The American Council on Science and Health sounds like quite the reputable organization, but I had a knee-jerk reaction once I started investigating their funding. I was initially skeptical of their Canadian drug scare post on their blog. This “tainted drugs from Canada” bit is the latest attempt by PhRMA to prevent reimportation of medications from Canada. (Note, the “recognized expert on consumer protection laws” in the press release is Peter Hutt, former FDA official and now PhRMA lobbyist.) Crawford should be ashamed of using his position for political purposes. How disgustingly vile. And if the terrorists are tampering with our meds, why aren’t the factories better secured, and why aren’t the drug companies press-releasing that they *are* secure? Smells fishy to me. Chilean sea bass fishy, which you should stop eating. Yes, you.
A quick aside on the FDA medicines ordered from Canada, promoted by GlaxoSmithKline: the medications were purchased through a *SPAM* message and turned out to be a bit suspect, routing through multiple countries. Again, they claim that buying meds through a SPAM website is the same as buying them from anywhere else online–or offline–in Canada. That’s like saying everyone on American Idol is a talentless hack because of William Hung. Let’s be clear here: spam is not safe to order medicine from. Spam is not safe to order anything from. I think most of the population knows that. Ordering from spam is *not* the same thing as buying medications on one of Senator Dayton’s bus trips to Canada. This is just another scare tactic to keep lower prices out of American hands. UPDATE: Look at that. Medpundit agrees. And she’s right on target: there’s not one factory that makes US pills and others that make Canadian pills. If the terrorists are tampering with our medications, they’re tampering with the world’s.
So a quick look at the ACSH’s Guidestar profile isn’t that interesting. But disinfopedia has plenty on them. The ACSH is an interesting mixture. They seem to take reasonable stand on tobacco policy, but poo-poo any claims of environmental health problems.
Frankly, I’m not all that surprised. ACSH has stopped publishing its list of funding sources, but over the years they’ve included some of the biggest mega-corp polluters in the world, as well as some of the biggest in Pharma as well (a full list):
* Abbott Laboratories
* Bristol-Myers Squibb
* Ciba-Geigy Corporation (Novartis)
* Exxon Corporation
* Mobil Foundation, Inc.
* Pfizer Inc.
* Procter & Gamble Fund
ACSH also likes to defend trans fats, the fast food industry, and Lorraine Thelian, one of its directors, works for Ketchum, where she worked with such health care advocates as Dow Chemical, Bristol Meyers Squibb, the National Pharmaceutical Council, and many other industry trade groups.
I don’t know, ACSH, I’m just a little more likely to believe CSPI, when they’re primarily funded by newsletter subscribers and donations than by industry grants. Call me crazy, but I think money has power and influence.