Lies Exposed: CSPI’s Organized Attack Against Mercola
Reproduced from original article:
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked August 17, 2020
- For decades, our mission has been to help you take control of your health. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has launched a comprehensive campaign to put an end to Mercola.com
- CSPI president Dr. Peter Lurie is a former FDA associate commissioner and avid supporter of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
- Lurie falsely asserts that I make COVID-19 claims for nutritional supplements sold in my online store. A complete review was made of all products in the Mercola Market and none of the CSPI accusations exists
- CSPI is bankrolled by billionaires and their corporate entities, such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Family Fund and Bloomberg Philanthropies. It has also partnered with Bill Gates’ agrichemical PR group, the Cornell Alliance for Science. Greg Jaffe, who heads up CSPI’s Biotechnology Project, is also the associate director of legal affairs at Alliance for Science
- CSPI also takes significant funds from the American Heart Association, which received heavy financial backing by the makers of Crisco, the top-selling trans fat product ever sold. The AHA also takes money from pharmaceutical companies manufacturing statin drugs
- In the 1980s, CSPI conducted a highly successful campaign promoting trans fat, resulting in an epidemic of heart disease. It later white-washed its history, omitting its promotion of trans fat from the organization’s historical timeline
For the past two decades, my mission has been to help you take control of your health. Recent developments now threaten my ability to do that. July 21, 2020, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) issued a press release1 and testified in a Senate hearing on the topic of COVID-19 scams.
The press release contained lies, fabrications and a reckless disregard for truth in an attempt to put an end to me and this website.
Additionally, in an August 12, 2020, email, CSPI president Dr. Peter Lurie2 — a former FDA associate commissioner — claims I’m “profiting from the pandemic” through “anti-vaccine fearmongering” and reporting of science-based nutrition shown to impact your disease risk. According to Lurie:
“Mercola brazenly has claimed that many of his products are coronavirus treatments or cures, including vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, ‘molecular hydrogen,’ licorice, and other substances.
Besides profiting from the pandemic, Mercola has seemingly advised people to contract COVID-19 after taking supposedly ‘immunity boosting’ supplements (which of course he sells). Making matters worse, Mercola is a leading proponent of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories — and has been fearmongering against prospective COVID-19 vaccines even before such vaccines are available!”
CSPI is now urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission “to bring enforcement proceedings against Mercola and his companies for their unlawful disease claims that falsely and misleadingly claim to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19 infections.”
Lurie is asking CSPI members to flood these agencies with prewritten Tweets urging them to take action against us. You may have been one of the people who received this urging if you made the mistake of subscribing to their irresponsibly misleading organization.
How CSPI Is Spinning False Claims
Conveniently omitting the fact that I am a board-certified physician, the CSPI falsely claims I am promoting “at least 22 vitamins, supplements and other products” available on my website as being able to “prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 infection.”
These are some pretty hefty accusations to make, but luckily CSPI has provided an Appendix of Illegal Claims to easily verify the evidence they’ve uncovered, which you can view here.3 According to Lurie, I make COVID-19 claims for products such as Fermented Licorice Powder sold in the Mercola Market.4
You won’t find any claims as Lurie says, because they don’t exist. He is either delusional or lying. In CSPI’s listing for Solspring brand Fermented Licorice Powder in the Appendix, CSPI provides a link to an article about the benefits of glycyrrhizin, a compound found in licorice.
The article contains nine references to scientific journals, including The Lancet. What is not found in this article? Product advertisements or references to fermented licorice powder of any kind, let alone the Solspring brand.
Each product listed in the CSPI Appendix goes through the same bogus rearrangement of information, grabbing a snippet from a newsletter article and falsely applying it to my product pages. In reality, no product claims are made in the articles, and no COVID-19 claims are made on my product pages.
Here’s what The Lancet had to say about licorice: “Of all the compounds, glycyrrhizin was the most active in inhibiting replication of the SARS-associated virus.”
Is this newsworthy to you? Do you find it interesting and relevant? Do you see any product ads on this page? Can you find any mention of “fermented licorice powder” on this page, as Lurie claims? No. That’s a complete lie and fabrication.
Each product listed in the CSPI Appendix goes through the same bogus rearrangement of information, grabbing a snippet from a newsletter article and falsely applying it to a completely unrelated product advertisement. In reality, no product claims are made in the articles, and no COVID-19 claims are made on any product pages found at the Mercola Market.
So, just what sort of intentional misrepresentation is going on here? What kind of legal charlatan would do something so reckless? It just so happens CSPI is the right charlatan for this con-job.
Two Decades of Health Journalism Are at Stake
For the last 23 years, I’ve fought against putting neurotoxic fluoride in the water. I was one of the first doctors to alert the world about the dangers of Vioxx, which killed more than 60,000 patients before it was finally withdrawn from the market. I’ve campaigned against GMO’s and toxic agrichemicals, funding the original signature gathering to get GMO labeling in California in 2012.
For over a decade, I’ve funded the battle to end the use of mercury dental fillings worldwide. I’ve warned against the overuse of antibiotics in human medicine and the dangers of consuming them in CAFO meats.
I’ve funded research and was one of the first physician journalists to bring major awareness to the hazards of vitamin D deficiency. I’m now rallying public awareness of the importance to optimize vitamin D to minimize COVID-19 risks.
This public health advocacy has created an army of well-funded adversaries. They’ve attacked me using expensive PR groups and mass media, captured federal regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical front groups in an attempt to silence and discredit me.
Never before have Americans been exposed to such a coordinated assortment of lies and censorship. The brainwashing, social media surveillance, coercion and destruction of dissenters are accelerating. For a comprehensive overview of this New World Order, an empire built and run by billionaires, see my “Ghost in the Machine” article series.
CSPI Is Bankrolled by Billionaires With Their Own Agenda
Who bankrolls CSPI? Major hint, the general public plays a very tiny role in their funding. According to Influence Watch:5
“In 2017 CSPI’s received 37.6% ($5.3 million) of its revenue from membership dues and subscriptions to its Nutrition Action Healthletter. CSPI also took in 35.6% ($5 million) of its funding from contributions, and 15% ($2.2 million) of its revenue from foundational grants.
A number of foundations have given money to CSPI, among them the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Tides Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.”
CSPI has also partnered with Bill Gates’ agrichemical PR group, the Cornell Alliance for Science. In fact, Greg Jaffe, who heads up CSPI’s Biotechnology Project, is also the Alliance for Science associate director of legal affairs.6
CSPI Promoted GMOs and Trans Fat
For years, CSPI fought against your right to know the truth about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in your food, saying GMO labels would be “misleading.”7
Apparently, they think GMO soy and corn drenched in toxic pesticides are in the public’s best interest, and they see no problem with synthetic fertilizer runoff poisoning fresh water supplies, or draining aquifers for irrigation.
Ironically, the top human ingredients from the genetically engineered products are high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil. CSPI should likely change the name of the ‘Nutrition Action’ newsletter that competes with my own.
As if that isn’t enough, starting in the late 1980s, CSPI championed harmful trans fats,8 a tragically misguided yet thoroughly effective campaign that resulted in epidemic levels of heart disease. In fact, they celebrated their victory of converting Americans away from healthy saturated fats to trans fats, calling it “a great boon to Americans’ arteries.”9
It was largely the result of CSPI’s campaign that fast-food restaurants replaced beef tallow, palm oil and coconut oil with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are high in synthetic trans fats linked to heart disease and other chronic diseases.
As late as 1988, CSPI praised trans fats, saying “there is little good evidence that trans fats cause any more harm than other fats” and that “much of the anxiety over trans fats stems from their reputation as ‘unnatural.'”10
CSPI is also heavily funded by the American Heart Association,11 a group that in 1948 received a gift of $1.75 million from Procter & Gamble,12 the makers of Crisco, the top trans fat sold for decades. The cash bonanza, thanks to a radio contest, gave the 24-year-old AHA a solid footing to buy its way into America as one of the country’s most influential health organizations from then, on.
If that were not enough, today the AHA is funded in part by pharmaceutical companies making statins that fight the damage caused by trans fat,13,14 such as Pfizer, maker of Lipitor, which in 2011 was the world’s top-selling drug.15 In 2018-2019, Pfizer gifted the AHA with a hefty $824,595. Novartis, which also makes statins, gave the AHA a whopping $3.4 million that same year.
And, back to where we started with CSPI, in its 2018 Form 990 the AHA reports that it gave CSPI $49,500 in cash.16 This, despite the fact that in 2003 CSPI published a report on lifting the veil of secrecy on how agencies like itself are funded — at the time, proudly declaring that CSPI doesn’t accept industry funding.17
I guess they think you don’t have to count it as industry money if you’re accepting that money from a major nonprofit that got its money from corporate and industry dollars. You can’t make this stuff up — it is hard to come up with groups that have had a more devastating impact on Americans’ health than the AHA — and CSPI is partly funded by it.
Which Side Is CSPI On?
In 2003, the Weston A. Price Foundation rightfully questioned whether CSPI might actually be promoting the interests of the soy industry rather than public health:18
“It is impossible to measure the hazards and grief … the leaders of the major nutrition ‘activist’ consumer organization have inflicted on many millions of an unknowing public — because CSPI’s campaign was wildly successful.
Thanks to CSPI, healthy traditional fats have almost completely disappeared from the food supply, replaced by manufactured trans fats known to cause many diseases.
By 1990, most fast food chains had switched to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. In 1982, a McDonald’s meal of chicken McNuggets, large order of fries and a Danish or pie contained 2.4 grams of trans fat, out of a total of 54 grams of fat. In 1992, that same meal contained 19.2 grams trans fats, a 700 percent increase …
Who benefits? Soy, or course. Eighty percent of all partially hydrogenated oil used in processed foods in the US comes from soy, as does 70 percent of all liquid oil.
CSPI claims that its [financial] support comes from subscribers to its Nutrition Action newsletter … but in fact, in CSPI’s January 1991 newsletter, Jacobson notes that ‘our effort was ultimately joined … by the American Soybean Association.'”
CSPI Deceptively Erased Its Deadly History
Today, you’ll have to dig deep to unearth CSPI’s deadly campaign. In an act of deception, they erased it from their history to make people believe they’ve been doing the right thing all along. Notice how their historical timeline19 of trans fat starts at 1993 — the year CSPI realized the jig was up and they had to support the elimination of trans fat.
As reported in my 2015 article, “Did CSPI Kill Millions by Recommending Trans Fats?” CSPI rigorously campaigned for trans fat prior to 1993, resulting in an avalanche of ill health. (Should I mention that in December 1993 the AHA wrote in the journal Circulation that they didn’t believe Americans consumed enough trans fat to have a major effect on their LDL and HDL levels?20)
Post 1993, CSPI spent the next two decades raising funds to lobby against the very same trans fat they’d once promoted. Perhaps CSPI is just angry because I won’t let them get away with hiding their deadly history.
For years, CSPI has worked “in the public’s interest” in name only. Now, they’re attacking your right to be informed about the potential benefits of nutritional supplements and how you can bolster your immune system, thus minimizing your risk of COVID-19 and other infections.
My articles report published science. There’s scientific support for discussing the benefits of certain nutrients and inexpensive treatments against COVID-19 and other viral illnesses. It’s not pure speculation, it’s not fake news and it’s not a danger to public health, as CSPI would like everyone to believe.
It Is Time to Expose CSPI’s Lies
CSPI’s campaign in the 80’s switched Americans onto heart disease causing trans fats. CSPI fought against your right to know GMO’s, and is partnered with Bill Gates’ agrichemical PR group – Alliance for Science. CPSI wants vitamins and supplements banned, and is trying to bring an end to the mercola.com website.
Please share the truth about this dangerous group that is bankrolled by billionaires. Email, tweet, text and share by any method possible and help expose the CSPI lies.
- 1 CSPI July 21, 2020
- 2 CSPI July 19, 2017
- 3 Illegal Claims Pertaining to Mercola Group Products (PDF)
- 4 Solspring brand Fermented Licorice Powder
- 5 Influence Watch CSPI
- 6 Counterpunch January 10, 2019
- 7 ACSH.org January 29, 2015
- 8, 9 The Atlantic November 8, 2013
- 10 The Free Library, The Truth About Trans Fat, CSPI 1988
- 11, 16 AHA Form 990 2018 Page 55
- 12 Psychology Today April 18, 2016
- 13 AHA Total Corporate Support Filing 2018-2019
- 14 The Chronicle of Philanthropy September 6, 2010
- 15 Crain’s New York Business December 27, 2011
- 17 CSPI Lifting the Veil of Secrecy June 2003
- 18 Weston A Price Foundation January 6, 2003
- 19 CSPI Timeline for Trans Fat
- 20 Circulation December 1993