Op-Ed: 'No on 37' forced to pull TV ad misrepresenting Stanford Univ.

Posted Oct 5, 2012 by Anne Sewell
The group opposing Proposition 37, California's GMO labeling measure, had to pull their first TV ad, after millions of Californians saw it, and do a reshoot.
Monsanto GMO corn has pesticide inside the corn.
Monsanto GMO corn has pesticide inside the corn.
Video screen capture
The reason why the ad was pulled? According to the LA Times, the ad identified one Henry Miller as a doctor at Stanford University. However, the ad did not disclose that Miller merely serves as a researcher at the Hoover Institute, which is a right-wing think tank at Stanford.
Further, the ad violated Stanford's policy that prohibits consultants from using the university's name for political purposes and officials from Stanford insisted that the ad be re-shot to remove the university buildings in the background.
Ca Right to KNow
Spokeswoman for Stanford University, Lisa Lapin said that Stanford, “doesn’t take any positions on candidates or ballot measures, and we do not allow political filming on campus.” The filmmakers also are removing “the campus from the background of the video," she added.
However, in the meantime, millions of California voters had already seen the ad, which has been running hourly in major television markets across the state.
Stacy Malkan, spokesperson for the Yes on 37 California Right to Know Campaign, says, “The scandal over the Henry Miller ad is proof positive of the lack of credibility and lack of integrity of the No on 37 campaign, which is at this very moment unleashing a $35 million ad campaign of lies on the voters of California.”
Now the ad has been re-edited and is back on air, presenting Miller as a scientific expert, as he reads from talking points written by the No on 37 campaign, which claim the GMO labeling law makes no sense.
Miller is well known, as he fronts many industry groups, including Big Tobacco and Big Oil. In the past, he has argued for the re-introduction of the toxic pesticide DDT, has attacked US Food and Drug Administration safety regulators, and has even claimed that low levels of radiation can be beneficial to human health.
Malkan asks, “Who are you really going to trust?”
“On the Yes on 37 side are millions of California consumers and more than 2,000 leading health, women’s, faith-based, labor and other groups; and a growing stack of peer-reviewed research linking genetically engineered foods to health and environmental problems."
"On the No side is a small group of financially motivated corporations, including the same folks who told us DDT, Agent Orange and cigarettes were safe, making verifiably false assertions and being fronted by a well-documented special interest shill.”
Background on Henry Miller - No on 37 Science Spokesperson
Big Tobacco:
Miller was a founding member of The Advance of Sound Science Coalition, a Phillip Morris backed front group that tried to discredit the links between tobacco products and cancer.
In 1994, Henry Miller was referred to as a "key supporter" in recommending strategy to help Phillip Morris set up a worldwide effort to fight tobacco regulations as mentioned in a PR memo.
In March 2012, Miller wrote, “It may seem counter-intuitive but nicotine, although highly addictive, is not particularly bad for you in the amounts delivered by cigarettes or smokeless products."
DDT, a toxic pesticide banned in the United States since 1972 has been linked to pre-term birth and fertility impairment in women. However, Miller has repeatedly argued for the re-introduction of DDT. An extract from an article written by him reads, "Another advantage of DDT is that even when mosquitoes become resistant to its killing effects, they are still repelled by it."
Low levels of radiation are good for you:
After the Japanese tsunami and nuclear disaster, with radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear power plants, Miller actually argued that “those … who were exposed to low levels of radiation could have actually benefited from it.”
Big Oil and Big Gas:
Miller further sits on the “scientific advisory board” of the George C. Marshall Institute, famous for its oil and gas industry funded denials of climate change. See the following links:
Miller has also argued that the FDA should outsource more of its functions to private industries. He has even publicly attacked the FDA for its efforts to ensure proper vetting and testing of new drugs.
For more information visit
California Right to Know
California Right to Know
California Right to Know