DAVID FENTON, ALAR AND MAD COW DISEASE

BY Editor -2003

In September of 1992 I wrote the following short paragraph:

“David Fenton of Fenton Communications, a Washington publicist was hired by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to orchestrate the ALAR apple scare in 1989. Some of Mr. Fenton’s other clients have been the Christic Institute, the governments of Jamaica (under Michael Manley), Grenada (under Maurice Bishop), Greece (under Andreas Papandreou) and the Peoples Republic of Angola. He is typically hired to carry out an “information strategy” including contacts with influential editors, reporters, producers, anchormen, columnists and news media executives in the United States.”

He also represents World Wildlife Fund, and the radical activist group Greenpeace. More on Fenton later, but I also wrote about the ALAR MYTH.

“One of the greatest myths perpetrated on Americans was in 1988 when an extremist environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), pulled off a PR campaign that deserves an Oscar. In it they successfully used 60 Minutes and Meryl Streep to control our behavior with an attack on Alar. They made us believe Alar was the worst thing on earth to spray on apples.

I can remember watching Meryl Streep’s academy award winning performance in front of a congressional committee crying out, “What are you doing to our children?”

Alar had been presented as a cancer causing pesticide. It is neither cancer causing nor is it a pesticide. The NRDC scientists claimed there was a link between Alar and tumors found in laboratory mice, when in fact there was no such link. They had exposed the mice to mega doses of Alar, which in humans would be equal to eating 28,000 pounds of apples per day for 70 years.

What they didn’t tell us was the mice that were given half the dosage, in humans being equal to 14,000 pounds of apples per day for 70 years, produced no tumors.

 As far as what Alar is, it is a growth regulator that helps keep the apples on the trees longer giving them more time to develop and firm up, being less prone to bruises. Dr. John A. Moore, the acting EPA administrator at the time said, “In the Alar case, the public was very prone to give credence to the selective and inappropriate use of data regarding consumer risks and to believe ‘the worst,’ despite a counter statement by the EPA.” 60 Minutes chose to ignore the EPA’s news releases rejecting the NRDC’s claims.

The NRDC report was finally rejected in peer review.

 Yet the apple industry lost over $200 million, Alar was removed from the market, apples are now deteriorating faster and Meryl Streep is still around to help brainwash us again with the next myth.

As for the NRDC, they are now heading up an attack on 24 pesticides in California. They are attempting to have the markets in California remove any item grown with the use of pesticides.

A pesticide to a plant is what medicine is to a human. Pesticides protect crops and animals and they repel or destroy insects, diseases and weeds. They do not harm humans and are the primary reason we have been able to increase the production of food. Instead of eliminating pesticides we should be sharing them with all countries to increase their food production. But some NRDC scientist will come up with some wild statement that will also be rejected in peer review, hopefully before we make another mistake.”

BACK TO FENTON

Later Fenton said “We designed [the Alar campaign] so that revenue would flow back to the Natural Resources Defense Council from the public,” he told his other clients in an internal memo later reprinted by The Wall Street Journal. “And we sold this book about pesticides through a 900 number and the ‘Donahue Show.’ And to date there has been $700,000 in net revenue from it.” Activistcash.com says of Fenton:

“Fenton started out in the music biz, directing public relations for Rolling Stone. He entered the activist fray in the anti-nuclear movement of the late 1970’s, co-producing the 1979 “No Nukes” concerts headlined by Bruce Springsteen and Bonnie Raitt. From there, he went on to found his own activism-centered PR empire, Fenton Communications, in 1982. Within that umbrella are “three independent nonprofit organizations” all co-founded by Fenton: the Death Penalty Information Center, New Economy Communications (an anti-globalism outfit), and Environmental Media Services.”

Besides being the co-founder of Environmental Media Services, he is a board member of the Environmental Working Group (EWG). In an article published in the Washington Times, Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, wrote:

“…EWG president once conceded to the Weekly Standard that the Environmental Working Group
does not have a single doctor or scientist on staff.”

In an article on FrontPage.com entitled Will the Leftists Kill “Bambi”?, Lowell Ponte wrote:

“Fenton also helps connect reporters with four key alarmist Mad Deer “experts.” One of the Fenton Four regularly quoted by the New York Times as an “independent researcher” is Thomas Pringle, a mathematician, vegetarian, and anti-development activist from the radical haven of Eugene, the “Berkeley of Oregon,” with friends in the militant environmental group Earth First!

Pringle describes himself as “Head of Research” for a foundation that seems to exist mostly in his own home office. The Times repeatedly has puffed Pringle’s pronouncements as if he speaks with the expertise of the Harvard Medical School.

Others promoted to the media by Fenton as “experts” on Mad Deer are (1) John Stauber, author of Mad Cow U.S.A.: Could It Happen Here? (2) Lawyer Joseph Mendelson, who filed lawsuits on behalf of the two who purportedly died from Mad Deer, is legal director of the eco-activist International Center for Technology Assessment, which in turn is closely linked to the activist Center for Food Safety where the “Mad Deer” issue was launched. And (3) Michael Hansen, spokesman and researcher for the Consumer Policy Institute of those fine folks who publish Consumer Reports, the increasingly-activist Consumers Union; Hansen is also author of Biotechnology and Milk: Benefit or Threat?

Read or see most media stories over the past year about “Mad Deer Disease” and chances are that your brain was influenced by frightening things quoted there from at least one of these four activists presented to you merely as an “expert.” One of the four, John Stauber, ironically is also author of a book critical of business, establishment science, and the media entitled Trust Us – We’re Experts!”

Pringle, who is a Ph.D. in mathematics (AND A VEGETARIAN) has a web-site called www.mad-cow.org and if you log on the first paragraph notes a connection to Sperling Biomedical Foundation, whose officers, according to AnimalNet are Pringle, his brother John and Doug Heiken, regional director of the environmental activist Oregon Natural Resources Council. The paragraph also states “Note: news, policy, commentar, medicine have moved to new site.” Go ahead, click on it, you’ll end up at the Organic Consumer Association’s web site.

So we’ve learned about Fenton, false science, scare mongering and we’ve ended up with Mad Cow disease and organic food nuts. Why am I not surprised and what are you thinking right now? That you haven’t heard any of this on CNN or the elite media or that what I’m implying makes me a nut! Why not start finding out for yourself?

Editor is the Publisher/Editor of SUANews.com. For more information, visit www.suanews.com. Permission to forward or copy this article is freely given as long as you include all information about Editor and www.suanews.com.

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