Millions of Californians Already Saw Ad Featuring Scientific “Expert” Who Fronts for Tobacco Industry and Climate Change Deniers; Claimed Japanese “Could Actually Have Benefited” from Radiation Exposure from Fukushima
In a blistering admission of their own lack of credibility, the opponents of California’s GMO labeling measure yanked down and re-shot their first television ad after they were caught misrepresenting Stanford University in the ad, according to the Los Angeles Times. The ad identified Henry Miller as a doctor at Stanford University, without disclosing that Miller actually serves as a researcher at the Hoover Institute, a right-wing think tank at Stanford.
The ad violated Stanford’s policy that prohibits consultants from using the university’s name for political purposes. Stanford officials also insisted that the ad be reshot to remove the vaulted university buildings in the background, according to the LA Times. Millions of California voters had already seen the ad which has been running hourly in major television markets across the state.
“The scandal over the Henry Miller ad is proof positive of the lack of credibility and lack of integrity of the No on 37 campaign, which is at this very moment unleashing a $35 million ad campaign of lies on the voters of California,” said Stacy Malkan, spokesperson for the Yes on 37 California Right to Know campaign.
The ad, now re-edited and back on the air, presents Henry Miller as a scientific expert as he reads from talking points written by the No on 37 campaign, claiming the GMO labeling law makes no sense. Miller is well known to front for industry groups including Big Tobacco and Big Oil. He has argued for the re-introduction of the toxic pesticide DDT, attacked US Food and Drug Administration safety regulators, and claimed low levels of radiation can be beneficial to human health.
“Who are you really going to trust?” Malkan asked. “On the Yes on 37 side are millions of California consumers and more than 2,000 leading health, women’s, faith-based, labor and other groups; and a growing stack of peer-reviewed research linking genetically engineered foods to health and environmental problems. On the No side is a small group of financially motivated corporations, including the same folks who told us DDT, Agent Orange and cigarettes were safe, making verifiably false assertions and being fronted by a well-documented special interest shill.”
BACKGROUND: The Dubious Credibility of No on 37 Science Spokesperson Henry Miller
- Miller was a founding member of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, a Phillip Morris backed front group that tried to discredit the links between tobacco products and cancer. sourcewatch.org/index.php/The_Advancement_of_Sound_Science_Coalition
- In a 1994 PR memo recommending strategy to help Phillip Morris organize a worldwide effort to fight tobacco regulations, Henry Miller was referred to as “a key supporter.” legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/pqa35e00/pdf
- In 2012, Miller wrote, “nicotine … is not particularly bad for you in the amounts delivered by cigarettes or smokeless products.” hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/111606
- Miller has repeatedly argued for the re-introduction of DDT, a toxic pesticide banned in the United States since 1972, which has been linked to pre-term birth and fertility impairment in women.
- In 2011, after the Japanese tsunami and radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear power plants, Miller argued that “those … who were exposed to low levels of radiation could have actually benefitted from it.” forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2011/12/21/can-tiny-amounts-of-poison-actually-be-good-for-you
- Miller sits on the “scientific advisory board” of the George C. Marshall Institute, which is famous for its oil and gas industry funded denials of climate change.
- Miller has argued that the FDA should outsource more of its functions to private industries, and has publicly attacked the FDA for its efforts to ensure proper vetting and testing of new drugs:
- american.com/archive/2007/october-10-07/the-case-for-fda-outsourcing american.com/archive/2007/june-0607/drug-regulation-has-the-worst-become-the-norm
For more information on Yes on 37 California Right to Know campaign, see www.carighttoknow.org.