Press Statement

Letter to Kathy Fairbanks: Does No on 37 Stand Behind Extreme Views of Spokesperson Henry Miller?

October 15, 2012

Kathy Fairbanks
No on Prop 37 Campaign
1121 L Street #803
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Kathy Fairbanks:

Recently the No on Proposition 37 campaign has elevated Dr. Henry Miller, a researcher at the right-wing Hoover Institution, as a spokesman for your campaign to deny Californians the right to know if our has been genetically engineered in a laboratory.

As you may know, Dr. Miller has a highly controversial record on issues of science and public policy. Among other things, Miller has:

  • Served as a founding member of a now defunct tobacco industry front group – the Advancement of Sound Science Coalition -- that tried to discredit the links between cigarettes and cancer.
  • Written that “nicotine … is not particularly bad for you in the amounts delivered by cigarettes or smokeless products.”
  • Repeatedly argued for the re-introduction of DDT, a toxic pesticide banned in the United States since 1972.
  • Argued that those exposed to low levels of radiation after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster “could have actually benefitted from it.”
  • A seat on “scientific advisory board” of the George C. Marshall Institute, which is famous for its oil and gas industry funded denials of climate change.
  • Publicly attacked food and drug safety regulators, and called for more FDA functions to be outsourced to the very same companies the agency is supposed to regulate.

Over the past two weeks, the No on 37 campaign has put Henry Miller in front of millions of California television viewers as a spokesperson for the campaign of which you are a part. In emails, the campaign has presented Miller as a “top scientist” who people should listen to above their friends and families.

We are writing you to ask: Do you stand behind Henry Miler’s extreme views on tobacco, climate change, nuclear radiation and diminishing the FDA?

Given the $35 million your campaign is spending to prevent Californians from knowing whether our food has been genetically engineered, we believe your response on this matter speaks directly to the credibility of your campaign.  Especially so, given that five of the state’s top newspapers have written recent articles about actions your campaign has taken to mislead voters – including misrepresenting Stanford University in the first TV commercial featuring Miller, misrepresenting the Academy of Nutrition and Dieticians in the official California Voter Information Guide, and making repeated statements in advertisements that have been called “misleading” by newspaper fact checkers. (See San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee and San Jose Mercury News).   

We look forward to sharing your response with California voters.

Sincerely,
Gary Ruskin
Campaign Manager
Yes on 37 California Right to Know Campaign   

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