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The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) is a scientific organization founded in 1978 by Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. It produces reports on issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health. Its core membership is a board of 350 physicians, scientists and policy advisors who review the Council's reports and participate in ACSH seminars, press conferences, media communications and other educational activities.ACSH frequently defends industry against claims that its products create risks of injury, ill-health or death. ACSH also criticizes some industries for making unscientific and overstated health claims, promoting dangerous natural supplements, or otherwise failing to tell the truth about scientific issues. Some of the scientific and professional journals that have recently published ACSH's work include: Medscape, CRC Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Journal of Health Communications, Clinical Therepeutics, and Technology.ACSH is a nonprofit institution exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax deductible as provided by law.According to the Congressional Quarterlys Public Interest Profiles, Whelans organization received more than 75 percent of their funding from the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. As a result, the ACSH has been accused of being more of a public relations firm, and less of a neutral council on Science. Jeff Stier, Associate Director of ACSH, has claimed that this information is outdated and inaccurate, with ACSH receiving less than 50 percent of their funding from industry. Despite Dr. Whelan's oft-repeated denial that ACSH is influenced by its funders, there are instances in which funders are known to have participated directly in the production of council publications. According to the council's former administrative director, The Hershey Company did the in-house printing of an ACSH booklet on the health effects of sugar consumption, and the Stroh Brewery Company participated in the editing of a booklet about the health effects of alcohol. The participation of those companies was not acknowledged by ACSH.[http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/ACSH-Employee-View.htm "ACSH From a Past Employee's View"] Nicolas Martin, Sep. 24, 2001. The now defunct Tufts University Nutrition Navigator produced a rating guide to nutrition websites. It gave the ACSH site a rating of 20 out of 25 and an Accuracy of Information rating of 8 out of 10. However, it commented, "This site aims to arm consumers with the facts necessary to make wise decisions about health, but be aware that the information here is biased and represents a very conservative interpretation of current science. Consumers looking for a balanced debate on health issues will have to look elsewhere."Archived copy of Tufts University Nutrition Navigator American Council on Science and Health Review
Governance The organization is governed by a board of trustees. The board currently consists of: Frederick Anderson, Nigel Bark, Elissa Benedek, Norman Borlaug, Michael Bracken, James Enstrom, Jack Fisher, Bruce Gelb, Donald Henderson, Thomas Jackson, Elizabeth McCaughey, Henry Miller, Rodney Nichols, Kenneth Prager, Katherine Rhyne, Lee Silver, Thomas Stossel, and Elizabeth Whelan.Former members of the board include: Joseph Rosen.
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