Is Greenpeace lying about Apple’s ‘toxic laptops?’

“In Greenpeace Apologizes For Apple Stink, I reported on Toxic Chemicals in Your Laptop Exposed, a new report which labored to find any trace of chemicals, toxic or not,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted. “The report not only wholly contradicted the group’s earlier Guide to Greener Electronics, but its sensationalist press release also contradicted the data in the report itself! Why is Greenpeace shooting in such random directions?”

Eran writes, “The basic problems in the Guide, which I originally critiqued in Top Secret: Greenpeace Report Misleading and Incompetent, were sidestepped in a rebuttal from Tom Dowdall of Greenpeace International, but the followup laptop lab test report seemed to indicate a new direction for Greenpeace: an interest in accuracy.”

Eran writes, “Unfortunately, Greenpeace ignored their own very expensive lab reports to instead retreat back into sensationalism, fear mongering, and deception. The top story on Greenpeace International’s press release blog is an entry titled “HP and Apple’s toxic laptops exposed” which states: ‘Some of the best-known laptops are contaminated with some of the worst toxic chemicals. Of the five top brands we tested Hewlett-Packard and Apple laptops showed the worst contamination levels.’

Eran writes, “Was Greenpeace lying in its press release? Yes, Greenpeace lied to sensationalize a report it spent a lot of money on, but which didn’t provide data the group wanted to hear. While the group’s earlier press releases and information was mostly just incompetent and sloppy, the latest ‘poison Apple’ campaign was simply a malicious attack based upon lies.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Greenpeace ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’ report called ‘misleading and incompetent’ – September 02, 2006
Greenpeace criticizes Apple over toxic waste – August 29, 2006

32 Comments

  1. I stopped my Greenpeace days many years ago, when I became disillusioned with their sensationalism, and uncaring use of information. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”angry” style=”border:0;” />

  2. People, consider the source of this “article” here: One Daniel Eran, who has ZERO expertise in chemical policy, recycling, environmental law, or journalism. He runs a blog, roughlydrafted.com, that (like many other blogs) is filled with innuendos, mischaracterizations, half-truths, hyperbole, and out-and-out distortions.

    Example: Greenpeace did not “apologize” to Eran or anyone else for their prior reports about Apple — there are no words such as “sorry”, “regret”, or any other indication of an apology in Greenpeace statements. Yet Eran’s headline and text is “Greenpeace Apologizes for Apple Stink”. No self-respecting journalist would put words into the mouth of someone else, as Eran has done here.

    Example: Greenpeace gave Eran a point-by-point rebuttal to his previous articles, and Eran couldn’t even write a straightforward response to that. Eran spends a significant portion of his response complaining about his name being misspelled by the Greenpeace author, and clarifying that “Eran” is his middle name and not his last name.

    Example: Eran tried to smear Greenpeace (via classic guilt-by-association) by implying that environmental organizations had publicly protested against Apple and then solicited donations from Apple. Greenpeace responded that they never accept corporate or government donations. Not only did Eran fail to make even the most basic inquiries before asserting his claims – flunking Journalism 101 – but Eran also did not have the honesty to retract his original allegation after it was categorically denied.

    Example: Eran claims he is interested in reader comments on his blog, but when users have pointed out significant and fatal flaws in Eran’s assertions, Eran responded by deleting readers comments from his blog, banning users, and responding to straw-man arguments.

    Example: Eran is not a neutral third party, or independent expert, or anything of the sort. Eran in fact is a rabid partisan in favor of Apple. Why? Because he makes his living via Apple: as a web and graphic design guy. Much like MDN, Eran is a cheerleader for all things Apple, and his livelihood depends on Apple’s continued success.

    Example: On Digg.com, at least one of Eran’s articles have been flagged as containing inaccurate or unreliable information. Eran’s track record, at least on environmental matters relating to Greenpeace and Apple, is not a trustworthy one.

    Bottom line: Daniel Eran is a typical blogger, meaning that anything he writes is not to be taken seriously, until and unless his claims and assertions and allegations are independently examined and verified.

  3. “Question” writes:

    “Apple is a responsible manufacturer, or about as close to one as you are likely to find in today’s marketplace.”

    With respect, how do you know this? Have you access to any independent audit, comprehensive environmental review, or any other data to document this claim?

    Or do you just “know” this to be true, because you like Apple and its products?

    The reality is that no one outside of Apple knows the answer, because (unlike HP and Dell and Nokia and other high tech manufacturers) Apple keeps such information confidential and refuses to publish either a comprehensive list of chemicals it intends to substitute, or any sort of plan or a timescale for replacing them.

  4. Apple complies with applicable environmental, health and safety laws of those countries it does business too in addition of having its own policy covering environmental issues. The fact that this last documentation or related plans are kept confidential does not make it less worth than others’ which get published and – sometimes – ignored blatantly.

    So far, Apple has not been found to violates above laws either. The Greenpeace tests on the laptops and their need to lower the rank of HP and not modifying the rank of Apple, ie, raising it, even though their own tests would have suggested it is a proof that having public plans have nothing to do with how environmentally good you are (see HP: hey good plans, thence they MUST be good, right ? WRONG. Ohh, look Apple: they do not disclose their environmental policy, thence it must be really poor, right? WRONG).

    The fact that Greenpeace did not disclose the results of their own tests: “we have dissected a MacBook (Pro) and found it better than we thought” cast a shadow on their stance with respect to reliable, unbiased monitor agency concerning toxicity in IT products.

  5. Get Real,

    Eran is on the left end of the political spectrum, judging by his constant nasty comments against conservatives (Bush and Rove bashing, for example) in many of his technical articles. These articles should not descend into cheap shot politics. So Eran’s love for Apple seems to trump his loyalty to the tin foil hat conspiracy crowd – see how easy it is to slip into politics.

    MDN is an Apple Computer blog/bulletin board and posters should stick to its purpose and not divide the Apple/Mac/iPod/iWhatever community by politics, except where those politics intersect with those subjects of our Apple related interests.

    Having said that, the attempted extortion by Greenpeace against companies, including Apple, is outrageous. Greenpeace needs to be taken to task for this behavior. So Eran is right on this issue.

  6. This type of thing may be news to MDNers, but it is SOP (standard operating procedure) for Greenpeace. However, they’re far from the only ones in the nonprofit world to place fundraising/sensationalism over principles.
    I say this as someone who runs a nonprofit, BTW, and knows many of them.

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