The Poisoner

“Doctor” Dennis Pau***nbach,
An obscure Californian quack
Who’d studied toxicology,
One day, cash-strapped, decided he
Would shun his old laboratory.
“Who needs this boring work?” asked he.
“The options are but two, you see:
Protect the public or look after me.
I need three houses and a yacht,
A Cadillac (with parking lot),
Three live-in maids, a private jet.
Prostitution’s my best bet!”
He then identified a plum:
Hexavalent chromium!
So toxic, knew the bogus boffin,
A gram will send you to your coffin.
The limit per million once was ten,
When law protected citizen.
Now, legal decencies in tatters,
Saving money is what matters.
Armed with this inciteful thought,
A vague knowledge of the laws of tort,
Dennis worked with industry
To place our health in jeopardy,
Supporting big producers’ rights
Not to clean up polluted sites.

He quickly “proved” to friend and foe
Ten parts per million was too low;
“Sound Science” showed in all its “rigor”
Six thousand to be the “proper” figure;
That vegetables and pretty flowers
Could grow in waste like that for hours,
And might at worst in humans cause
A minor retching on all fours.
(In fact the doctors diagnose
A disgusting cancer of the nose
And other cancers consequent
On chrome in the environment).
Dennis said, “I’ll self-anoint
Chromium on every joint!
This harmless hexavalent waste
Has the most delicious taste.
I’ll fill a bath and jump into it”,
Although he didn’t dare to do it.
Instead, he conquered all objections
With cash injections at elections.

Legislators thus were tempted
To have chrome-making firms exempted
From all responsibility
To nature and posterity.
The legislature truly grafted,
The taxpayers of NJ were shafted
The soil was poisoned and polluted
And nobody was prosecuted.
And Dennis?
Has three houses and a yacht,
A Cadillac (with parking lot),
Three live-in maids, a private jet.
Yes, prostitution’s a good bet!

Note: The above is based on a true story, and helps to explain why people trust scientists less and less and big companies not at all.