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From: "PCRM Alerts" <[email protected]><br><br>
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 10:42 AM<br><br>
Subject: Please Send Letters About Covance!<br><br><br><br>
Dear PCRM member,<br><br><br><br>
Today, June 21, the Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune published stories on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's opposition to Covance's proposal to build a 400,000 square foot animal-testing facility in Chandler. These articles focused on a survey conducted by the Phoenix-based Summit Group for PCRM, which showed residents do not support Covance.<br><br><br><br>
Please send a letter to the editor of the Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune supporting the position that the testing of cosmetic ingredients, food additives, pesticides, and drugs on animals is inhumane and ineffective, and that Covance should not be allowed to build a new testing facility in Chandler-or anywhere else. It's important to emphasize that PCRM's poll of Chandler residents showed that the majority oppose Covance.<br><br><br><br>
It's also important that the paper receives lots of pro-animal letters and that we send our letters as soon as possible.<br><br><br><br>
To read the Arizona Republic article, please go to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.<br><br><br><br>
To submit a letter, use the Arizona Republic's online form at: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.<br><br><br><br>
To read the East Valley Tribune article, please go to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.<br><br><br><br>
Letters to the East Valley Tribune can be e-mailed to: <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>.<br><br><br><br>
To learn more about Covance and PCRM's campaign to stop Covance from building in Chandler, please go to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.<br><br><br><br>
To see PCRM's letter-writing tips, please go to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.<br><br><br><br>
Thank you so much for your help. If you have any questions or need ideas for your letter, please feel free to e-mail me at <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a> or call me at 202-686-2210, ext. 358.<br><br><br><br>
Best regards,<br><br><br><br>
Sarah Farr<br><br>
Writer/Information Officer<br><br>
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine<br><br><br><br>
Unsubscribe by e-mailing <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
The Arizona Republic<br><br>
Polls no help to Covance nor opponents, expert says<br><br>
Luci Scott<br><br>
Jun. 21, 2006 12:00 AM<br><br><br><br>
It's a case of dueling polls, neither of which may be very reliable.<br><br><br><br>
Everyone wants to know whether Chandler residents support a plan for Covance, a drug-testing company, to build on Price Road. A survey conducted by Covance says yes. A survey conducted by opponent group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says no.<br><br><br><br>
The Physicians Committee held a news conference Tuesday at Windmill Inn Suites, at which three physicians and a lawyer discussed their objections to Covance.<br><br><br><br>
Dr. Deborah Wilson, a Scottsdale gynecologist active in animal rescue, said Covance is guilty of "blatant cruelty and disregard for the well-being of animals.<br><br><br><br>
"This facility is not necessary, not healthy, not humane or kind," she said.<br><br><br><br>
Dr. John Pippin, a Dallas cardiologist, said animal testing is flawed because drugs in one species can't predict its use in another species, and that there are alternatives to animal testing. He said Vioxx was deemed safe in at least eight animal studies and yet it killed about 60,000 human patients.<br><br><br><br>
The group released results of a telephone poll conducted by Phoenix-based Summit Group that stated 44 percent of its respondents would strongly oppose Covance and another 11 percent would oppose it.<br><br><br><br>
The Covance poll, also released this week and conducted by Virginia-based Public Opinion Strategies, found 30 percent of its respondents strongly favor Covance and another 32 percent somewhat favor it.<br><br><br><br>
But in both polls, the questions were skewed to elicit the answers sought, said Steve Doig, an expert on polls and a professor at Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.<br><br><br><br>
The pollsters asked different sets of questions, "both designed to ease people in the direction that the people who paid for the polls wanted," he said.<br><br><br><br>
"I spot negative wording in one and positive wording in the other."<br><br><br><br>
Several Summit questions "were basically a parade of horribles," Doig said, and Covance's poll "takes the opposite tack. . . . it's positive, positive, positive."<br><br><br><br>
Another reason to be skeptical is that both surveyed people who were uninformed, Doig said.<br><br><br><br>
"The majority of respondents really had never heard of Covance," he said. "Nobody wants to sound ignorant so they give an opinion anyway. They give an opinion on the fly."<br><br><br><br>
That allows pollsters to lead respondents, he said.<br><br><br><br>
"You can create opinions that didn't exist before," he said. "I don't think you can draw any definitive conclusion, saying two-thirds of Chandler residents are in favor (of Covance) when nearly 60 percent of the residents at the start of the poll never heard of it. That's overstating the results."<br><br><br><br>
The same idea applies to the other poll, he said.<br><br><br><br>
"It's undeniable that even reputable pollsters can inadvertently by wording or by question order dramatically change results," Doig said.<br><br><br><br>
The characteristics of the people polled also may have impacted the results, he said.<br><br><br><br>
The Covance poll talked only to registered voters, which yields older, more educated respondents, Doig said. The other poll did not ask the residents whether they were registered to vote."The fairly dramatic difference between the two groups of respondents can account for some of (the difference in results)," Doig said.<br><br><br><br>
Covance spokeswoman Camilla Strongin and Mindy Kursban, the executive director of the Physicians Committee, defended their respective polls.<br><br><br><br>
"The questions . . . are very straightforward," Strongin said.<br><br><br><br>
"There are no hidden agenda type questions."<br><br><br><br>
"We tried to inform people about the facts that Covance has not wanted people to know," Kursban said.<br><br><br><br>
East Valley Tribune<br><br>
Group says most oppose Covance<br><br>
By Chris Markham, Tribune<br><br>
June 21, 2006<br><br><br><br>
Both sides in a feud over a planned drug-testing facility in Chandler claim to have public opinion on their side.<br><br><br><br>
A national animal rights group, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, on Tuesday released results of an opinion poll stating 56 percent of Chandler residents oppose a contract laboratory planned by drugtesting giant Covance.<br><br><br><br>
The committee has been an ardent opponent of Covance, which released its own poll Monday claiming 62 percent of residents support the company's plans to build a 400,000-square-foot laboratory along Price Road between Queen Creek and Germann roads.<br><br><br><br>
The opposition group claims Covance abuses test animals and will bring health hazards to Chandler.<br><br><br><br>
The company has already bought a 38-acre parcel in Chandler, but will need to get the land rezoned before construction can begin.<br><br><br><br>
Covance representatives have repeatedly denied the abuse claims and dismiss the opposition group as a fringe group of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.<br><br><br><br>
A local political pollster, who was not involved in either survey, said the two surveys are not worth much because they are mainly aimed at furthering each sponsor's position.<br><br><br><br>
"Both polls are designed to produce a result," said Earl de Berge, of the Phoenixbased Behavior Research Center. "And so frankly, from my standpoint, I would put them in file 13," referring to his trash can.<br><br><br><br>
To de Berge, whose firm conducts opinion polls for public and private-sector clients, the polls are not independent measures of public opinion.<br><br><br><br>
Both polls do provide some useful data, he said, since both show a large chunk of Chandler residents are not familiar with Covance or its plans to build a laboratory.<br><br><br><br>
"I haven't heard anything on that company," said Chandler resident Guadalupe Rodriguez on Tuesday.<br><br><br><br>
However, some figures in the opposition group's survey show public sentiment can be swayed its way if the committee can prove its claims that Covance abuses animals and poses health dangers to the community.<br><br><br><br>
Chandler resident Mary Fachman said she's only familiar with Covance from what's been reported in the media and doesn't feel she knows enough to form an opinion.<br><br>
"But I'm more prone toward the animal rights side than not," she said.
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