Deniers For Hire
DeniersForHire.com is a website created as a project by the chemical industry front group American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) and edited by Cameron J. English of chemical company PR agent Jon Entine's Genetic Literacy Project (GLP), another industry front group. Its WHOIS data, which cloaks its creators in a proxy, indicates it was created in 2016.
The "Deniers For Hire" website hyperbolically states as its goal "to expose and neutralize anti-science activist threats to humanity" and features profiles of those who have been thorns in the side of the chemical industry and related groups: scientists, journalists, lawyers, policy experts, and non-profits whom the site claims are "threats to humanity."
"Deniers for Hire" adopts language used by consumer and environmental groups to smear consumer and environmental groups. The term "deniers," for instance, invokes the phrase "climate change denier." The website calls the Center for Media and Democracy (the publisher of Sourcewatch) a "dark money group" even though the group spends zero money in campaigns and elections and makes a practice of listing major funders on its website. It calls the Organic Consumers Association — which has long pushed for strict organic standards disavowing GMOs, radiation, and sludge — an "industry front group."
Smeared by the site are New York Times reporter (and Pulitzer Prize winner) Eric Lipton, Danny Hakim, and columnist Mark Bittman; scientists Tyrone Hayes, Stephanie Seneff, and Gilles-Éric Séralini; well-known food and science writer Michael Pollan; nutrition and food studies professor Marion Nestle; non-profits the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Sierra Club, Environmental Working Group, Greenpeace, and Union of Concerned Scientists; and past and current staff of the Center for Media and Democracy, among many others.
"Deniers for Hire" Site Created by Industry Front Group ACSH
Where the "Deniers for Hire" site now says, at the bottom of each page, just "copyright 2018 | MH Newsdesk Lite by MH Themes," it once stated more clearly, "funded by the non-profit pro-science consumer advocacy group American Council on Science and Health," as revealed by archives of the site on the WayBack Machine.
ACSH has long been notorious as an industry front group, funded by the seed and chemical giant Monsanto, among others. Ralph Nader was quoted in a 1991 book on corporate front groups as saying, "A consumer group is an organization which advocates the interests of unrepresented consumers and must either maintain its own intellectual independence or be directly accountable to its membership. In contrast, ACSH is a consumer front organization for its business backers. It has seized the language and style of the existing consumer organizations, but its real purpose, you might say, is to glove the hand that feeds it."
ACSH solicits funding from corporations and has defended a number of dubious products over the years, including DDT, asbestos, and Agent Orange. ACSH has been known to call environmentalists and consumer activists "terrorists."
Ties to Jon Entine's Genetic Literacy Project
Cameron English, whose biography calls him "the editor at Deniers for Hire, a project of the American Council on Science and Health," later went on to be "Senior Agricultural Genetics and Special Projects Editor" at the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) run by PR flack Jon Entine.
GLP is another industry front group, one which companies like Monsanto use "as platforms of support for industry spokespersons" in order to discredit such targets as the World Health Organization, according to a 2018 U.S. Congressional report.
Entine is a former producer with NBC and ABC News whose books attacked the idea of socially responsible investing and the precautionary principle (Let Them Eat Precaution), as CMD has reported. He went on to join the American Enterprise Institute and has been "cultivated" by corporations like Syngenta (maker of pesticides, genetically engineered crop varieties, and more) as a trusted "third party" to accomplish items on their public relations wish lists.
The GLP website is owned by Entine’s PR firm, ESG MediaMetrics, according to its WHOIS data. The website for ESG MediaMetrics has been removed, but archived versions of the firm's site show that its clients include Monsanto, the Vinyl Institute, and Merisant, a Monsanto spin-off that manufactured artificial sweeteners.
Both ACSH and GLP are listed as "industry partners" in internal Monsanto documents. And the targets of ACSH's "Deniers for Hire" "are also targets of the GLP," according to GMWatch (another target of the site).
c/o American Council on Science and Health
New York, NY 10023-5860
Phone: (212) 362-7044
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Resources
- American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)
- Genetic Literacy Project (GLP)
- Sense about Science (SAS)
- Statistical Assessment Service (STATS)
- Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA)
- Jon Entine
- Rebecca Goldin
- Trevor Butterworth
- Mark Lynas
- Tamar Haspel
- Portal:Atrazine Exposed
- Genetic Literacy Project, Our Team, organizational website, accessed December 24, 2018.
- ICANN, GeneticLiteracyProject.org WHOIS, website registration information, accessed October 19, 2018.
- The Three Stooges of Science Denial: The Genetic Literacy Project, Sense About Science, and STATS, GM Watch, October 15, 2018.
- ICANN, DeniersForHire.com, WHOIS listing, accessed December 26, 2018.
- American Council on Science and Health, DeniersForHire.com, organizational project website, accessed December 24, 2018.
- American Council on Science and Health, DeniersForHire.com, organizational project website, archived by the WayBack Machine on June 9, 2018.
- Mark Megalli, Andy Friedman, Masks of Deception: Corporate Front Groups in America (Essential Information), 1991, p. 23.
- Gilbert Ross (then medical director of ACSH), Junk Science Week: Toxic terrorists ignore organic food threat, Financial Post, June 15, 2011.
- Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science, Minority Staff Report Prepared for Members of the Committee on Science, Space & Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, February 2018.
- Beau Hodai and Lisa Graves, Syngenta PR’s Weed-Killer Spin Machine: Investigating the Press and Shaping the "News" about Atrazine, PRWatch, February 7, 2012.
- Dun & Bradstreet, Esg Mediametrics Duns Market Identifiers Plus (US), business report, September 2, 2018.
- Results for GeneticLiteracyProject.org, ICANN WHOIS report, October 19, 2018.
- U.S. Right to Know, Archived version of ESG MediaMetrics Website from May 16, 2012, accessed October 9, 2018.
- Monsanto, ATTACHMENT A: PREPAREDNESS AND ENGAGEMENT PLAN FOR IARC CARCINOGEN RATING OF GLYPHOSATE, draft corporate document produced subject to protective order and published by One World, February 23, 2015.