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Special Interest Groups Vie for Candidates' Support

August 13, 2010

LANSING, Mich. - Now that the slate of candidates for the November election is set, special interest groups, including advocates for children's health, are hoping politicians will sign-on to their cause. Healthy Kids Michigan is one such group, and spokesperson Jennifer Canvasser says it's important to get candidates to support a platform before the election.

"Once they're in office, it's hard to get time to meet with them. So, right now during the campaign season is when we're pushing to establish this commitment to making sure they know this is priority for not just families, but for children."

After spending months developing a new platform, Canvasser says about 30 percent of the house and senate candidates have committed their support.

"We're reaching out to more candidates trying to establish this relationship. We just released this report, they estimate the indirect and direct costs, just looking at environmental exposures to toxins in general, and it estimates that we spend almost six billion dollars every year on these for pediatric illnesses, which are linked to environmental exposures."

Legislation that would, in part, establish a database for identifying toxic chemicals in children's products is currently stalled in the state senate. Canvasser says that's why special interest organizations like hers are using the campaign season to solidify candidate support. Healthy Kids Michigan is a group of health and environmental organizations including the Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan.

Amy Miller/Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MI