Alan Greene

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This article is part of the Food Rights Network, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. Find out more here.

Dr. Alan Greene is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine.[1] He has been the subject of a professional ethics complaint by the organic advocacy non-profit the Cornucopia Institute, which alleges that he made false statements to promote Dean Foods' Horizon organic products.[2]

Ties to Dean Foods

Misleading Advertisements

According to the Cornucopia Institute, Dean Foods’ online promotional materials are especially misleading given the presence of videos featuring Greene, “a pediatrician who endorses these products and gives consumers a false and misleading sense that the DHA oil has been medically proven to benefit health.” Cornucopia filed a complaint asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to focus not only on Dean Foods/White Wave, but also include Dr. Alan Greene and his role in Dean Foods’ false and misleading advertising. “We have met with Dr. Greene on a number of occasions in an effort to encourage him to evaluate his ethical approach to this topic. But his zeal to promote DHA, without differentiating between natural and synthetic sources that might not actually be effective, was unwavering,” said Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst with Cornucopia.[2]

Advertising Non-Organic

Cornucopia contacted Dr. Greene again when Dean Foods launched yogurt aimed at toddlers under its organic Horizon brand containing conventional fruits and vegetables listed on the Environmental Working Group’s "Dirty Dozen" list of pesticide contamination. This was the first non-organic Horizon product and priced higher than a similar certified organic offering, for children, from Stonyfield. Dr. Greene continued to have his name and likeness associated with Horizon's marketing campaign for the product (it was eventually pulled off the market after media scrutiny prompted by Cornucopia).[2]

Questionable Food Additives

Dr. Greene attend the November-December 2011 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Savannah, Georgia in order to assist Martek Biosciences and Dean Foods in securing the approval of questionable food additives (DHA/ARA oils derived from fermented algae and soil fungus).[3][4]

  • According to the Cornucopia Institute, Greene acted as a public relations agent for Dean Foods WhiteWave division, endorsing Horizon brand organic milk containing the additive DHA oil manufactured and patented by Martek Biosciences.[5] Greene has made numerous public statements such as: “Organic milk fortified with DHA is a great option for families looking to incorporate nutritious products in their diets with the proven benefits of DHA, including those for heart, brain and eye health."[6]
  • Greene accepted compensation from Mead Johnson, the largest conventional infant formula manufacturer, to promote Martek’s DHA oil in their products.[8] He urges parents to use formula with Martek's DHA oil in publications like Parents.com.[9] Mead Johnson has been heavily criticized by the breastfeeding advocacy community for undermining efforts to increase breastfeeding rates, especially with its DHA/ARA advertisement campaigns.[10] Dr. Greene still appears on the Enfamil website today.[11]
Dr. Greene Toddle Drops.jpg
  • Greene has his own product line of nutritional supplements that include Martek DHA, marketed by Twinlabs with his name and photograph on the product package.[5]
  • On the "Scientific Advisory Board" for The Hain Celestial Group’s Avalon Organics baby personal care product line, which is not certified organic.[12] The Hain Celestial Group has been the subject of a federal class-action lawsuit for using synthetic and non-organic ingredients in personal care products in its Avalon Organics and Jason brands while misrepresenting them as organic.[13]

Media Appearances

Dr. Greene appears frequently on TV, radio, websites, and in international newspapers and magazines. Dr. Greene has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC network news, NPR's "People's Pharmacy," The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time Magazine, Parade, Parenting, Child, Baby Talk, Working Mother, Better Home's & Gardens, and the Reader's Digest.[14]

Background

According to his own website, Alan Greene is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California at San Francisco. After completing of his pediatric residency program at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Northern California, he served as Chief Resident. Greene entered primary care pediatrics in January 1993.[15] He is the Medical Director of HealthTap and is on the Board of Directors of Healthy Child Healthy World and the Lunch Box Project. In 1995, he launched the website DrGreene.com.[16] In 1995, he launched Dr. Greene's HouseCalls, cited by the American Medical Association (AMA) as the first physician Web site on the Internet.[17]

Publications

  • Feeding Baby Green (Wiley, 2009)
  • Raising Baby Green (Wiley, 2007)
  • From First Kicks to First Steps (McGraw-Hill, 2004)
  • The Parent's Complete Guide to Ear Infections (People's Medical Society, 1997)
  • Co-Author of The A.D.A.M. Illustrated Family Health Guide (A.D.A.M., Inc., 2004)

Greene served as the medical expert for three additional books.

  • The Parent's Soup A-to-Z Guide to Your New Baby, (Contemporary Books, 1998)
  • The Parent's Soup A-to-Z Guide to Your Toddler, (Contemporary Books, 1999)
  • The Mother of All Baby Books, (Hungry Minds, Inc., 2002)

Partnerships

  • BornFree
  • Horizon
  • TwinLab
  • HealthTap
  • EcoMom[18]

Positions

  • Chief Medical Officer of A.D.A.M.[19]
  • Founding President of the Society for Participatory Medicine[20]
  • Former President of The Organic Center[21]
  • Former President and Board Chair of Hi-Ethics[22]
  • On the Board of Directors of Healthy Child Healthy World[23]
  • On the Board of Directors of The Lunchbox Project[24]
  • On the Board of Directors of the Organic Center[25]
  • Board member for Ecomom[26]
  • Founding partner of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment[27]
  • Founder and CEO of DrGreene.com[28]
  • Founding member of the e-Patient Scholars Working Group[29]
  • Founding board member of the Center for Information Therapy
  • Founded the WhiteOut Movement to change how babies in the United States are fed
  • Former advisor to URAC for their inaugural and their updated health web site accreditation program
  • Pediatric Expert for AmericanBaby.com[30]
  • Pediatric Expert for WebMD[31]
  • Consultant pediatrician and pediatric endocrinologist for Tayside[32]
  • Consultant for the Environmental Working Group
  • Advisory Committee, Organic Center [33]
  • Advisory Board, Healthy Child Healthy World [34]

Resources

Other SourceWatch Articles

PRWatch Articles

References

  1. Stanford University, Alan Greene, faculty profile, accessed February 21, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Cornucopia Institute, Largest Organic Milk Bottler Accused of Misrepresenting Products, organizational press release, April 21, 2011
  3. Cornucopia Institute, New Organic Milk Contains Illegal Synthetic Additive, organizational press release, February 23, 2011
  4. NOSB, [http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5096485&acct=nosb United States Department Of Agriculture Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) Meeting Of The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)], meeting transcript, December 1, 2011 (Day 3 of 4), pp. 49-53
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cornucopia Institute, Largest Corporate Dairy, Biotech Firm and USDA Accused of Conspiring to Corrupt Rulemaking and Pollute Organics, organizational website, January 23, 2012
  6. Horizon Organic, Horizon launches organic Fat-Free Milk Plus DHA Omega-3, brand press release, February 23, 2011
  7. Cornucopia Institute, New Organic Milk Contains Illegal Synthetic Additive, organizational website, February 23, 2011
  8. Editorial Board Member Details, MedScape Pediatrics, board member financial disclosure, accessed February 21, 2012
  9. Baby Nutrition: DHA and ARA, Parents magazine website, accessed February 16, 2012
  10. Yo, corrupt yogurt company or what ??, Mothering online forum, December 23, 2002 - March 12, 2003, accessed February 20, 2012
  11. Alan Greene, Expert Opinion: The ABCs of DHA, brand website, accessed February 16, 2012
  12. Protect, Avalon Organics, accessed February 16, 2012
  13. Truman Lewis, Suit: Hain Celestial Misrepresents Products as Organic, Consumer Affairs, May 16, 2011
  14. Alan Greene, Meet Dr. Greene, personal/business website, accessed February 16, 2012
  15. Meet Dr. Greene, DrGreene.com, accessed February 16, 2012.
  16. Dr. Alan Greene, Healthy Child, accessed February 15, 2012
  17. Alan Greene M.D., Web MD, accessed February 16, 2012
  18. About, DrGreene, accessed February 16, 2012
  19. Alan Greene M.D., Web MD, accessed February 16, 2012
  20. Meet Dr. Greene, DrGreene.com, accessed February 16, 2012.
  21. Meet Dr. Greene, DrGreene.com, accessed February 16, 2012.
  22. Meet Dr. Greene, DrGreene.com, accessed February 16, 2012.
  23. Meet Dr. Greene, DrGreene.com, accessed February 16, 2012.
  24. Meet Dr. Greene, DrGreene.com, accessed February 16, 2012.
  25. Meet Dr. Greene, DrGreene.com, accessed February 16, 2012.
  26. Ecomom, CrunchBase, accessed February 16, 2012
  27. Meet Dr. Greene, DrGreene.com, accessed February 16, 2012.
  28. Alan Greene M.D., Web MD, accessed February 16, 2012
  29. Meet Dr. Greene, DrGreene.com, accessed February 16, 2012.
  30. Alan Greene M.D., Web MD, accessed February 16, 2012
  31. Wayne Parker, About Dr. Alan Greene, About.com – Fatherhood, accessed February 16, 2012
  32. About Netdoctor.co.uk, NetDoctor, accessed February 16, 2012
  33. Organic Center Advisory Committee, organizational web page, accessed April 4, 2012.
  34. Healthy Child Healthy World Advisory Board, organizational web page, accessed June 13, 2014.
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