A new "grassroots" farmers' group with close ties to Monsanto has been formed to outlaw labels that would notify consumers they are buying milk from cows not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Monsanto genetically engineers rBGH, called Posilac, which is injected into cows, forcing them to produce more milk.
Third Party Technique
An article in the Independent links funding for the "2008 International Conference on Climate Change" held in New York earlier this month to tobacco and oil companies.
R.J. Reynolds (RJR) may be funding a South Carolina anti-tax group to oppose a cigarette tax for health care. The Cover Carolina Collaborative, a group of health care organizations, is proposing that the state's tax be raised to $1.00 a pack, to help cover uninsured employees. South Carolina currently has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation, at seven cents a pack.
Philip Morris has quietly disbanded its controversial External Research Program (PMERP), through which it funded academic and scientific research at major universities. The funds doled out by the program were substantial: in the 2006-07 fiscal year, the University of California system alone received around $16 million through PMERP.
Ray Moynihan reveals that while educational events have been advertised to Australian medical practitioners as being independent, behind the scenes sponsoring drug companies were being offered the chance to nominate speakers and topics relating to their drugs.
A February 9 Los Angeles Times article about University of California, Los Angeles professor Edythe London taking a $6 million grant from Philip Morris to study the brains of child smokers and monkeys addicted to nicotine once again raises questions about the appropriateness of university researchers accepting tobacco industry funding. Philip Morris denied that they have a stake in this particular project, but the denial had little credibility since the company no doubt will benefit from understanding more about youth smoking and nicotine addiction. After all, the future of their business depends on these two topics. Still, we wonder why any person curious enough to be engaged in scientific research isn't also curious enough to find out what's in it for Philip Morris before they accept the funds? These days, the answer is as close as your computer.
When the dangers of smoking first became widely known, cigarette companies secretly hired biomedical scientists to create confusion.
"The American public deserves to know when someone is trying to persuade them." — U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Thursday, January 17, 2008
Front Groups Beware of Full Frontal Scrutiny
Today, the Center for Media and Democracy and our partners at Consumer Reports WebWatch launched an exciting new project: Full Frontal Scrutiny. The site seeks to shine a light on front groups -- organizations that state a particular agenda, while hiding or obscuring their identity, membership or sponsorship, or all three. Google the term "front groups" and the number one return is CMD's extensive articles on its SourceWatch site.