Industry Buys Its Own Facts?
I read once that you are entitled to your opinion but not your own facts. Apparently, an industry funded “science” group produces whatever “facts” are necessary when they’re needed.
So, let’s look at this from a business ethics standpoint. We have a public controversy in which an industry is doing something that may cause the public harm. Scientific evidence appears to suggest that some regulatory action is necessary. Business ethics would seem to dictate a rational and intelligent approach where we weigh evidence, perhaps do a cost-benefit analysis. Then we an enlightened civilized group decide what’s best for people in a democracy. That’s ethics.
But wait, certain companies have decided that when that scientific evidence appears and could cost them money, that it be branded junk science, and what’s more they have an organization that produces their very own private “facts.” Thus, we short circuit the whole system and stymie action necessary for people to live in health and peace.
Using a tissue of lies, and let’s not be tender about what this is, is unethical, a catastrophic failure of business ethics. It is the model developed by the tobacco industry to stop regulation of second hand smoke. It is designed to confuse and complicate the public debate over what should be done. It has been very successful in demonizing science and crippling democracy.
Lies kill, and these kinds of lies are particularly pernicious.
“Impartial” science group funded by Big Oil, soda and tobacco – Salon.com
Mother Jones has blown the lid off the American Council on Science and Health, a pro-industry research and advocacy organization known to defend everything from fracking to the potential harms of BPA from what it calls the “junk science” that’d have you think such things could pose a danger to public health. The group says all of its conclusions are driven by science, but its funding, leaked documents reveal, come from industry groups and corporations, to a greater extent than ACSH has acknowledged:
According to the ACSH documents, from July 1, 2012, to December 20, 2012, 58 percent of donations to the council came from corporations and large private foundations. ACSH’s donors and the potential backers the group has been targeting comprise a who’s-who of energy, agriculture, cosmetics, food, soda, chemical, pharmaceutical, and tobacco corporations. ACSH donors in the second half of 2012 included Chevron ($18,500), Coca-Cola ($50,000), the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation ($15,000), Dr. Pepper/Snapple ($5,000), Bayer Cropscience ($30,000), Procter and Gamble ($6,000), agribusiness giant Syngenta ($22,500), 3M ($30,000), McDonald’s ($30,000), and tobacco conglomerate Altria ($25,000). Among the corporations and foundations that ACSH has pursued for financial support since July 2012 are Pepsi, Monsanto, British American Tobacco, DowAgro, ExxonMobil Foundation, Phillip Morris International, Reynolds American, the Koch family-controlled Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Dow-linked Gerstacker Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, and the Searle Freedom Trust.
From around the web.
From the web site, Mint Press News.
Greenpeace recently released an update
to a March 2010 report that stressed, once again, that climate change
denial is not only funded by the fossil fuel industry, but the tobacco
industry as well.
As Mint Press News previously reported,
companies in industries such as oil and tobacco often give generous
financial donations to organizations funding research that work to
discredit peer-reviewed, scientific studies indicating that climate
change is a real phenomenon caused by humans.
The reason? If the government were to increase regulations
on environmental issues in general, tobacco companies, too, could see a
negative effect to their bank accounts, considering their products’ environmental impact – not to mention potential smoking bans that could negatively affect sales of tobacco products.
While the tobacco industry is not commonly associated with
dispelling the existence of climate change, the industry has been
funding organizations that attempt to cast doubts on the validity of
climate change studies since the early 1990s.
As the English writer and environmental and political activist George Monbiot wrote
in his book “Death Denial,” “the corporate funding of lobby groups
denying that manmade climate change is taking place was initiated not by
Exxon, or by any other firm directly involved in the fossil fuel
industry. It was started by the tobacco company Philip Morris.”
- Big Pharma as Organised Crime (cfrankdavis.wordpress.com)
- Al Gore attacks Tony Abbott’s refusal to link bushfires with climate change (wemustknow.wordpress.com)