13 Jul '11, 3pm

Coal company: ‘Birth defects aren’t from mining, they’re because you’re inbred hicks’

Babies born in areas with mountaintop removal mining have higher rates of birth defects -- we know that from a study that came out last month. But, say coal companies, that doesn't mean the mining CAUSES the birth defects! They could easily be caused by something else -- like, say, rampant inbreeding . A letter from law firm Crowell & Moring, representing the National Mining Association, rebutted the study's findings by saying they failed to account for "consanquinity." That is not a thing, but "consanguinity" is inbreeding. And inbreeding is a nasty (and false ) rumor about West Virginia, where a lot of mountaintop removal mining takes place. A Crowell & Moring spokesperson told Ken Ward, Jr. the West Virginia blogger who first noticed the epic foot-mouthing, that they hadn't meant anything by it: "Consanguinity is one of a number of commonly addressed issues in studies o...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-07-13-coal-company-birth-d...

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