American Council on Safety & Health

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This stub is a work-in-progress by the journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to

The American Council on Safety & Health (ACSH) was set up by the Chemical Manufacturer's Association (CMA) to act as a front to deny that there were any harmful effects resulting from chemicals in the environment. The think-tank was funded ($75,000 initially) by Paul F Oreffice, the President and CEO of Dow chemical Company by way of a family foundation of a Dow executive.

Frederick J Stare, the head of the Nutrition Department at Harvard University was paid to provide some cover (he was a push-over for any company or industry that would pay), and he brought in an old student and later associate, Elizabeth M Whelan to run the operation. She proved to be very highly successful in establishing herself as a primary media spokesperson on nutrition and chemical remnants, and extremely clever in discounting the potential harmful effects of chemical pesticide, herbicides, and preservatives that were being identified at that time in the food supply. She even defended the deadly dioxin of Agent Orange (the Vietnam War herbicide which produce deformities in babies).

Elizabeth Whelan was hated by the tobacco industry because she was vocally anti-smoking, and chose to direct the blame onto cigarettes for many of the same problems caused by chemicals. It was a very effective tactic that she used to gain credibility (many old ACSH adherents still don't accept her as a lobbyist for the CMA)

Her friend and so-called partner in ACSH, Professor Frederick J Stare, however provided a safe-haven and money laundry service for two very effective scientific lobbyists who worked virtually full-time for the tobacco industry in discounting 'alleged' health effects.

  • Carl C Seltzer, a physical anthropologist who claimed to be a Cardiologist. Seltzer travelled the world preaching the message that smoking was wrongly accused of creating heart problems. He was originally funded through Harvard's Peabody Museum, until he was transferred over to be paid via Stare's Nutrition Department.
  • Philip RJ Burch, (Leeds University in the UK) was a personal friend of Seltzer and refused to work for the UK tobacco industry unless a safe way could be found to transfer the money. He was paid via the Nutrition Department at Harvard University, then via Carl Seltzer who would take it to the UK on his regular family visits. It was a guarantee that the money could never be traced (except for the unanticipated tobacco document release.).

Documents & TimeLine