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Steven J. Milloy

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Steven Milloy

Steven J. Milloy is a columnist for Fox News and a paid advocate for Phillip Morris, ExxonMobil and other corporations. From the 1990s until the end of 2005, he was an adjunct scholar at the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute.

Milloy runs the website Junkscience.com, which is dedicated to debunking what he alleges to be false claims regarding global warming, DDT, environmental radicalism and scare science among other topics.[2] His other website, CSR Watch.com, is focused around attacking the corporate social responsibility movement. He is also head of the Free Enterprise Action Fund, a mutual fund he runs with tobacco executive Thomas J. Borelli, who happens to be listed as the secretary of the Advancement of Sound Science Center, an organisation Milloy operates from his home in Potomac, Maryland.

Milloy holds a B.A. in Natural Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Health Sciences in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore, and a Master of Laws from the Georgetown University Law Center.[3]

In January 2006, Paul D. Thacker, a journalist who specializes in science, medicine and environmental topics, reported in The New Republic that Milloy has received thousands of dollars in payments from the Phillip Morris company since the early nineties, and that NGOs controlled by Milloy have received large payments from ExxonMobil [4]. A spokesperson for Fox News stated, "Fox News was unaware of Milloy's connection with Philip Morris. Any affiliation he had should have been disclosed."

Milloy the Lobbyist

Milloy has spent much of his life as a lobbyist for major corporations and trade organizations which have poisioning or polluting problems. He originally ran the National Environmental Policy Institute (NEPI) which was founded by Republican Rep Don Ritter (who tried to get tobacco industry funding) using oil and gas industry funding.[1] NEPI was dedicated to transforming both the EPA and the FDA, and challenging the cost of Superfund toxic cleanups by these large corporations.

NEPI was also associated with the Air Quality Standards Coalition (AQSC) which was devoted to weakening Clean Air laws. This organization took up the cry of "we need sound science" from the chemical industry as a way to counter claims of pollution -- and Milloy became involved in what became known as the "sound-science" movement. Its most effective ploy was to label scientific findings that were detrimental to the large funding corporations as "junk." Milloy was one of its most effective lobbyists because he wrote well, and used humor.

Milloy joined Philip Morris's specialist-science/PR company APCO & Associates in 1992 as a consultant, working behind the scenes on a business venture known as "Issues Watch".[2] By this time, APCO had been taken over and become a part of the world-wide Grey Marketing organization, and so Milloy was able to use the international organization as a feed source for services to corporations who had international problems.[citation needed]

Issues Watch bulletins were only given out to paying customers, so Milloy started for APCO the "Junkscience.com" web site, which gave him an outlet to attack health and environmental activists, and scientists who published findings not supportive of his client's businesses. Like most good PR it mixes some good, general criticism of science and science-reporting, with some outright distorted and manipulative pieces.

The Junkscience web site was supposedly run by a pseudo-grassroots organization called The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), organized by APCO for Philip Morris,[3] which initially paid ex-Governor Garrey Carruthers of New Mexico as a front.[4] Milloy actually ran it from the back-room, and issued the press releases. Then when Carruthers resigned, Milloy started to call himself "Director." Bonner Cohen -- who also worked for APCO -- became "President."[citation needed]

Initially all of this was funded by Philip Morris, but later PM broadened the focus to gather even more funding by garnering participation from energy, pharmaceutical, chemical companies. TASSC's funders include 3M, Amoco, Chevron, Dow Chemical, Exxon, General Motors, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lorillard Tobacco, Louisiana Chemical Association, National Pest Control Association, Occidental Petroleum, Philip Morris Companies, Procter & Gamble, Santa Fe Pacific Gold, and W.R. Grace, the asbestos and pesticide manufacturers. [5]

TASSC was then exposed publicly as a fraud, and so Milloy established the Citizens for the Integrity of Science to take over the running of the Junkscience.com web site.[citation needed]

Radioactive Junk

In August 2005 Media Matters for America reported that Milloy (who is not a scientist himself) had self-published a deceptive "study" purporting to show that radiation levels at the U.S. Capitol Building were 65 times higher than the proposed standards for the federal government's planned high-level radioactive waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain. [6]

Funding

Milloy also runs the Advancement of Sound Science Center and the Free Enterprise Action Institute. Those two groups—apparently run out of Milloy’s home—received $90,000 from ExxonMobil. Key quote: The date of Kyoto’s implementation will "live in scientific and economic infamy." Connections to ExxonMobil-funded groups: at least five.[7]

Writing in The New Republic in January 2006 Paul Thacker noted Milloy's long-term, close relationships with corporations, including ExxonMobil and Philip Morris. "According to Lisa Gonzalez, manager of external communications for Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris, Milloy was under contract there through the end of last year," Thacker wrote. "But, whereas Scripps Howard fired Fumento and apologized to its readers, Fox News continues to look the other way as Milloy accepts corporate handouts," Thacker writes. Fox's Paul Schur told Thacker, "Fox News is unaware of Milloy's connection with Philip Morris." [5]

Milloy is also the co-founder, with tobacco industry executive Thomas J. Borelli, of the Free Enterprise Action Fund, which claims to be an investment fund that seeks "long-term capital appreciation through investment and advocacy that promote the American system of free enterprise." According to a January 26, 2006 report in the Chicago Tribune, "The fund's advocacy stance boils down to opposing many of the things supported by traditional 'social investment funds,' because issues like global warming or corporate governance distract business from its real role of operating in the best interests of shareholders." However, its performance as an investment has been less than stellar. The Tribune called it the "Stupid Investment of the Week ... Strip away the rhetoric, and you're getting a very expensive, underperforming index fund, while Milloy and partner Thomas Borelli get a platform for raising their pet issues. ... An expense ratio capped at 2 percent--ridiculously high for a portfolio of corporate giants--makes stock market returns unrealistic. From inception on March 1 of last year through Dec. 31, Free Enterprise Action returned 2.32 percent; the S&P 500 returned 4.72 percent. That's ugly." [6]

Tobacco industry documents

Milloy blames smokers for their illness and death:

  • A 2003 "Tobacco Weekly" newsletter (a publication of the Tobacco Merchants Association) states,

    Steven Milloy, author of JunkScience.com, also criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for claiming that 400,000 people die every year from alleged smoking-related illnesses, saying that studies linking smoking to heart disease are not entirely reliable. He pointed out that smokers have higher heart disease rates than non-smokers partly because smokers also tend to be people who do not exercise, have worse diets, avoid doctors and have less healthy lifestyles overall. (CNS News 8/1).[8]

Milloy was involved with R.J. Reynolds Project Breakthrough:

  • An activity report created for R.J. Reynolds by the lobbying firm Powell Tate indicates Steve Milloy was involved in RJR's Project Breakthrough, an multi-year effort to link tobacco prevention to alcohol prohibition in the public mind. Milloy's junk science web site appears to have been part of, or used in this project. An item under the heading "Project Breakthrough" in the report states, "Reviewed and revised junk science Website including calls with Steve Milloy, researching and compiling Website visitor comments, and reviewing and editing new materials for inclusion on Website."[9]

Milloy provided medical and political information service to British American Tobacco.

  • For a number of years Milloy acted as an information source for British-American Tobacco. His relationship with Sharon Boyse, Director of BAT's Scientific Communications division (actually a PR division) began in the mid-1990s when he was running TASSC for Philip Morris, and seeking wider funding support from the tobacco industry.[10] Later it was formalized through the regular provision of abstracts and news about scientific research into smoking and health, and other addictive behaviors.[11][12]

This was further extended into the political sphere with his regular fax distribution of the "Issues Watch" newsletter.[13] which went out to most of the major tobacco companies by fax or e-mail.

Books by Milloy

SourceWatch Resources

Case Studies

Contact Details

Web: JunkScience.com

External links

Biographical profiles

Articles by Milloy

Articles About Milloy

References

  1. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: National Environmental Policy Institute,[1], Factsheet, accessed January 19, 2012.
  2. Notes of Meeting CA Legal Support Memorandum. 1 page. March 21, 2000. Philip Morris Bates No. 2078856239
  3. Apco Associates Revised Plan for the Public Launching of TASSC (through 930000) REport. 12 pp. October 15, 1993. Philip Morris Bates No. 2045930493/0504
  4. Jack Lenzi, Philip Morris TASSC Memo. 2 pp. February 22, 1994. Bates No. 2078848225/8226
  5. [ http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/sdf47d00 N100 (The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) Supporters List)] List. 14 pp. December, 1994. Philip Morris Bates No. 2070270098/0111
  6. Eric Boehlert, Jamison Foster Special Report hosted author of debunked radiation study to discuss Yucca Mountain Media Matters for America, August 12, 2005. Accessed April 13, 2009
  7. Mother Jones magazine Put a Tiger in Your Think Tank, Part II Chart/list. April 18, 2005. Accessed April 13, 2009
  8. TMA Publications [http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/wxv07a00 U.S. Tobacco Weekly - 03-32 (August 7, 2003)
  9. Jensen P, Powell Tate Enclosed are April invoices and an activity report summarizing our work on GTC projects as well as general RJR projects, which are captured under "Project Breakthrough." Letter. May 9, 1997. R.J. Reynolds Bates No. 520526627/6629
  10. Steven Milloy, TASSC No title Letter. 1 page. September 22, 1997. Brown & Williamson Bates No.190204008
  11. Steven Milloy, The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition Untitled fax cover page to Sharon Boyse October 8, 1997. 1 page. Brown & Williamson Bates No. 190204054
  12. Steven Milloy ETS and Breast Milk Email. 13 pp. January 18, 1999. Bates No. 190244783/4795
  13. S.J. Milloy Smoking and Endocrine Disruption? Fax. 1 page. September 14, 1998. Bates No. 19023135

This article may include information from Tobacco Documents Online.

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