An organization whose claim to fame is that it supposedly counters “junk science” through independent scientific review has been outed as a sham industry front group that actively promotes the interests of its corporate sponsors, which include companies like Coca-Cola, Monsanto, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble.
The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) bills itself as an independent, non-profit gatekeeper of science that works to ensure that “peer-reviewed mainstream science reaches the public.” And this statement is technically true, if you can wade through its grandiloquence and understand what is actually meant by “peer-reviewed mainstream science.”
Leaked financial documents from ACSH reveal that the organization suffers deficits year after year, and continually has to beg for funding from its corporate donors just to get by (after the shills running it get their slice, of course). And just who are these corporate donors? They include natural gas “fracking” companies, e-cigarette manufacturers, drug companies, junk food corporations, pharmaceutical and vaccine companies, and chemical industries.
The following list outlines ACSH donors for fiscal year 2013, and the respective donations made:
- Achelis Bodman Foundation (fracking): $40,000
- American Petroleum (fracking): $37,500
- Personal Care Products Council: $10,000
- Amvac: $5,000
- Texmark Chemicals: $5,000
- Triad Foundation (fracking): $35,000
- The Safe Cig (e-cigarettes): $4,100
- Chevron: $18,500
- Coca-Cola: $50,000
- The Safe Cig (again): $4,100
- Stare Fund/Irene Stare: $7,500
- Bristol Myers (pharmaceuticals): $15,000
- Dr. Pepper/Snapple: $5,000
- Bayer CropScience (biotechnology): $30,000
- Ethox Chemicals LLC: $2,000
- Procter & Gamble: $6,000
- Syngenta (biotechnology): $22,500
- 3M: $30,000
- McDonald’s: $30,000
- Altria Client Services: $25,000
- International Formula Council: $10,000
“Science” for sell: ACSH donors include Anheuser-Busch, Burger King, Dow Chemical, Exxon, Frito-Lay and Monsanto
Further in the leaked financial documents from ACSH, which are available in a PDF here, is an outline of potential donors needed to get the organization out of the red. These donors include Croplife America (Big Ag), Pepsi (Big Food) and Monsanto (Big Biotech).
Why is all of this important? Because ACSH claims to be an unbiased working group that promotes factual science rather than “hyperbole, emotion or ideology.” But the truth is that ACSH is, to quote the words of Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Director Michael Jacobson, “a receptacle for payments from pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, food and other companies who appreciate the convenience of having their grantees and former employees serve on government science panels.”
In case you weren’t aware, ACSH was founded by two individuals, Elizabeth Whelan and Dr. Frederick J. Stare, who were heavily invested in promoting food, tobacco and chemical interests. Whelan and Stare even authored a book together entitled Panic in the Pantry that promoted chemicals, food additives and processed sugar as healthy forms of nutrition.
Panic in the Pantry was such a pathetic flop, however, that it is currently selling used on Amazon.com for $0.01 (and people still aren’t buying it).
Today, the position of executive director at ACSH is held by Gilbert Ross, who previously had his medical license revoked for professional misconduct. The official record indicates that Ross served 46 months in prison for his crimes and was ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars for defrauding New York’s Medicaid program. He is now complicit in promoting deadly substances like DDT, glyphosate (Roundup), BPA, rBGH, phthalates, Agent Orange, atrazine (crop chemical) and mercury (in vaccines).
ACSH has also received significant funding from the various Koch family foundations, which actively promote pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
A full list of ACSH’s financial supporters, and the companies whose products ACSH supports through industry-funded “science,” is available here: