Read the full op-ed by Rob Bilott (The Guardian)

“Imagine that a small group of people coordinated the intentional manufacture and release of a lethal poison – and imagine they knew this poison had special properties that meant, once released into the world, it would be inevitable that it would make its way into the blood of virtually every person on the planet, even babies in their mother’s womb, and stay there, like a ticking time bomb.

Well, that ‘ticking time bomb’ waiting to explode into serious, even fatal, disease is not a fictional device from some doomsday thriller; it is real, it is inside virtually all of us, right now. Tick, tick, tick.

And we know exactly who is responsible. For a long time, powerful corporate interests succeeded in keeping this heinous, brazen, and ongoing public health threat hidden from regulators, from scientists, and from the public. But it is now a matter of public record that these people knew the potential for harm and grave threat to human life, and continued anyway.

The only reason the world knows anything about this today is because, in 1998, Earl Tennant, a courageous farmer from West Virginia, came to me demanding answers. His cattle were dying in droves and he was certain the trouble stemmed from the white foaming crud defiling his creek where his cattle drank. Something was efficiently killing off not only his cattle but also the deer and other wildlife. Earl wanted answers and I wanted to help him. Neither of us could have fathomed just how bad or how deep this really went.

Getting the answers required over two decades of litigation, continuing to this day. But like the cattle and other animals on his farm, Earl would not survive long enough to get all his answers. The dark secrets deliberately withheld from Earl about his creek and his dying cows, went far beyond his property line. The poison flowing into Earl’s creek was also leaching into the drinking water of 70,000 of his neighbors, but no one was being told a thing. And this was just the tip of the iceberg. In secret, the poison had in fact streamed all across the country, and into the bloodstreams of virtually every American…”