An excerpt from this post from the Weston A. Price Foundation:
I just reread Dr. Enig’s great article “The Tragic Legacy of CSPI” (at www. westonaprice.org) and noticed that she says the Center for Science in the Public Interest is very secretive of their funding sources, something that hasn’t been true, at least, for the past few years. If you go to www.www.cspinet.org/about/funding.html, you will not only find this information, but also that they received their founding funding (1971-1979) from a very short list of foundations: Arca Foundation (founded by Nancy Susan [Reynolds] Bagely, R.J. Reynolds’ third child), Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (R.J. Reynolds’ second child), Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation (youngest child of William Rockefeller, JDR’s younger brother and partner in Standard Oil, etc.), Rockefeller Family Fund, and Wallace Genetic Foundation. Not exactly who you’d expect to be financing an organization supported by so many vegetarians.
The C.S. Fund is also on this list (and has been for years), but according to Kelly Knox, CSPI’s deputy director of development, this is incorrect; it was just these five foundations. She said the grants they’ve received related to this source came from the Ruth Mott Foundation beginning in 1980 (mother of Maryanne Mott, who started the C.S. Fund in 1981), wife of prominent Republican Charles Mott, a founder of General Motors and on their board for sixty years.
However, according to Rose at the C.S. Fund, these two organizations are entirely separate, and they did give CSPI several grants starting in 1983, though only erroneously listed the one time. I wonder what else isn’t true? In any case, much of their funding, ever since, comes from some equally strange bedfellows.
Also according to Knox, Michael Jacobson, James Sullivan, and Albert Fritsch (on their site it says Jacobson and two other scientists, and Knox only knew Sullivan’s name) were working at Ralph Nader’s Center for the Study of Responsive Law when they decided to go off on their own in 1971 and start CSPI. Sullivan and Fritsch were gone by 1977, and Jacobson has always been the executive director. She said their original goal was to create an environment where “scientists could come together to advocate for science-based policy that would affect public health.” On their site their Mission Statement says they’re “a consumer advocacy organization whose twin missions are to conduct innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being.”
Thank goodness big oil and tobacco were willing to support Dr. Jacobson’s pursuit of such important goals on our behalf. But, of course, the obvious question is why? Well, if you search their site for soy, “The Soy Story” (sound familiar?) comes up at the top of the list, and by the second paragraph there’s a quote from “soy expert Mark Messina of Loma Linda University,” the king of pro-soy industry propaganda. And their dedication to the promotion of soy-based “foods” is legendary.
However, some of the best clues can be found amidst Soyinfo Center’s “A Comprehensive History of Soy” (soyinfocenter.com). Though these folks are devoted to soybeans (and well-respected by the industry), their profuse amount of information actually provides excellent proof of how soybeans were moved into our diets during the twentieth century (including lots about the edible oil industry, and development of the trade associations), and how much and in what forms soy foods were traditionally eaten in Asia versus elsewhere, prior to this.
Of particular interest with regard to the funding question, though, is the article on Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (#68/#2), soy’s first and most avid promoter. The Rockefellers, DuPonts, and other very powerful people were guests at his Battle Creek Sanitarium, but do a search for Kellogg, both alone and along with Rockefeller, as I did, and see what comes up. And the article on Dr. Artemy Alexis Horvath (#70) explains that he was working at the Peking Union Medical College, owned by the Rockefeller Foundation, when he compiled (at their request) what would become the official history of soy use in China (Horvath then continued working for them in the U.S.). I’ll allow you to discover for yourself what this leads to and just add that it’s scary, but really fascinating information that, like me, you’ve probably never heard of before.
Raleigh, North Carolina