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Environmental health concerns focus on conference (Released: 11/16/95)

by Renu Sehgal, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Patrick Reynolds, the grandson of tobacco company founder R. J. Reynolds, will speak about tar wars and the battle for a smoke-free society during a conference at the University of Connecticut on Nov. 30.

Reynolds, president of the Foundation for a Smokefree America, is a lecturer and an author who has become an outspoken critic of the tobacco industry before Congress, in the media and before state legislatures. He will talk about how smoking has increased by 73 percent worldwide since 1968 and the affects of second-hand smoking.

The conference, Connecticut's Environmental Health Concerns '95: "Are We Losing the Fight for Environmental Health?" will take place at the Bishop Center on the Storrs campus from 8 a.m. to about 4 p.m. There is no registration free. It is sponsored by the Center for Environmental Health and in part by the UConn School of Medicine's Department of Community Medicine and Graduate Program in Public Health as well as by the state Department of Public Health.

"Although great strides have been made in reducing the levels of poisonous pollutants in our environment, the anti-regulatory sentiments that have been expressed and the desire to reduce federal spending could cause rapid deterioration," said Norman Klein, director of UConn's Center for Environmental Health. "The purpose of this conference is to focus on those present environmental positions and attitudes that will impact negatively on the future quality of our lives. This is probably the most important conference that we have assembled in the past 10 years."

Other speakers will include William J. Roberts, legislative director of the Environmental Defense Fund, on the future of the environment as viewed by Washington. Joining him will be state Rep. Denise Merrill, D- Mansfield. Nancy Donley, president of Friends of Alex Chapter of STOP (Safe Tables Our Priority), will talk about the growing epidemic of pathogens in American meat and poultry. Associate Professor Cameron Faustman, the University's leading food-safety expert who was named one of this year's Teaching Fellows, will join her. Douglas Hopkins, a senior attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund, will address environmental risks of biotechnology. He will be joined by Jon Geiger, biotechnology group leader at the Olin Corp.'s research center.

The conference will the audiotaped. For more information or to borrow the audiotape, please call Wendy West at (860) 486-2480.

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