can you legitimize that accusation please?
Well, going down the list of signers http://www.vox.com/2015/4/16/8... I notice
GIlbert Ross, M.D.
President (Acting) and Executive Director
American Council on Science and Health
I am not completely for or against ACSH. Elizabeth Whelan, their founder, was an advocate for some issues I agreed with and some issues I disagreed with. I met Whelan a couple of times. I liked her. She was adding information about some controversial debates, and she was particularly useful in taking on some politically correct positions that had a weak science base. As I recall she was defending GM food, and also taking money from Monsanto.
Most admirably, she was taking on the cigarette industry when it was still a "controversy," especially in magazines that were getting a lot of cigarette advertising, notably almost all the major women's magazines.
But Whelan was also trying to round up "unrestricted" grants from industry to write supposedly unbiased or objective reports on major controversies. To her credit, they tried to give all the scientific evidence, although they seem to have run into problems with that.
The one I remember was their report on that fat substitute, Olestra https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... This was not a life-or-death issue, but olestra had a few side effects, the most noticeable of which was diarrhea. Procter & Gamble managed to get the FDA to allow them to refer to "diarrhea" by the euphemistic term, "loose stools," which I thought was misleading. At any rate, when I read that report I realized why you can't get an objective report sponsored by a corporation with a financial interest. Whelan couldn't even use straightforward language and arguments to defend olestra, because P&G's lawyers made them follow the FDA-approved wording.
Whelan's big disappointment was that the industry wouldn't support her (the way they do for the more partisan think tanks like the Manhattan Institute), so she gave up that economic model. I don't know where they get their money from now, but I assume they disclose it. In a way it's a shame, because Whelan failed because she was too honest (but not completely candid). Or to put it less flatteringly, you can't be a little bit of a prostitute.
But let's go to the signers at the top.
Henry I. Miller, M.D.
Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy
& Public Policy
Scott W. Atlas, M.D.
David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow
Hoover did not deign to include its funding sources in the "About Us" section of its web site, and I'm not going to track it down. But as I recall, when Hoover was first created, the Stanford faculty complained that they were an independent institution using Stanford's name but without academic accountability to Standford, and they were funded by corporations that had a financial stake in some of the areas of their research.
Miller was one of the founding members of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition which was founded by Philip Morris to challenge the evidence of harm from tobacco http://www.sourcewatch.org/ind...
I remember reading Miller's defenses of GM food. I happen to think that GM food is (probably, mostly) pretty safe. But if Miller believes in the free market, he ought to let consumers know which foods are GM and which aren't, so they can make their own free-market decisions. I don't know if Miller takes any money directly from those corporations. But the organizations he works for, like the Hoover Institution, ACSH, and ASSC, do. So that's where his paycheck ultimately comes from. So in that sense the parent's accusation is true.
Oz has gone completely off the wall, and if I had to choose between Miller and Oz, I'd have to give my verdict to Miller on this one. Miller correctly calls Oz out for his financial conflicts of interest. So it's appropriate to apply the same test to Miller himself. But let them fight it out. This will inform the public debate.