250947 Corporate Front Groups, Pseudoscience, and Threats: American Council on Science and Health

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:50 PM

Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP , School of Community Health, Portland State University, Lake Oswego, OR
Like many other organizations, the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) uses threats and misinformation to suppress sound science, particularly when such science threatens the interests of individuals and corporations which profit from activities that threaten human health and the environment. Regrettably, ACSH is frequently quoted in major media outlets and presents itself as an opponent of so-called junk science. This session will cover threats to public health posed by such anti-science, corporate front groups, focusing on ACSH. I will place my experience with ACSH in the context of the larger battle against pseudoscience, greenwashing, bluewashing, and the involvement of corporations in public education.

This session is part of an invited submission for the socialist caucus that will also include presentations by William Wiist, Nicholas Freudenberg, and Matthew Anderson/Justin Sanders.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Define the terms pseudoscience and corporate-front groups Understand how corporate-front groups successfully promulgate pseudoscience, in the interests of their clients, through major media outlets Discuss the one such group, the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), including its history, founders, funding sources, and statements/publications on major scientific and public health issues Relate my experience fighting ACSH (and winning), when they threatened litigation related to my critique of them in an article on global warming Explain how scientists, public health professionals, and activists can fight back against the manipulation of science by such organizations as ACSH

Keywords: Credible Science, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a physician/educator who has conducted research, written about, and lectured about the effects of corporations on public health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.