Coal industry calls in controversial ‘hired gun’ to take on mountaintop removal-birth defects study

July 13, 2011 by Ken Ward Jr.

Not content to let its lawyers comments about Appalachian inbreeding just fade away quietly, the National Mining Association this morning launched another attack on West Virginia University researcher Michael Hendryx and his colleagues for their recent study linking mountaintop removal to increased rates of birth defects in the coalfields.

It seems that the NMA (or perhaps its law firm) hired a firm called Exponent to produce this eight-page critique of the birth defects paper, and in a news release this morning, the lobby group’s vice president, Bruce Watzman, said:

A recent critique of the analysis completed by Dr. Michael Hendryx, as well as data from the state of West Virginia’s Birth Defects Surveillance System, raises doubts about the conclusions reached by Dr. Hendryx and his colleagues.

Does it really raise doubts?

Well, many of the things outlined by Exponent were already discussed — in a fair amount of detail — in the birth defects paper itself, in the second called, “Limitations of the Study.”

For example, Exponent opines that Dr. Hendryx and his co-authors did not adequately take into account other potential influences on birth defect rates, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and other socioeconomic factors.

But the paper did attempt to take these other factors into account, and discussed some of the weaknesses in the way the authors were able to do this. For example, the paper says:

Self-reported data … on behaviors such as smoking and drinking during pregnancy are likely to contain error … reporting regarding birth defects is incomplete on birth certificates and is dependent on how easily anomalies are detected after birth and before data are compiled for the birth defects registration.

Also, the Exponent critique makes the point that, without direct exposure data, it’s impossible to say for sure what’s going on regarding any mining exposure and birth defects.

But the study itself discusses such matters:

In this exploratory study, we do not have the data to examine biological mechanisms by which mountaintop mining pollution may lead to brith defects. Investigating these potential mechanisms remains an important future research step.

And, the authors also were pretty clear that they’re not sure their paper has all the answers:

Elevated birth defect rates are partly a function of socioeconomic disadvantage, but remain elevated after controlling for those risks. Both socioeconomic and environmental influences in mountaintop mining areas may be contributing factors.

UPDATED:  Michael Hendryx has provided this response to the Exponent critique of his study.

It’s also worth considering the source of this critique of the birth defects study … just exactly who is Exponent and should we believe what they’re telling us?

Well, any simple Internet search shows up some interesting stuff about this Menlo Park, Calif., firm. For example, there’s this L.A. Times story headlined, Toyota calls in Exponent Inc. as hired gun. It reports:

When some of the world’s best-known companies faced disputes over secondhand smoke, toxic waste in the jungle and asbestos, they all turned to the same source for a staunch defense: Exponent Inc.

Now that same engineering and consulting firm has been hired by Toyota Motor Corp. as it seeks to fend off claims that sudden acceleration in its vehicles could be caused by problems in its electronic throttle systems.

The Times story continued:

But Exponent’s research has come under fire from critics, including engineers, attorneys and academics who say the company tends to deliver to clients the reports they need to mount a public defense.

“If I were Toyota, I wouldn’t have picked somebody like Exponent to do analysis,” said Stanton Glantz, a cardiologist at UC San Francisco who runs a database on the tobacco industry that contains thousands of pages of Exponent research arguing, among other things, that secondhand smoke does not cause cancer. “I would have picked a firm with more of a reputation of neutrality.”

And, it added:

Mike Gaulke, executive chairman of Exponent and an employee of the company since 1992, called critiques that it produced only favorable research a “cheap shot.”

“Do we tell our clients a lot of what they don’t want to hear? Absolutely,” Gaulke said.

He said the firm often comes up with results that don’t favor clients, although he couldn’t provide specific examples.

Another L.A. Times story had this to say about Exponent, regarding a House investigation of Toyota’s safety problems:

The committee investigation found e-mails from Benenson Strategy Group, a public relations firm hired by Toyota, that did polling test messages to be used in ads and public statements to improve the company’s image after the recalls.

Among the messages were attacks on the findings by David Gilbert, a professor at Southern Illinois University, who testified to the committee in February that he had triggered sudden acceleration in a Toyota vehicle without setting off an error code in the vehicle’s computer.

Toyota hired a testing firm, Exponent Inc., to review Gilbert’s findings. Exponent disputed the findings as part of a public presentation held by Toyota in March at the company’s Torrance operations center aimed at debunking Gilbert’s research.

Stupak called Exponent’s report “a hit job, not solid science.” He said Exponent had withheld documents from the committee’s investigation and had modified some documents before producing them, “in direct violation of the committee’s instructions.”

Waxman questioned Toyota’s statement that Exponent was conducting a comprehensive and independent review. The only document provided to the committee about their relationship, he said, was “a contract between Toyota’s litigation defense counsel and Exponent for ‘engineering consulting services related to class actions filed against Toyota.’ “

Perhaps less noticed by the public were efforts by Exponent to stop the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration from regulating the toxic chemical hexavalent chromium. Interestingly, as reported in the journal Environmental Health:

The industry paid for services provided by ChemRisk and Exponent, Inc. through its trade association’s attorneys. This arrangement was selected to “…preserve the confidentiality of information, opinion, and data to the extent provided for under the attorney-client privilege and attorney work product privilege,” ensuring that material developed through the process could be sequestered from public view.

That paper mentioning Exponent was written by David Michaels, who is now head of OSHA, and by Celeste Monforton, a public health researcher who also follows efforts by industry to misuse science.

Dr. Michaels wrote extensively about Exponent in his book, Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health. Among other things, he explains how Exponent has “flooded the literature” with allegations that exposure to asbestos brake shoes was not a danger to auto mechanics. Dr. Michaels observed:

Exponent’s scientists are prolific writers of scientific reports and papers. While some may exist, I have yet to see an Exponent study that does not support the conclusion needed by the corporation or trade association that is paying the bill.

I asked Dr. Monforton to take a quick look at the Hendryx birth defects study and the Exponent criticism of it. She told me via email:

The Hendryx paper explains fully that it is an ecological design. By its nature, an ecological design is hypothesis generating and is not used to find associations. The authors explain fully the limitations of the data they used for their analysis but to the extent possible control for the factors associated with birth defects. They also say their findings “suggest an effect” of mountaintop removal mining.

It’s clear that NMA was concerned about how this analysis would be reported in the press and interpreted by the public. Thus, they hired one of the most notorious product-defense firms to critique the study.

As I mentioned to you in the past, it is easy for individuals with training in epidemiology to critique other people’s work and find flaws in their methods. There is no such thing as a perfect study so all of them will have flaws.

For example, Exponent criticizes the analysis for not including the “mother’s residence during pregnancy”—an easy criticism—-but don’t say where in the world the researchers would get that information or how much it would cost to obtain it. Unlike other economically-developed countries, we don’t have a national health system where such information would be contained in a dataset. Similarly the criticize them for not having the mother’s education level. The analysis is an ecological study—it is not a cohort study where researchers have specific information on each subject.

Hendryx and company are examining a legitmate scientific/public health question using the best data available. Other than paying companies like Exponent to critique other people’s analysis, I don’t see NMA offering funds to Hendryx to help him fill the data gaps that NMA claims make his analysis unreliable. They don’t want to have the public health question answered, they’d rather just throw stones at researchers who are trying to answer this legitimate question.

24 Responses to “Coal industry calls in controversial ‘hired gun’ to take on mountaintop removal-birth defects study”

  1. Banana Split says:

    Ken, why don’t you try to dig into the merits of the original study a little bit. You never talk about the bias of the environmentalists. What about the WVU staff that is very biased? You only attack one side of the story. If you want to be an advocate against coal mining, have at it. However, you should resign from your position with the Gazette, because journalistic standards require you to be nuetral and objective. Something you clearly are not. When was the last time you wrote a favorable article about coal? You can be a blogger or a reporter, but not both.

  2. Ted says:

    B. Split:

    The WVU staff is biased against coal? Really? Any evidence to support that statement? Do you think they’re not fully aware that a load of their funding comes from the industry via the land grant university?

    Also, a general question: aside from electricity, is there anything favorable that can be said for coal? The industry doesn’t cover the full cost of environmental damage (taxpayers pick up that tab); the industry doesn’t cover the full cost of road damage (taxpayers pick up that tab); the industry certainly doesn’t cover the full cost of health impacts for local residents (taxpayers pick up that tab); etc…

  3. Bill Kovarik says:

    It’s one thing to say that there ought to be more discussion of the merits of the study. That’s fine. But I find your call for Ken Ward’s resignation offensive.

    The ethical standards of journalism are found at the Society of Professional Journalists web site: They require news from all sides in a debate and an independent search for the truth. But they do not require that all negative information be weighed against all positive information so that every scrap of information is “balanced” against every other one.

    I think Mr. Ward does a creditable and conscientious job trying to bring every point of view, and every important angle, into his blog and news items. Not that he needs cheerleaders here, but I take great offense when people demand the resignations of first-class journalists for off-the-wall reasons.

  4. Dana Cochran says:

    Melissa Ahern, the lead researcher on this study, is from Washington State University. The paper was submitted to a peer-reviewed journal in September, 2010, revised and finally approved May, 2011. This process suggests that a committee fully reviewed and critiqued the paper before it was accepted for publication. As Dr. Montforton points out, the authors of this study explained both their methodology and any limitations, as required for legitimate research. The authors also refer to their study as “exploratory” and suggest that it may provide a basis for “future research.”

    I believe that anyone who wishes to comment on the study and on Ken Ward’s columns must read the original paper for an accurate context of any discussion surrounding the issue. The paper can be accessed at:

  5. scs2016 says:

    Since this blog post opens with a description of Exponent’s work with Toyota that casts Exponent/Toyota in a negative light, it is worth pointing out that after a long period of study, a joint investigation by the NHTSA and NASA found no electronic defects in Toyota vehicles. Rather they concluded that pedal misapplication was responsible for most of the reported incidents.

    The Wikipedia entry has links to the reports:

    Exponent may produce information that is not particularly favorable to their clients, which, surprise, their clients don’t trumpet from the rooftops. It is analogous to drug company research reports which predominately favor positive results. It does not directly follow that their analysis techniques are biased.

    Statistical corrections for other variables, as described in the report, are a common technique in economics, public health, etc., but also open to interpretation and criticism by other practitioners.

  6. Banana Split says:


    Are you serious? Half of the coal produced is met coal, which means it is used in steel production. Without it there would be no schools, hospitals, cars, etc. Where do you think the state’s money to fix roads comes from? West Virginia is one of three states that has a surplus. The reason being the millions of dollars generated from coal severance tax.

    As far as WVU being biased, research why the Eastern Mineral Law Foundation is at the University of Kentucky when it used to be at WVU.


    Can you honestly say with a straight face that Ken tries to bring every point of view into his blog? He doesn’t. Environmentalists “challenge” coal but coal “brings on a hired gun” or “complains” etc… When have you ever, ever seen Ken write a pro coal piece? He can’t incorporate every point of view if he ignores an entire side of the argument. Be honest with yourself, Ken has no inclination to tell both sides of the story. If I am wrong, give me some examples. Don’t engage in rhetoric, give me examples to prove I am wrong. Otherwise, you cannot say with a straight face that he “does a creditable and conscientious job trying to bring every point of view” into his blog and news stories. I’ve challenged Ken on this before and he can’t even point to one positive article. Call him and ask him to forward you one, see where that gets you.

    Also, you miss my point. Ken wears two hats. He is a reporter who is supposed to report objectively. However, he “objectively” reports on an issue for which he is completely biased. There are multiple stories where he refuses to get quotes from the other side. It’s bias by omission. I have been involved in cases where Ken gets five quotes from the anti-coal side and never once called me for a quote. Is that objective? Fair? Is that reporting both sides?

  7. Ken Ward Jr. says:

    Dana —

    Does your group have permission from the scientific journal to post the study?

    And scs2016,

    The issue here is that we have independent, scientific research that is peer-reviewed and published in a journal — as opposed to an industry-funded attack on that science. If the folks at Exponent have legitimate scientific criticisms of this paper, they should seek to have them published in a peer-reviewed journal.


  8. Ken Ward Jr. says:

    Banana Split,

    Thanks for your comments.

    My job isn’t to write “positive” or “negative” stories about the coal industry (or anything else). And it’s an incredibly simplistic statement to suggest that reporters should cover “both sides” as if there are only two sides to any issue.

    On these coal-related issues, there are many, many sides — environmental groups, citizens who live in the coalfields, miners who work in the mines, companies that own the mines, residents who rely on coal for electricity or steal … I could go on and on.

    This blog provides a far better opportunity for readers to get the views from as many of those sides as possible … because readers can interact with me and each other, and we can all post documents and studies that back up what we write.

    The tone is indeed quite different, no question about that. But if you were to ask folks in the environmental community, many of them aren’t especially happy with what I write sometimes either — especially when I call them out for overstating their case on certain things.

    But if you’ll only be satisfied with examples of “positive stories” about the coal industry, I’ll give you a couple:

    — Here’s a story about how the Obama administration’s Energy Secretary says that coal industry efforts to capture and store carbon dioxide are a good thing for the planet,

    — Here’s a blog post that promotes the work AEP has done to install such technology at its Mountaineer plant,

    — Here’s a story about a coal company agreeing to major donation to help clean up straight pipe pollution from residences,

    — And here’s another piece about that same coal company “going green” with its new headquarters …

    Hope that is some help, and I think you again for your comments. Ken.

  9. Rory McIlmoil says:

    Banana, to correct your previous comment, only about 25-33% of West Virginia’s coal is sold as met coal. The total US exports of met coal in 2008 (a strong coal year) was approximately 42 million tons (, while met coal production for use domestically amounted to 21 million tons (, PDF p. 70). Of the 21 million tons, 15.6 million tons came from West Virginia (same link as previous, PDF p. 53). In other words, about 74% of domestically produced and domestically consumed met coal was produced in West Virginia in 2008.

    Since data is not readily available for how much met coal is exported from each US state, lets assume that the same percentage that applies domestically also applies to foreign met coal exports. 74% of 42 million is 31.1 million, which we’ll assume is the amount of West Va met coal exported to foreign countries. Therefore, in total, we can estimate that West Virginia produced about 46.7 million tons (15.6 + 31.1) of coal sold for metallurgical purposes in 2008.

    In total, the state produced approximately 157.8 million tons of coal in the same year, meaning that about 30% of all West Virginia coal produced in 2008 was sold as met coal, with the remainder sold as steam coal or for other purposes. This is substantially lower than the 50% that you claim. Even if we assume that all met coal exports originated in West Va, that comes to a total of 57.6 million tons (15.6 + 42) of met coal produced in West Va in 2008, which still only accounts for 37% of total state production, not 50%.

    As for your claim that the state’s money to fix roads comes from coal, you are grossly incorrect on that point. First of all, the State Road Fund is a separate fund from the General Revenue Fund. Coal severance taxes go into the General Revenue Fund, and are not used in any way for repairing roads and bridges. The State Road Fund is mostly financed by a tax on gasoline. The only direct tax on coal that is deposited into the Road Fund is from the 5 cent per ton tax on coal hauled by truck along a 2,000 mile network of roads–largely located in southern counties–known as the Coal Resource Transportation System (CRTS). The CRTS is the network of roads designated for overweight coal trucks. That tax, plus the permit fees for carrying excessive weight loads up to 126,000 pound–generated only $2.8 million for the road fund in Fiscal Year 2009, which is less than 0.1% of the total Road Fund. So directly, the coal industry contributes almost nothing to the repair of roads and bridges.

    Indirectly, coal miners and other workers whose employment is supported by coal contributed an additional $56.2 million to the State Road Fund. Adding the direct industry contributions, and the total contribution attributable to coal comes to just under $60 million. This still only amounts to 1.5% of the total State Road Fund. That is the whole of the coal industry’s contribution to revenues used for the repair of roads and bridges.

    However, the state Division of Highways has estimated that overweight coal trucks alone have caused over $2 billion in damages to state roads that have yet to be repaired, and an additional $300 million in damages to bridges. Those are just the damages to the CRTS. We adjust those estimates and covert them to current dollars in our report, “The Impact of Coal on the West Virginia State Budget,” which you can find here:

    I’d suggest reading sections 2.5, 3.1, 5.1.3, 6.1, and 7.2.

  10. Bill Kovarik says:

    Banana asks: Can you honestly say with a straight face that Ken tries to bring every point of view into his blog?

    Answer: Yes.

    I’ve seen posts from coal executives, coal miners and others who support the coal industry, along with those who don’t. Why, even your call for Ken’s resignation was posted here.

  11. Observer says:

    Instead of taking a hatchet to Exponent, why not discuss the issues they raised that aren’t answered in the Hendryx report? Here are a couple for example.

    Birth defect data were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) natality data files from 1996-2003. However, the natality files are available for the years 1968-2008. The rationale for limiting the study to this truncated time period, given the increase in MTM
    activity and the availability of more comprehensive natality files, is not discussed.

    Ahren et al. analyzed 1,889,071 live births between 1996-2003 in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. They omitted births with ‘unknown’ county of residence for the mother. We examined the natality files using CDC Wonder 6 to determine the total number of births for the years 1996-2003 for these states and found 1,991,230 live births were recorded. The Ahren analysis omitted 102,159 births. This number is similar to the number of births analyzed for the ‘non-mountaintop mining areas’ (n=112,771) and ‘mountaintop mining areas’ (n=109,315). If
    births with ‘unknown’ county of residence were more likely to be in mining areas than nonmining areas, or vice-versa this would bias the results.

  12. Soyedina says:

    Why might births with ‘unknown’ county of residence be more likely to be in MTR mining areas?

  13. Ken Ward Jr. says:


    To respond to those points … at least to the best of my understanding and the reporting I’ve done:

    — Data through 2008 was not available for all of the pieces of information that Ahern-Hendryx needed for their analysis.

    — It’s not at all unusual for this sort of research for scientists to delete some records from large databases if all of the fields for those records aren’t available. I don’t believe that births with unknown county of residence were the only data that were omitted in this study.


  14. Gordon says:

    Thanks for putting the facts out there.

  15. A. says:

    Hi Ken,

    As an epidemiology student at the University of Pittsburgh, I truly appreciate the attention that you have given this matter. Too often reports jump to conclusions about scientific studies and industry statements and create broad headlines based on a limited analysis of the material. It is clear that you have put a great deal of effort into reviewing this paper and giving the scientists a fair review.

    Ecological studies have their limitations. The authors acknowledged the most important limitations they had. The industry is trying to poke holes through their findings by making those limitations seem like purposeful omissions by the authors of the study. It is a classic industry tactic.

    Thanks again and keep up the good reporting.

  16. Observer says:

    How does the assertions made in the Hendryx birth defect study mesh with Virginia Department of Health data (1989 – 1998) that shows three of the five lowest birth rate counties in Virginia are MTR counties?

  17. Ken Ward Jr. says:


    I haven’t looked at the Virginia data, but the similar data from West Virginia — based on just eyeballing it — is a mixed bag. Some coal-producing counties have high rates of birth defects and others not so much.

    There’s no question, though, that you or me just eyeballing this information is not a substitution for a scientific analysis that undergoes peer-review.

    There is a bit of an explanation in the study, though, about the limitations of the county-level analysis:

    “Coal extraction, processing, and transportation activities, including forms of surface mining, occur in both mountaintop and other mining areas, and the environmental consequences of mining activities do not obey county lines; both of these factors will tend to make observed effects conservative. The results of the spatial analysis suggest that cross-county effects do occur, as would be expected. Because there are no direct environmental exposure data available, these analyses relied on an ecologic design using the type of mining in the county of maternal residence as a proxy. Yet county of residence does not equate to individual-level exposure to specific types of air and water pollution, and there may be other unmeasured factors associated with residence in a county with mountaintop mining. Future research should aim to increase geographic specificity and test individual-level exposure-outcome relationships over time.”


  18. Ken Ward Jr. says:


    Just one other thing … I had forgotten until reminded by a reader of this ruling by U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, disqualifying one of Exponent’s staffers from testifying on behalf of DuPont in one of the C8 toxic chemical cases I’ve covered:

    My story is below, and here’s a link to this particular consultant’s bio, . Ken.


    Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2008
    Page: 7A
    Byline: KEN WARD JR.

    A federal judge has blocked DuPont Co. from using an expert who once worked for the plaintiffs’ lawyers in a case over pollution of Parkersburg city water with the toxic chemical C8.

    On Tuesday, District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin disqualified toxicologist Elizabeth Anderson from testifying for DuPont in the pending lawsuit.

    The lawsuit seeks alternative drinking water and medical monitoring for customers of the Parkersburg city water system.

    Previously, DuPont settled a similar case brought on behalf of thousands of residents who lived in communities around Parkersburg.

    Parkersburg residents were left out of that case because at the time, their water supply did not show C8 problems. After new tests found C8 in the city water, a follow-up lawsuit was filed in mid-2006.

    While working on the previous case, Cincinnati lawyer Robert Bilott hired Anderson to serve as an expert toxicologist. At the time, Anderson worked for the Alexandria, Va.-based consulting firm Sciences International.

    In December, DuPont disclosed it planned to use Anderson as an expert in the new case over Parkersburg city water.

    Bilott and other residents’ lawyers objected, arguing that DuPont knew Anderson had worked for them and she had confidential information about the plaintiffs’ legal strategy. DuPont lawyers say this is a different case, and Anderson had limited involvement in the previous C8 lawsuit.

    In an 18-page ruling, Goodwin explained, “litigants, courts and juries have certainly benefited greatly by the guidance and direction provided by expert testimony.

    “Although frequently helpful, it is undeniable that ‘expert witnessing’ is a burgeoning business which is often more lucrative than the usual day job for many experts,” Goodwin wrote. “The increased use and importance of experts in litigation has raised numerous questions regarding conflicts of interest.”

    Goodwin explained that Anderson worked for Bilott at least from November 2001 through February 2002. During that time, Bilott sent Anderson numerous letters and spoke with her on the phone at least 28 times, Goodwin wrote.

    “This history of interactions does not indicate a sporadic or informal relationship, but one which involved frequent and seemingly structured communications,” Goodwin wrote.

    Goodwin concluded Bilott had reason to believe his relationship with Anderson was confidential, and that confidential information was disclosed to Anderson during that relationship.

    The ruling, Goodwin said, does not unduly burden DuPont because Anderson was just “one of many proposed experts” for the company.

    To contact staff writer Ken Ward Jr., use e-mail or call 348-1702.

  19. hebintn says:

    Excellent piece Ken. I think this study has done all it was intended to do and, while I’m not qualified to critique its merits or deficiencies I am glad it has put those responsible for the tragedy of mountaintop removal on the defensive. I do, however have a question that has nagged at me since reading the Ahern etal article. It seems to me that one glaring omission in the research is the impact of drug abuse on birth defects. I realize that data on this is probably not available that would allow controlled investigation of this factor. It is my impression that meth and other drugs have become popular in our mountains. And if this is true would it contribute to birth defects?

    The other key article that damns MTR was Palmer et al. I don’t recall what the Coal industry rebuttal was, but was Exponent used to attempt to discredit their findings or was this study just dismissed as just so much academic trash by coal companies?

    Finally, I have to question… Given the evidence in the scientific literature highlighted by Ahern et al, and Palmer et al, how is it possible the the EPA and the Obama administration hasn’t at the very least sponsored a major study on the environmental and health effects associated with MTR? It seems to me these articles would cast sufficient doubt to even halt all surface mining.

  20. old one says:

    Ken I don’t always agree with you, however I find you do report all sides and I must respect that. When dealing with coal it like a diamond has many facets and not all shine it has a dark side also.

  21. Observer says:

    “EPA concerned about MTR link to birth defects”

    Come on Ken. There is no “link”. There is supposedly a lot of correlation, but certainly no causation just yet.

  22. Ken Ward Jr. says:


    Thanks for your comment.

    I assume you’re talking about our Sunday story,

    EPA concerned about MTR link to birth defects
    Federal environmental regulators are looking closely at a new scientific study that found Appalachian residents who live near mountaintop removal mine sites face an increased risk of birth defects.

    In this instance, the appropriate definition of “link” is, “a connecting element or factor.” The “link” in this instances is that the study found that, after adjusting for other potential influences, there were still higher rates of birth defects in the mountaintop removal communities.

    The story doesn’t say that they found “causation,” and as you know, very rarely does any sort of scientific study of this sort do that … science doesn’t work that way.


  23. Dana Cochran says:

    Ken, I am not a member of KFTC although I support their work. I just did a quick Google search and accessed the study through a post on their website. I, too, was curious about the availability of the study on an open site since retrieving articles from peer journals generally requires subscriptions. KFTC has posted a new press release that says: “The paper abstract can be read at: To obtain a copy of the paper or to talk with the authors and other experts familiar with the work, please write or call Emily at 202-463-6670.”

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