An Early Casualty In The Anti-PVC Crusade
April 7, 1999
Under pressure from anti-chemical activists and others, Baxter International -- one of the largest manufacturers of intravenous (IV) health care products -- has agreed to develop and produce IV systems that do not use polyvinyl chloride plastic tubes and bags.
PVCs have become a favorite target of Greenpeace and other self- styled environmental groups, despite the lack of any scientific evidence that they cause harm to humans.
- The agreement followed discussions between Baxter and a group of Roman Catholic and labor union shareholders -- including the pension fund manager of the Service Employees International Union.
- The advocacy groups, which include Health Care Without Harm, own about 100,000 shares of Baxter stock.-- and had threatened to introduce a resolution at the upcoming annual shareholders' meeting ordering Baxter to phase out vinyl IVs.
- They also filed a similar resolution on behalf of shareholders of Abbott Laboratories -- also a manufacturer of vinyl intravenous equipment.
- Abbott opposed the proposal and defended the products -- saying through a spokeswoman that PVCs had been shown to be safe for more than 25 years.
Source: Milt Freudenheim, "Maker of IV System to Stop Using a Plastic," New York Times, April 7, 1999.
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