CSPI vs. ACSH

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In response to the the latest press release from the advocacy group called the Center for Science in the Public Interest, below are some facts about the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH):

· ACSH is a not for profit organization led by a voluntary board of more than 350 leading physicians and scientists from prominent hospitals and universities.

· ACSH's work is not only peer-reviewed by these leading independent scientists, but ACSH reports are then further reviewed and published by mainstream medical and scientific journals with no connection to ACSH.

· Some of the scientific and professional journals that have recently published ACSH's work include: Medscape (the online medical journal edited by former JAMA editor Dr. George Lundberg), CRC Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Journal of Health Communications, Clinical Therepeutics, and Technology.

ACSH has a long history of going where the science takes us, even when that science is counter to the interest of its funders.

For instance, ACSH regularly criticizes industries who are guilty of

· making unscientific and overstated health claims
· promoting dangerous natural supplements
· failing to tell the truth about scientific issues, as in the case of industry's failure to defend the safety of genetically modified foods.

Of course, we are known for pointing out the dangers of tobacco in all its forms: Smoking is the #1 public health threat in the world (you wouldn't know this from listening to CSPI). But it's not just tobacco. ACSH regularly criticizes all of those responsible for distorting the truth about important public health issues -- including those who demonize specific foods as causes of obesity, a favorite tactic of CSPI.

Bottom line: ACSH is an organization that plays by the rules of science. We don't host slick CSPI-styled press conferences and make ad hominem attacks. We focus our resources towards responsible science. None of the wealthy Naderite organizations, including CSPI, can point to a board of scientific advisors as prestigious as ACSH's, and unlike ACSH they cannot point to a record of independently published scientific work. It's no wonder they are forced to take the low road.

It is interesting that CSPI continues to attempt to attack our credibility rather than our actual peer-reviewed science. It is emblematic of the difference in our approaches. CSPI focuses on media and public perception. ACSH focuses on science.

We encourage reporters and the public to consider sources of bias beyond corporate funding alone. For instance, from which foundations does CSPI gets its money? Do reporters ask about their project-specific funding from left-wing foundations whose stated goals are to increase governmental regulation and take away choices from consumers?

CSPI, though not bold enough to say so openly, is suggesting that unless you agree with CSPI, you must be a paid liar.