” claimed Baggett.

But that’s only part of it. The documents also lay out in detail everything from the industry’s unseen political influences to its public relations strategies and media manipulations. “The documents show how they make up fake news that the networks will broadcast,” said Baggett.

Knowing what he does about what’s in the documents, what would Baggett like to see accomplished by the public airing of this previously secret material?

“I would hope that all this would cause people to re-evaluate some of the things they’ve been led to believe about the chemical industry,” Baggett said.

Curt Guyette is Metro Times news editor. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or

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