Still Doctoring the Facts

"When American corporations come up against inconvenient science," writes Bill Hogan, "they call in the American Council on Science and Health." The group's medical / executive director, Dr. Gilbert Ross, has "defended the Wood Preservative Science Council, saying ... the arsenic in pressure-treated wood poses 'no risk to human health,'" and has written "on behalf of the farmed-salmon industry that the PCBs in fish 'are not a cause of any health risk, including cancer.'" And Ross' background is as spotty as his junk science-for-hire. For "his participation in a scheme that ultimately defrauded New York's Medicaid program of approximately $8 million," Ross had his medical license revoked, spent a year at a federal prison camp, and was barred from the Medicare and Medicaid programs for 10 years, after a judge found him to be "a highly untrustworthy individual." Ross regained his medical license last year.


According to [|PR Week], Ross and ACSH have [|responded to the report], admitting that Ross spent time in prison for defrauding Medicaid, but questioning the motives of Mother Jones for reporting it. "The folks who attacked me in this piece are trying to attack our message by going through me," Ross said. "All our ideas are based on sound science. I don't think they will succeed." And ACSH responded by calling Mother Jones a "fringe magazine."

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the ACSH response is the admission by Elizabeth Whelan that she knew Ross was a felon when she hired him:

Needless to say, I was stunned. I inquired about the offense involved (fearing that it was some aspect of quackery), and he asked if he could visit ACSH to meet me and outline the details in person.

I mentioned to a few staffers and friends the facts about Dr. Ross's circumstances and his forthcoming visit. The response was mostly negative, with most arguing "it would be bad for ACSH to bring on someone with a criminal record." I remonstrated that before I rejected his application, I wanted to get the facts -- and judge his credibility and honesty for myself.

Evidently for Whelan, "quackery" (meaning disagreement with ACSH's pro-pesticide, pro-junk food, pro-chemical industry arguments on health issues) is a worse crime than working for a scam clinic that submits false medical reports to the government to defraud taxpayers.