Vitter’s stance on the issue is identical to that taken by the Formaldehyde Council Inc. (FCI), a trade group of formaldehyde producers. The group told TPMmuckraker in a statement that “an NAS review of formaldehyde has been a long-standing policy goal of the industry,” and added that “FCI believes that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows that formaldehyde and formaldehyde-derived products are safe when used appropriately.” In addition, lobby disclosure reports examined by TPMmuckraker show that the group paid $30,000 to a Republican lobbying firm this year in part to win “support for a National Academy of Sciences review of scientific studies on the toxicity of formaldehyde.”
Many of Louisiana’s top emitters of the pollutant are contributors to Vitter’s 2010 re-election bid. According to FEC records examined by TPMmuckraker, the Louisiana senator has received $9000 from Dow Chemical’s political action committee, $5000 from Monsanto’s, $4000 from Exxon-Mobil’s, and $2500 from the American Forest and Paper Association’s. Dow, Exxon, and Monsanto are all among the top formaldehyde polluters in the state, EPA data examined by TPMmuckraker show, while both Dow and the American Forest and Paper Association are members of FCI.