I was hopping around twitter the other day checking out the links in people's tweets and I came across one that lead to an article on the American Council on Science and Health website. The title of the article is "The Top Ten Unfounded Health Scares of 2010."
I read it, paused a moment, read it again. Then I wondered, who exactly is the American Council on Science and Health. So, I did some digging.
Now before I begin blogging about what I found I want to recap a bit of the article on the ACHS site. The title is "The Top Ten UNFOUNDED Health Scares of 2010" and the list is:
1. BPA: Blisphenol-A
5. NYC Health Dept's "Pouring on the Pounds" Campaign Against Soda.
7. HFCS: High Fructose Corn Syrup
8. GM Salmon: Genetically Modified Salmon
9. Vaccines & Autism
10. Mercury in Fish
What the ACHS does in this article is tell the reader the source of the scare, the medias responsibility for the widespread fear, ACHS's perspective on it all and their bottom line (why all the fears are unfounded).
What the article fails to mention are two very important facts:
1. Who their founders are.
2. Who funds their efforts to spread this bias bullshit.
Before I address the founders and funding remember the ACHS calls the "Top 10 Unfounded Fears" a HOAX and a FRAUD. Now on with the founders of this great company. < sarcasm
#1 FOUNDERS: Elizabeth Whelan and Dr. Frederick Stare.
Dr. Frederick Stare: "Took money from the tobacco industry" wrote the book Food and Your Health "promoting his nutritional ideas and lambasting anyone who thought chemicals in food, or excessive sugars in the diet, could be a health problem."
In 1950, Dr. Stare assisted in establishing the Food Protection Committee (FPC) of the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences with grants from the food industry and the government. The committee's first report assured the country that DDT and other pesticides were safe.
In the 1960s, he had come out against butter, and suggested that all Americans should drink a cup of corn oil a day; he even appeared in television advertisements for the oil producers.
The essence of Stare's advice seemed to be "all things in moderation". He even endorsed Coca-Cola as "a healthy between-meals snack", and extolled the virtues of sugar in coffee and tea as "a quick energy food . . . put a teaspoon in [your] coffee or tea three or four times a day".
he campaigned for the fluoridation of public drinking water, maintaining that it not only helped protect teeth but was an essential nutrient.
Enough about Frederick Stare, now onto Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.
Dr. Elizabeth Whelan: Did freelance writing for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, wrote the book "Panic in the Pantry", worked in public relations for the American Chemistry Council (top trade association representing North American chemical manufacturers), and was a political lobbyist.
Whelan and ACSH's reputation was made (and finances assured) mainly by her successful propaganda win over the activists in the Alar scare (a hormone sprayed on Apples). This campaign was funded $25,000 p.a. by Uniroyal (the manufacturer of Alar) and by most of the other SOCMA members, including Dow, DuPont, Monsanto and Union Carbide, who made large contributions. Then in 1990 the apple and chemical industries filed a libel lawsuit against the activists over publicising Alar's dangers, and lost the suit. The court concluded that the scientific case against Alar was justified. Uniroyal itself later admitted the chemical was dangerous and voluntarily took it off the US market (but continued to sell it elsewhere).
I'm done with Elizabeth, now onto the even more important facts; all that corporate funding.
Thanks to the Integrity in Science Group I was able to get access to the latest ACHS donor information.
For this blog post I am only going to pull names from the corporate donor list to make a point about the ACHS "Top 10" article but CLICK HERE to view a full listing of donors and how much they've contributed to the ACHS. You will see as of 1990's, when this information became public and the questions started, ACHS stop disclosing the names of their corporate donors (Gee, I wonder why?????) < insert sarcasm here!
#2 DONORS starting at $15,000 to more than $ 25,000:
Monsanto Fund (Genetically Modified Food)
Pfizer, Inc. (Pharmaceutical Company)
ISK Biotech Corp. (Agricultural and Specialty Chemical Products; herbecides and pesticides)
Kraft (The number one food products company in the US containing chemical preservatives, artificial colors/flavors, and trans-fats)
American Cyanamid Company (Chemical manufacturer).
Exxon Corporation (Oil/Gasoline)
PepsiCo Foundation Inc. (Soda Pop)
Union Carbide (Chemical and Polymer companies)
Malysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (Undertakes necessary promotional activities to remove obstacles and create opportunities to enhance the marketability and image of Malaysian palm oil in the world.)
National Starch and Chemical Foundation, Inc.(leading global supplier of specialty starches with a principal focus on supplying the food industry)
Johnson & Johnson (Body Products and Pharmaceuticals)
Procter & Gamble (Body and Household Products) donated $12,500 in 1997.
The important things to remember are:
ACHS doesn't reveal their corporate sponsors anymore because they don't want the public scrutiny over the conflicts of interest. It doesn't take a genius to figure that one out.
The founders of ACHS were in bed with the chemical and food industry long before they established the non-profit American Council on Science and Health.
Some of the names on the corporate donor list may not be familiar but dig deeper and you won't like what you find. Even if, on the surface, the company seems worthy of praise you will be frightened by their associations.
Most importantly, it doesn't pay for ACHS to tell the truth, so when you see this type of information out in the world, consider the source ;)
In the end, you might not care about this type of information but there are millions who do. If you are one that believes none of the information above says anything about the integrity of "non-profits" like ACHS then so be it. I'm not the chemical, cosmetic, or food police. I am however, going to share what I learn with those who care about what they expose themselves and more importantly, their children to =)
CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS AND FOOD INDUSTRY DEFEND BPA
American Council on Health and Science
Elizabeth Whelan on YouTube