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MARF Advocates $135 Million Slice Of Proposed $100 Billion Trust Fund Pie For Meso Treatment Program

The Washington Post < http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35425-2003Apr24.html > and the New York Times, are reporting that asbestos companies and their insurers, plaintiffs' lawyers, unions and key U.S. senators may be close to agreement on establishing a $100 billion trust fund to compensate asbestos victims.

These groups are establishing the trust to "ensure that tens of thousands of people who will die over the next 30 years from exposure to asbestos, as well as many others sickened by exposure, will be compensated."

Unfortunately, as currently proposed, the trust will do just that. It will ensure that tens of thousands of Americans will die over the next 30 years from asbestos; because not one penny of the proposed $100 billion is allocated toward research or improving treatment of asbestos disease.

This is wrong. It is not enough to compensate victims or their families after they develop mesothelioma; we must stop the misery in the first place. If even a tiny fraction of the $100 billion went to mesothelioma research, this would be a huge increase in mesothelioma research funding and would go far toward finding a cure and ending the human misery.

MARF therefore advocates that of the $100 billion, a mere $135 million over 5 years be used to establish a dedicated Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Program, and has sent a proposal for this to the staff of Senator Orrin G. Hatch, one of the key Senators behind creation of the trust fund. (This proposal will be available on the Advocacy section of the newly re-designed MARF website within a day or two.)

If you agree that it is wrong to plan for "tens of thousands" of Americans to die over the next 30 years from asbestos, without planning for how to try to prevent this, please join MARF in calling for a comprehensive solution. We urge you to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, and to call or write to your U.S. Senators to point out how wrong this is, and to ask that any funds set aside for asbestos "compensation" also address the need for asbestos cancer treatment.

Yours in the fight,

Christopher E. Hahn
Executive Director
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
1609 Garden Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
tel (805) 560-8942
fax (805) 560-8962
<http://www.marf.org>

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