Interesting story released today from the non-profit Consumer Federation of California. This “professor” sounds like he should get into politics- makes up stories to tell legislators, and grabs some cash from a group that is funded by manufacturers of brominated and chlorinated fire retardant chemicals. Throw in an illicit affair and he would be perfect.
Some highlights from their press release:
Last month, the Chicago Tribune reported that Citizens for Fire Safety paid Dr. David Heimbach, a University of Washington medical school professor, to travel to Sacramento in 2009 and 2011 to testify against proposed legislation modifying state furniture fire safety regulations. Dr. Heimbach twice told legislators how he held a dying seven week old infant who was horribly burned when a pillow she was lying on burst into flames after a candle ignited it. He lectured lawmakers that the pillow was not treated with toxic fire retardant chemicals. He warned that a proposed non-toxic fire safety regulation would only lead to more tragic deaths.
Dr. Heimbach recently admitted that he made up the story of the dying infant, excusing the fable as “an anecdotal story rather than anything I would say was absolutely true under oath, because I wasn’t under oath.” Dr. Heimbach acknowledged that Citizens for Fire Safety paid for his travel to Sacramento as well as paying consulting fees for his testimony.
Yesterday it was reported that the University of Washington admonished Dr. Heimbach for failing to report or to seek university approval for his paid consulting work for Citizens for Fire Safety for his California testimony and for testimony before the Alaska legislature in 2010.
Citizens for Fire Safety and related groups have spent $23 million in lobbying expenses and campaign contributions in California in the past five years – stopping five separate attempts to replace the 37 year old regulation with a modern, non-toxic fire safety rule.