Georgia-Pacific Reports Show Corporations Can't Be Trusted

Earlier this week, the Center for Public Integrity published an exposé detailing the deceptive research program Georgia-Pacific funded to avoid accountability for their asbestos-containing joint compound.

For twelve years Georgia- Pacific produced both a paste and dry mix joint compound that used asbestos, exposing countless numbers of workers to the cancer causing substance. In 1978, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned all asbestos- containing joint compound, a ban Georgia-Pacific supported at the time. 

However, asbestos-related diseases take decades to develop and it wasn’t until 2005 that Georgia-Pacific realized they may be held accountable for exposing workers to asbestos, a known carcinogen. At this point they developed a business plan: pay 18 scientists a collective $6 million dollars to produce reports favorable to the company. In total, Georgia-Pacific funded 13 articles that were published in scientific journals.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, these reports used science that was questionable at best. For instance, an expert government panel endorsed an animal inhalation study set to last two years. However Georgia-Pacific paid scientists shortened the time frame from two years to five days, a period so brief the long lasting effects of asbestos could not properly be measured. Additionally, the research claimed to have been sponsored by a grant, but documents later proved Georgia-Pacific paid the equivalent of $850,000 to fund it.

Corporations cannot be trusted to self-regulate. It is through the civil justice system that companies can be held accountable when they knowingly expose their workers to dangerous products. To learn more about Georgia-Pacific’s corporate malfeasance, the entire story can be read here.