Thursday, February 07, 2008

NEWS/GO3 PR - Reading below the lines

I normally have a fair bit of time for what comes out of the Green Party Press Office, and am usually happy to print it with little, if any comment 'as is'.

I fear that this must be an exception; not so much for the content (which you, as big boys and girls, can make judgements upon for yourselves), but as an example of what I personally don't like seeing, and as much as I do, in matters of headline grabbing.

Here's what I got:


Event: MEP Caroline Lucas speaks at ‘C’s the Day’ cancer prevention event
Place: Friends’ Meeting House, Ship St, Brighton
Time: Saturday, February 9th, 10am-4pm. Dr Lucas to speak at 2.15pm

CANCER is often caused by environmental factors including toxic chemicals added to household goods, pesticides and poor air quality, local Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas will tell a Brighton cancer-prevention day.

Dr Lucas said: “Levels of breast cancer are rising across the EU – especially in eastern Europe and the UK, where one woman in nine will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives.

“An increasing number of scientists are pointing to the link between toxic chemicals – especially so-called gender-bending hormone-disruptors – and breast cancer, which kills more than 10,000 people each year in the UK alone.

“Similarly links are being found between pesticide use and cancers. Yet these technologies are all growing apace – the Government and EU simply must exercise caution, and put human health above the profits of their friends in the companies that manufacture them.”

I am in no doubt that amongst many consequences of modern life, 'pollution' (however that may be defined) is high on the probable causes of cancer.

However, I do not believe that headline to be an accurate representation of the situation, and while the more qualifying statements below do express it better I fear that, to me at least, this did not come across at all well, no matter how worthy the thinking (and, one presumes, call to action) of that last para.

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