The Environmental Protection Agency apparently intends to leave its draft guidance on environmentally preferred products waving from the flagpole even though numerous industry groups have shot it through with holes. The guidance is supposed to be used by all federal agencies not just the EPA. Packaging was covered both obliquely and directly in areas such as environmental product characteristics and life cycle analysis. Those sections and others brought angry written denunciations last December from the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) the Foodservice & Packaging Institute (FPI) and other groups too numerous to mention. Recent interviews show industry leaders still mad as hell. Elizabeth Seiler director of the environmental affairs department for the GMA says "The EPA cannot leave that draft guidance out there dangling letting federal procurement people interpret it any way they want. It leaves a lot of important issues open. If the guidance is going to be used those issues need to be resolved which would necessitate another draft." Eun-sook Goidel the senior staffer in EPA's office of pollution prevention and toxics who is in charge of the guidance says the agency has no plans at the moment to revise the draft. Some of the issues raised in the draft will be clarified in other venues such as pilot projects she says or in possible EPA policy statements on narrow issues such as third-party certification. The guidance stems from an Executive Order issued by President Clinton on October 20 1993. The draft issued last September by the EPA lists seven principles that federal buyers should use. There is also an appendix listing environmental performance characteristics of note and another dealing with life cycle analysis. The EPA asked for comments and received a raft of them in December.