Press Reactions

from USA Today by Robert Bianco

"Are the chemicals we've dumped into the environment spreading cancer and reducing sperm counts? The best answer FRONTLINE 's refreshingly sober Fooling With Nature...can offer is maybe/maybe not. This calm and rational FRONTLINE examines all sides of the issue and concludes we don't know yet who's right--even though one side's hypothesis has been put into law."

from The Plain Dealer by Tom Feran

"Public TV's FRONTLINE ends its 16th season...with a program whose wide-ranging implications could make headlines. in the near future. It should hold particular interest for those of us in the Great Lakes region.

Titled "Fooling With Nature" and produced with the Center for Investigative Reporting, it examines an alarming theory, known as the "endocrine disruption hypothesis," which links synthetic chemicals in the environment to lower IQ, reduced fertility, genital deformities and abnormalities within the immune system."

"...The issue is tricky and complicated, and the evenhanded FRONTLINE report includes interviews with scientists, politicians, activists and business officials. For those interested in following the issue, it is worth taping."

from The Oregonian by Eric Mink

"You won't find any cold hard answers in tonight's FRONTLINE, but you will find an abundance of troubling questions.

At the heart of the one-hour report is the challenge of figuring out whether certain kinds of widely used manmade chemicals are hurting people; if so, what should be done about it?"

"...Tonight's FRONTLINE, co-produced with the Center for Investigative Reporting, also points out that the legislation may have pushed ahead of science in this case."

"...So the clock is ticking, but what happens when time runs out isn't so clear."

from Chicago Tribune by Steve Johnson

"With its uncanny knack for treating a topic just as it begins to track on the national radar screen, the PBS documentary series tonight, in its final episode of another stellar season, tackles a subject that alarms some and others consider alarmist. "The endocrine disruption hypothesis," as the theory is called, posits that certain synthetic chemicals absorbed by people pose a long-term threat to the species. Endocrine disruptors, in the theory, tamper with embryonic development by aping or impeding the body's natural hormones."

"...Skeptics stress that it remains only a hypothesis, and that much more research is needed, especially to prove that whatever is affecting animals is definitively harmful to humans. This intelligent, balanced report...interviewing subjects including Florida scientist Lou Guillette and Theo Colborn, whose 1996 book "Our Stolen Future," is sort of the "Silent Spring" of the theory--provides viewers valuable context for a debate that is sure to go on for years now."

from Toronto Star by Antonia Zerbisias

"Many of us who remember more snow and less smog in our youth just can't shake the feeling that all systems are not go-go-go on Spaceship Earth, despite what editorialists sympathetic to the corporate agenda write.

Especially when a program like tonight's FRONTLINE comes along and shakes us out of our blue-box and sport-ute complacency. The omens of impending doom, FRONTLINE's Fooling With Nature tells us ...can be found on the underside of Florida's male alligators, where things aren't as big as they used to be."

"...With its images of eyeless birds and children trying to complete simple puzzles, Fooling With Nature, while struggling mightily to maintain balance, makes it seem that the endocrine disruption hypothesis holds water, that there's trouble in our rivers and lakes and we ought to pay attention before it hits higher up the food chain. Industry critics will likely find the program alarmist. But then again, 30 years ago, that's what they felt about Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and her theories about pesticides"


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