American Council on Science and Health

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), founded in 1978, describes itself as "a consumer education consortium concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health." Recent documents confirm that ACSH actively solicits funding from corporations on specific issues -- anti-GMO labeling, for example -- that benefit from it taking positions favorable to those corporations.

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader once said of ACSH, "A consumer group is an organization which advocates the interests of unrepresented consumers and must either maintain its own intellectual independence or be directly accountable to its membership. In contrast, ACSH is a consumer front organization for its business backers. It has seized the language and style of the existing consumer organizations, but its real purpose, you might say, is to glove the hand that feeds it."[1]

Numerous ACSH publications (that do not disclose the corporations that have funded the organization) take positions attacking public concerns about various corporate products and practices, such as genetically modified foods (GMOs), pesticides, herbicides, and more, and have sought to downplay concerns raised by scientists and consumers.

Some of the products ACSH has defended over the years include DDT, asbestos, and Agent Orange, as well as common pesticides. ACSH has often called environmentalists and consumer groups "terrorists," arguing that their criticisms and concerns about potential health and environmental risks are threats to society.[2]

ACSH has been funded by big agri-businesses and trade groups like Kellogg, General Mills, Pepsico, and the American Beverage Association, among others. See Funding below for more.

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.

Acting President Gilbert Ross

Gilbert Ross was acting president and executive director of ASCH as of April 2015.[3] Ross's medical license was revoked for professional misconduct in 1995, after it was revealed that he had been involved in a scheme that defrauded the New York State Medicaid system of $8 million. Ross was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and barred from participating in Medicare and Medicaid for ten years. In 2000, a panel rejected his application to reinstate his medical license, and Ross did not regain the license until 2004.[4]

The previous leader of ACSH was Elizabeth Whelan, who passed away in 2014. She did numerous interviews attacking efforts to regulate industries and was a controversial figure.

For example, Nicolas Martin was ACSH's administrative director during parts of 1988 and 1989. After he left ACSH, he dubbed Whelan the "junk food queen" for her defense of companies who make products with low nutritional value.[5]

Martin says that, during his tenure with ACSH, he saw or was informed of instances when funders were intimately involved in ACSH projects. Before Martin's arrival at the organization, ACSH published a booklet on sugar and health. He says that he was told by ACSH's then-vice president, Edward Remmers, that the booklet was printed in-house by The Hershey Company. Martin says that, during his tenure, ACSH was producing a booklet on alcohol and health that the Stroh Brewery Company participated in editing. Neither booklet included an acknowledgement of funder participation.[5]

Martin claims that The Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA) asked ACSH to publish a booklet defending chemicals used for lawn care in 1999. He says that Dr. Whelan insisted that ACSH would only produce such a defense if the PLCAA made a donation to fund it. This is the sort of quid pro quo that Dr. Whelan has always claimed ACSH has never permitted. Martin says that he notified ACSH board members of these apparent violations of ACSH policy, but that no public acknowledgement or correction resulted.[5]

Since 1989, Martin has been executive director of the Consumer Health Education Council.

Coverage of ACSH Ties

The conflict between ACSH's hidden sponsors and the views espoused occasionally rates a mention in media coverage too. Writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, Gloria Cooper wryly commented that the Today Show deserved a "dart" for "failing to meet truth-in-labeling standards." Cooper noted that in a June 12, 2003 segment on the Today Show, Whelan had dismissed the suggestion of New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz that a one percent tax be placed on junk foods: "There is room in life for potato chips and Twinkies and all these other maligned foods if you don't eat huge amounts of them," Whelan said.

"Point well taken", Cooper wrote, "But one that viewers might well have taken with a mindful grain of salt, had they been given at least a clue to the organization that Whelan represents."[6]

Other Examples of Controversy

WaPo 2010: McCaughey and Death Panels

The Washington Post identified ACSH as "an industry-friendly group whose board member Betsy McCaughey helped set off the "death panels" frenzy" in the 2009 health care reform debate.[7]

The misleading claim that the Affordable Care Act established procedures for doctors to serve on death panels spread widely even though it was thoroughly discredited.[8] The claim also shifted focus away from the way in which many for-profit health insurance companies routinely deny coverage for potentially life-saving medicine or procedures, based on fine print in policies and internal insurance company panels about the expense of a particular course of treatment and the chances the person will get better.[9]

Hypocritical Attack on Dr. Mehmet Oz Over Conflicts of Interest

In April 2015, a group of doctors published a letter calling on Columbia University to remove Dr. Mehmet Oz from the faculty of its College of Physicians and Surgeons, accusing Oz of "disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine," "baseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops," and "an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain."[10]

Signers on the letter include Gilbert Ross, Acting President and Executive Director of ASCH, and Henry I. Miller, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution (a right-wing think tank physically located on the campus of Stanford University) and a former ASCH board member who was the leading spokesperson in election ads opposing GMO labeling in California (an ad campaign funded through millions of dollars from corporations that manufacture or use GMO products) and helped found a tobacco industry front group, The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition.[11]

Dr. Oz has denounced this as a smear campaign.

Dr. Oz has his own TV show on NBC, "The Dr. Oz Show," after becoming a prominent media figure through a series of appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Through that platform, he has repeatedly maintained that the public has a right to know what is in their food and has supported the idea of labeling GMO foods. Other countries have stronger rules than the United States does on GMO products, and many people have raised concerns about some of the GMO products that have been created, particularly products created by Monsanto, an extremely controversial manufacturer.

Dr. Oz was accused of using his show to promote dubious health products in 2014, including facing criticism from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) during a 2014 U.S. Senate hearing examining diet-product ads.[12] McCaskill has received numerous campaign donations from Monsanto employees; Monsanto is located in St. Louis.[13]

ACSH's Ross said in TV comments criticizing Oz, "I don't how much of this he actually has a financial interest in, but I would suspect it's quite a bit."[12]

That interview with ACSH made no mention of its funding from corporate sources that profit from the products and industries ACSH defends, however,[12] such as GMO crops, fracking, and e-cigarettes (see Funding below for more information).

Nor did the news show mention Ross' prior involvement in a scheme that defrauded New York's Medicaid system of $8 million. (Ross lost his medical license in 1995 and received a prison sentence of 46 months, serving 23 months.)[4]

CMD Outlined ACSH Tactics in "Panic Attack"

CMD first described ACSH in its 1994 book Toxic Sludge Is Good for You, about how the corporate PR industry and corporate front groups try to persuade the public to ignore health concerns about corporate products and practices. ACSH is one of the groups discussed in that book by CMD founder John Stauber.

CMD profiled ACSH again in 1998, noting that although ACSH styles itself as a "scientific" organization, it does not carry out any independent primary research. Instead, it specializes in generating media advisories that criticize or praise scientists depending on whether they agree with ACSH's views. It has mastered the modern media sound byte, issuing a regular stream of news releases with catchy, quotable phrases responding to hot-button environmental issues. To read more, see the page Panic Attack: ACSH Fears Nothing but Fear Itself.

Since then, CMD has written numerous stories about ACSH's industry ties, including an expose in 2012 about how ACSH was identified by Syngenta as a vehicle for pushing back about concerns about the weedkiller atrazine. Syngenta has funded ACSH (see below). More information about ACSH and Atrazine is available at CMD's AtrazineExposed.org website.

Funding

ACSH stopped disclosing corporate donors early in the 1990's. Corporate donors from its 1991 report can be seen here. Some of its funders have included:

Funder Amount Donated Funding source Years
3M $30,000 2012[14]
Bodman Foundation $90,000 investment banking 2007-2012[15][16][17][18][14]
Altria $25,000 2012[14]
American Petroleum Institute $37,500 petroleum industry 2012[14][19]
Amvac Chemical Corporation $5,000 2012[14]
Armstrong Foundation $15,000 2003-2012[19]
Bayer CropScience $30,000 2012[14]
Bradley Foundation, Lynde and Harry $270,000 factory automation equipment manufacturer Allen-Bradley 2004-2012[19]
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation $300,000 2002-2012[20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][14]
Chevron $18,500 oil 2012[14]
Chinook Foundation $600 2011,[28] 2013[29]
Coca-Cola $50,000 2012[14]
Conrad Family Foundation $100 2011[30]
Cox Family Foundation $1,000 2009[31]
CropLife America $25,000 pesticide industry 2004[32]
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States $30,000 2008-2012[33][34][35]
Dodge Jones Foundation $42,000 railroad and minerals 2003,[36] 2009-2013[37][38][39][40][41]
Donors Capital Fund $89,500 anonymous "donor directed" fund 2008-2011[42][19]
DonorsTrust $534,574.62 anonymous "donor directed" fund 2005-2011[42][19]
Dr. Pepper/Snapple $5,000 2012[14]
Earhart Foundation $212,000 2002-2009[19]
Ethox Chemicals $2,000 2012[14]
ExxonMobil $315,000 petroleum 2000-2013[19][14][43][44]
Finley, A.E. Foundation $1,000 equipment & machinery distribution 2009,[45] 2012[46]
Fragrance Materials Association of the United States, Inc. $20,000 2011[47]
Friedmann, Philip M. Family Charitable Trust $11,900 Recycled Paper Greetings company 2003-2012[48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56]
GE Foundation $396,000 General Electric (including a small amount of donations matching employees') 2003-2012[57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64]
Gerstacker, Rollin M. Foundation $10,000 Dow Chemical Company 2010[65]
Gilder Foundation $5,000 stockbroker Richard Gilder 2005[19]
Griffin, Dorothy G. Charitable Foundation $3,000 Varflex Corporation (electrical insulating sleeving and tubing) 2010-2012[66][67][68]
Grocery Manufacturers Association $25,000 anti-GMO labeling trade association 2013[69]
Hayden Foundation $2,300 2009-2013[70][71][72][73][74]
International Formula Council $10,000 2012[14]
JM Foundation $15,000 Borden Milk Company 1997[19]
Kayser Family Foundation $2,500 2006-2009[75][76][77][78]
Kirby, F.M. Foundation $347,000 Woolworth and Alleghany Companies 1998-2013[19][79]
Koch, David H. Foundation $6,000 Koch Industries 1986-1987[19][80]
Olin Foundation, John M. $915,500 Olin Corporation chemical 1985-2004 (foundation closed in 2005)[19]
Lambe, Claude R. Foundation $95,000 Koch Industries 2005-2008 (also contributed $30,000 in 2006 that was returned to the foundation in 2009)[81][82][83][84][85][19][80]
McDonald's $30,000 2012[14]
McNutt, Amy Shelton Charitable Trust $1,500 2009,[86] 2011[87]
Nolan, David P. Foundation $250 2010[88]
Opportunity Foundation $2,500 2009-2013[19][89]
Penn, Arthur S. and Marilyn Charitable Trust $500 retired president of Elmrock Capital, Inc., board member of Center for Individual Rights 2010[90]
Personal Care Products Council $20,000 personal care products (cosmetics, toiletries, fragrances, etc.) industry 2011-2002[91][92][14]
Pfizer Foundation $300 pharmaceutical industry (matching employee gifts) 2011-2013[93][94][95]
PhRMA $160,000 pharmaceutical industry 2008-2010[19]
Procter and Gamble $6,000 2012[14]
Randolph Foundation $73,920 Vicks chemical company 2006[19]
Roberts, Gilroy and Lillian P. Charitable Foundation $200 sculptor, gemstone carver, and former Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint 2013[96]
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation $27,500 oil 1998-2001[19]
Sarah Scaife Foundation $205,000 Mellon industrial, oil, aluminum and banking 1985-1991[19]
Searle Freedom Trust $100,000 pharmaceuticals 2007[19]
Stare Fund $7,500 2012[14]
Roger and Susan Stone Family Foundation $5,000 Smurfit-Stone (paperboard and paper-based packaging) 2009,[97] 2012[98]
Syngenta $22,500 2012[14]
Tepper Family Foundation $500 2013[99][19]
Texmark Chemicals (David Smith) $5,000 2012[14]
The Safe Cig $4,100 electronic cigarette manufacturer 2012[14]
Tober, Barbara and Donald Foundation $23,500 2007-2012[100][101][102][103][104][105]
Triad Foundation $35,000 ("Gen/fracking") foundation run by the right-wing son of Roy H. Park 2012[14]
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program $39,400 donor-advised fund 2012-2013[106][107]

Ties to the Koch Brothers

ACSH has received significant funding from the Koch family foundations as well as other funding organizations with ties to the Koch brothers. The Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation donated $95,000 between 2005 and 2008,[108][109][110][111][112] and the David H. Koch Foundation gave ACSH $6,000 from 1986 to 1987.[19][113]

Ties to DonorsTrust, a Koch Conduit

DonorsTrust is considered a "donor-advised fund," which means that it divides its funds into separate accounts for individual donors, who then recommend disbursements from the accounts to different non-profits. Funds like DonorsTrust are not uncommon in the non-profit sector, but they do cloak the identity of the original donors because the funds are typically distributed in the name of DonorsTrust rather than the original donors.[114] Very little was known about DonorsTrust until late 2012 and early 2013, when the Guardian and others published extensive reports on what Mother Jones called "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement."[115][116]

The American Council on Science and Health received an aggregate of $624,074.62 in funding from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund between 2005 and 2011.[117]

A report by the Center for Public Integrity exposes a number of DonorsTrust funders, many of which have ties to the Koch brothers. One of the most prominent funders is the Knowledge and Progress Fund, a Charles Koch-run organization and one of the group's largest known contributors, having donated nearly $9 million from 2005 to 2012. Other contributors known to have donated at least $1 million to DonorsTrust include the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Donald & Paula Smith Family Foundation, Searle Freedom Trust, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation.[118]

Since its inception in 1999, DonorsTrust has been used by conservative foundations and individuals to discretely funnel nearly $400 million to like-minded think tanks and media outlets.[118] According to the organization's tax documents, in 2011, DonorsTrust contributed a total of $86 million to conservative organizations. Many recipients had ties to the State Policy Network (SPN), a wide collection of conservative state-based think tanks and media organizations that focus on shaping public policy and opinion. In 2013, the Center for Media and Democracy released a special report on SPN. Those who received DonorsTrust funding included media outlets such as the Franklin Center and the Lucy Burns Institute, as well as think tanks such as SPN itself, the Heartland Institute, Illinois Policy Institute, Independence Institute, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, South Carolina Policy Council, American Legislative Exchange Council, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, and the Cascade Policy Institute.[119]

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Older Funding Information

"ACSH did not accept funding -- even general operating funding -- from any corporation or trade association for the first two years of operation," Whelan explained in 2003. ACSH's policy, she said, was to only accept funding only from foundations was soon relaxed. "For two years we tried that, but the media still regularly implied that ACSH had industry support … The ACSH Board of Directors concluded that what critics objected to was not ACSH's funding but ACSH's views -- and that in avoiding corporate donations we were limiting ACSH's fundraising potential to no avail," she wrote, insisting that corporate funding must be "no strings attached".

Shortly after its founding, ACSH abandoned even the appearance of independent funding. In a 1997 interview, Whelan explained that she was already being called a "paid liar for industry," so she figured she might as well go ahead and take industry money without restrictions.

During its first 15 years of operation, ACSH published the names of its institutional funders, but it has stopped doing this in recent years, making it harder to identify where all of its money comes from. Some 40 percent of ACSH's budget was supplied directly by industry as of 2000, including a long list of food, drug and chemical companies that have a vested interest in supporting Whelan's message.

2003 Shortfall

In its IRS Form 990 for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2003, ACSH reported revenues totaling $1,332,214 but ran a deficit that year just over $402,000. (In comparison, its total revenue for the year to June 30 1999 was $2,566,557). See ACSH financial data for more.

Faced with a budget shortfall, ACSH suspended the production of its newsletter, "ACSH News," for eighteen months.[120] While ACSH's income nose-dived, salaries for the top three staff climbed. In 2002 to 2003, the three highest paid staff -- Whelan, Stier, and Ross -- accounted for $638,186 between them.

In a year in which the organization ran a substantial deficit, the salaries of the top three accounted for 48 percent of the revenue for the year and over a third of the organization's total expenditure. While Stier and Ross took a pay cut of approximately 4.5 percent each in 2002-2003, Whelan's salary rose by over 11 percent.

In a speech marking the 25th anniversary of ACSH, Whelan explained that about 40 percent of ACSH funding comes from private foundations, "about 40% from corporations, and the rest of the sale of ACSH publications.... The important thing, though, is not the source of your funding but the accuracy of the points you make, and ACSH's scientific advisors and use of peer review keep us honest."[121]

1984 Funders

In its 1984 annual report, ACSH provided an extensive list of its corporate and foundation donors.[122] ACSH funders have included the following:

  • ALCOA Foundation
  • Allied Signals Foundation, Inc.
  • American Cyanamid Company
  • American Meat Institute
  • Amoco Foundation, Inc.
  • Anheuser-Busch Foundation
  • Archer Daniels Midland Company
  • Ashland Oil Foundation
  • Boise Cascade Corporation
  • Bristol-Myers Fund, Inc.
  • Burger King Corporation
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • Carnation Company
  • Chevron Environmental Health Center
  • Ciba-Geigy Corporation
  • Coca-Cola Company
  • Consolidated Edison
  • Cooper Industries Foundation
  • Adolph Coors Foundation
  • Crystal Trust
  • Shelby Cullum Davis Foundation
  • Dow Chemical Canada, Inc.
  • Dow Corning Corporation
  • E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company
  • Ethyl Corporation
  • Exxon Corporation
  • FMC Foundation
  • Ford Motor Company Fund
  • Frito-Lay
  • General Electric Foundation
  • General Mills, Inc.
  • General Motors Foundation
  • Gerber Products Company
  • Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation
  • Hershey Foods Corporation Fund
  • Heublein, Inc.
  • ICI Americas Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Johnson's Wax Fund, Inc.
  • Kellogg Company
  • Ester A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Inc.
  • David H. Koch Foundation
  • Kraft Foundation
  • Kraft General Foods (now part of Altria Group)
  • Licensed Beverage Information Council
  • Thomas J. Lipton Foundation, Inc.
  • M&M Mars
  • Merck Company Foundation
  • Mobil Foundation, Inc.
  • Monsanto Fund
  • National Agricultural Chemicals Association
  • National Dairy Council
  • National Soft Drink Association
  • National Starch and Chemical Foundation
  • Nestlé
  • Samuel Roberts Nobel Foundation, Inc.
  • Northwood Institute
  • NutraSweet Company
  • John M. Olin Foundation Inc.
  • Oscar Mayer Foods
  • Pepsico Foundation Inc. (Pepsi-Cola)
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Pillsbury Company
  • PPG Industries Foundation
  • Procter & Gamble Fund
  • Ralston Purina
  • Rohm & Haas Company
  • Salt Institute
  • Sarah Scaife Foundation, Inc.
  • Schultz Foundation
  • G.D. Searle Charitable Trust
  • Joseph E. Seagrams & Sons, Inc.
  • Shell Oil Company Foundation
  • Stare Fund
  • Starr Foundation
  • Sterling Drug, Inc.
  • Stouffer Company
  • Stroh Brewery Company
  • Sugar Association, Inc.
  • Sun Company, Inc.
  • Syntex Corporation
  • Union Carbide Corporation
  • Uniroyal Chemical Co.
  • USX Corp.
  • Warner-Lambert Foundation
  • Wine Growers of California

Finances

2012 (for tax year 7/1/12-6/30/13):[123]

Total Revenue: $1,457,379
Total Expenses: $1,826,747
Net Assets: $2,396,060

2011 (for tax year 7/1/11-6/30/12):[124]

Total Revenue: $1,521,671
Total Expenses: $1,871,639
Net Assets: $2,753,254

2010 (for tax year 7/1/10-6/30/11):[125]

Total Revenue: $1,351,961
Total Expenses: $1,625,952
Net Assets: $3,158,364

History

The website states that "ACSH was founded... by a group of scientists who had become concerned that many important public policies related to health and the environment did not have a sound scientific basis. These scientists created the organization to add reason and balance to debates about public health issues and bring common sense views to the public."[126]

Former ACSH director, the late Elizabeth Whelan, explained that the concept of ACSH emerged following being commissioned by Pfizer to produce a background paper on the "Delaney Clause" in the 1958 Food Additive Amendment, which restricted the use of cancer-causing chemicals in foods. Subsequently, Whelan wrote Panic in the Pantry, a "book on the history of food scares," which was published in 1976.

ACSH was founded by Whelan and Dr. Frederick Stare in March 1978, with the assistance of her father and husband as legal advisers. "With assistance from former Secretary of the Treasury William Simon, ACSH was introduced to the Scaife Foundations and John M. Olin Foundation[,] which provided ACSH with its first financial support," Whelan explained in a retrospective on the organization's 25th anniversary.[121]

"It was the great Alar scare of 1989 that boosted Whelan into the media stratosphere," Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz wrote in a 1990 article in the Columbia Journalism Review. ACSH and Whelan were fixtures on the anti-environmental scene long before the Alar issue emerged, downplaying risks from DDT, dioxin, asbestos, and a host of other polluting chemicals, but Whelan's prominent role in the Alar counter-publicity campaign helped make ACSH a common source for journalists seeking commentary on public health issues.

To learn more, see the page Alar and apples.

Benzene in Soft Drinks

See the page Benzene in Soft Drinks.

C. Everett Koop and ACSH

Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, shared common ground with ACSH on several issues, including working with the PR firm Ketchum Communications in a campaign against the book Diet for a Poisoned Planet, which raised concerns about pesticides and chemical residues in foods. At the time, Ketchum's vice president sat on the board of ACSH.

To learn more, see the page C. Everett Koop and ACSH.

Supporters

While ACSH has never been far from controversy, it has been able to draw on well-connected supporters. ABC News' John Stossel was the master of ceremonies at ACSH's 25th anniversary dinner on December 4, 2000.[127] (Stossel penned a commentary column -- "The Anti-Junk Scientists" -- lauding ACSH in that day's edition of the New York Post.[128]) Also attending was conservative humorist Christopher Buckley.

Personnel

ACSH was founded by Elizabeth Whelan, and she was its President until her death in 2014.[129] Whelan made no bones about her political leanings, describing herself as a lifelong conservative who is "more libertarian than Republican." According to media commentator Howard Kurtz, "Television producers like Whelan because she's colorful and succinct, skewering her adversaries with such phrases as 'toxic terrorists' and referring to their research as 'voodoo statistics.' Newspaper reporters often dial her number because she is an easily accessible spokesperson for the 'other' side of many controversies."

Board

2015

As of April 2015:[3]

  • Nigel Bark, Chair, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Steven Modzelewski, Vice Chair, Maple Engine LLC
  • Gilbert Ross, Acting President and Executive Director, ACSH
  • James E. Enstrom, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Jack C. Fisher, University of California, San Diego, Emeritus
  • Thom Golab, Media Research Center
  • Herbert I. London, London Center for Policy Research
  • Paul A. Offit, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Fred L. Smith, Jr., Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • Daniel T. Stein, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

2013

The ACSH Board of Trustees, as of June 2013:[130]

  • Elizabeth Whelan
  • Daniel T. Stein
  • Herbert L. London
  • Thom Golab
  • Robert L. Brent
  • Fred L. Smith Jr
  • Paul A. Offit
  • James E. Enstrom
  • Donald Drakeman
  • Nigel Bark

2009

The ACSH board of Trustees, as of December 2009:[131]

2004

The ACSH board of Trustees, as of July 2004:

Founders Circle

In December 2009, ACSH listed the following individuals in its "Founders Circle":[131]

Scientific Advisors

ACSH lists several hundred advisors on its website; see ACSH Scientific advisors.

Staff

2015

As of April 2015:[3]

  • Gilbert Ross – Acting President, Medical/Executive Director
  • Josh Bloom – Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Ruth Kava – Senior Nutrition Fellow
  • Ariel Savransky – Associate Director of Public Health
  • Ana Simovska – Director of Video Production
  • Erik Lief – Director of Communications
  • Ana Marcelo – Executive Assistant to the President
  • Cheryl E. Martin – Director of Development
  • William McCain – Development Associate

2003

Staff, including the salaries and benefits to its top five employees, were reported in ACSH's 2003 IRS return as follows:

(Between the 1999 financial year to 2003, Whelan's salary climbed from $223,570 to $326,612; Stier's from $110,185 to $155,577 and Ross' from $87,325 to 155,997). (See ACSH staff salaries.)

Contact Information

American Council on Science and Health
1995 Broadway
New York, NY 10023-5860
phone: (212) 362-7044
http://www.acsh.org

Related SourceWatch Resources

External Links

Referenced version available at web address above. This article discusses the threats to science and society posed by anti-science groups, focusing on American Council on Science and Health, and provides background on Elizabeth Whelan and Gilbert Ross. An open access powerpoint is available at Confronting pseudoscience and threats from a corporate front group - the American Council on Science and Health. No password necessary.

Articles by ACSH Staff

ACSH Annual Reports

External Articles

References

  1. Mark Megalli, Andy Friedman, Masks of Deception: Corporate Front Groups in America (Essential Information), 1991, p. 23.
  2. See, e.g. Gilbert Ross, Junk Science Week: Toxic terrorists ignore organic food threat, Financial Post, June 15, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 American Council on Science and Health, "Staff," organizational website, accessed April 20, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bill Hogan, "Paging Dr. Ross," Mother Jones, November 2005.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Nicolas Martin, ACSH From a Past Employee's View, Mindfully, September 24, 2001.
  6. Gloria Cooper, "Darts and Laurels," Columbia Journalism Review, 2003, Issue 5.
  7. Dan Eggen How interest groups behind health-care legislation are financed is often unclear Washington Post, January 7, 2010, Page A1
  8. Annenberg Public Policy Center, False Euthanasia Claims, FactCheck.org, July 29, 2009.
  9. Wendell Potter, Death Panels: Fact and Fiction, Center for Media and Democracy's PRWatch.org, March 21, 2011.
  10. Henry I. Miller et al., "Letter to Lee Goldman, M.D., Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine, Columbia University," posted on Vox, April 17, 2015.
  11. Rebekah Wilce, "California GMO Labeling Supporters Confront $41 Million Opposition and 13-Point Poll Slide," PRWatch, October 25, 2012.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Bill Briggs, "Physicians to Columbia: Dump Dr. Oz for Hawking 'Quack Treatments'," NBC News, April 17, 2015.
  13. Center for Responsive Politics, Claire McCaskill: Top 20 Contributors, 2009-2014, Open Secrets political influence databse, accessed April 20, 2015.
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 14.15 14.16 14.17 14.18 14.19 14.20 Andy Kroll and Jeremy Schulman, Leaked Documents Reveal the Secret Finances of a Pro-Industry Science Group, Mother Jones, October 28, 2013.
  15. Achelis & Bodman Foundations, 2006-2007 Grants, foundation grant report, accessed July 2014.
  16. Achelis & Bodman Foundations, 2008-2009 Grants, foundation grant report, accessed July 2014.
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