Henry I. Miller

"No study has ever linked DDT environmental exposure to harm to human health."
Position: 
Fellow at the Hoover Institution
Biography: 

Henry I. Miller, MS, MD, is the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank, and an Adjunct Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and a member of the “scientific advisory board” of the George C. Marshall Institute, which is famous for its oil and gas industry funded denials of climate change. He positions himself as an expert on public policy toward science and technology, and frequently comments on pharmaceutical development, genetic engineering in agriculture, models for regulatory reform, and the emergence of new viral diseases.

Dr. Miller began his career as a research scientist at the National Institutes of Health in 1977, and he joined the Food and Drug Administration in 1979 and had been working at FDA for 15 years. From 1989 to 1994, he was the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology. After leaving the government, Miller became the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.

Recently in the news, lawsuits posed against GMO giant, Monsanto, were unsealed - known as the "Monsanto Papers". In papers, it was revealed that Dr. Miller had Monsanto write a draft of an article which looked extremely simialr to one he would publish under his own name on Forbes in 2015. 

 

Quotes: 

“Assuming for the sake of argument that the Earth is, indeed, warming and even that it's due to human activities, any significant lowering of emissions will be too costly, too little and too late. Reductions in the burning of fossil fuels large enough to have even a modest impact would stifle economic growth and plunge the world into the kind of chaos that Gore predicts. Actions to reduce emissions should only be undertaken if they're likely to be cost-effective and if they have desirable secondary effects as well; an example would be a significant shift from fossil fuels to nuclear power.”

Henry I. Miller, Adapt and survive Gore's apocalypse, Orange County Register, March 1, 2010.

"No study has ever linked DDT environmental exposure to harm to human health."

“Those farther away who were exposed to low levels of radiation could have actually benefitted from it. If you want to understand all the nuances, get a science degree from M.I.T. Otherwise, learn from the experts -- real experts.”

Henry I. Miller, Can Tiny Amounts Of Poison Actually Be Good For You?, Forbes, December 21, 2011.

“For example, Dr. Henry I. Miller, Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar of the Institute of International Studies of the Hoover Institute of Stanford University, is one example of a key supporter with strong academic and international credentials who might assist us in this project.”

Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, "THOUGHTS ON TASSC EUROPE," archived document, accessed January 2017

“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. The vast majority of the health risks from tobacco come from the burning and inhalation of smoke. Quitting tobacco altogether remains the ideal outcome, but switching to lower-risk products would be a boon to the health of smokers.”

Henry I. Miller, The Cigarette Smokescreen, Forbes, March 21, 2012.

“Monsanto recently said that it had made significant progress in the development of herbicide-tolerant wheat. It will enable farmers to use more environmentally benign herbicides and could be ready for commercial use in the next few years. But the federal government must first approve it, a process that has become mired in excessive, expensive and unscientific regulation that discriminates against this kind of genetic engineering. The scientific consensus is that existing genetically engineered crops are as safe as the non-genetically engineered hybrid plants that are a mainstay of our diet. The government should be encouraging and promoting these technologies.”

Jayson Lush and Henry I. Miller, We Need G.M.O. Wheat, New York Times, February 2, 2014. 

“Yet even though such selective mandatory labeling has no scientific basis and is expensive to consumers, those who believe that genetically engineered food is unsafe and those with a financial stake in disparaging genetically engineered foods—primarily the organic and “natural products” industries--soldier on.Thus, a law that compels a product label to contain specific information about the use of a safe and proven manufacturing process that is unrelated to a health or safety outcome would be extremely unlikely to survive strict scrutiny.Labeling that requires foods to be identified as containing “genetically engineered” ingredients—which are in no way systematically different from “non-genetically engineered” foods—would appear to fail strict scrutiny.”

Henry I. Miller, Supreme Court Free-Speech Decision Clobbers GMO Food-Labeling Activists, Forbes, September 16, 2015.

“Mandatory GE labeling fails every test: scientific, economic, legal and common sense.”

Henry I. Miller, Mandatory Labeling Of Genetically Engineered Foods Deserves A Warning Label Of Its Own, Forbes, October 9, 2013.

"Demands were made for governmental protection against unseen, unlikely, and often largely imaginary risks. The products of the new biotechnology often were regarded as though they were mysterious and alien substances transported here from another galaxy, instead of the result of precise and well-understood scientific processes."

In the same book, Miller refers to biotechnology as "the closest thing to a free lunch in the technological firmament."

SourceWatch - Henry I. Miller

Evidence: 

GMOs

Miller is an outspoken advocate of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). In February 2014 he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times entitled "We Need G.M.O. Wheat," with Jayson Lusk, professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University.

Jayson Lush and Henry I. Miller, We Need G.M.O. Wheat, New York Times, February 2, 2014.

In September 2015 Miller wrote an article for Forbes entitled “Supreme Court Free-Speech Decision Clobbers GMO Food-Labeling Activists”.

Henry I. Miller, Supreme Court Free-Speech Decision Clobbers GMO Food-Labeling Activists, Forbes, September 16, 2015.

Two years earlier, Miller also wrote an article for Forbes in October 2013 entitled “Mandatory Labeling Of Genetically Engineered Foods Deserves A Warning Label Of Its Own”.

Henry I. Miller, Mandatory Labeling Of Genetically Engineered Foods Deserves A Warning Label Of Its Own, Forbes, October 9, 2013.

In 2004 Miller and political scientist Gregory Conko published a book entitled The Frankenfood Myth: How Protest and Politics Threaten the Biotech Revolution. In that book, Miller refers to biotechnology as "the closest thing to a free lunch in the technological firmament."

SourceWatch - Henry I. Miller

 

Climate Denial

Henry I. Miller also serves as a member of the “scientific advisory board” of the George C. Marshall Institute. The George C. Marshall Institute has been exposed by Desmogblog for its oil and gas industry funded denials of climate change and association with ExxonMobil.

Competitive Enterprise Institute - Henry I. Miller

Desmogblog - George C. Marshall Institution

In March 2010 Miller wrote an op-ed for the Orange County Register named “Adapt and survive Gore's apocalypse”, which spread discredited global warming science denial.

Henry I. Miller, Adapt and survive Gore's apocalypse, Orange County Register, March 1, 2010.

Defense of Pesticides

In September 2012 Miller and his comrade Gregory Conko co-authored an article entitled “Rachel Carson’s Deadly Fantasies” on Forbes, calling on re-evaluation of DDT, a toxic pesticide banned in the United States since 1972, which has been linked to pre-term birth and fertility impairment in women.

Defense of Tobacco Industry

In 1994 in a memo written by the Apco Associates PR firm (now called Apco Worldwide) for Philip Morris (PM) Miller’s name is specifically cited as a “key supporter”.

In March 2012 Miller also published an article on Hoover Institution’s website entitled “The Cigarette Smokescreen”. In this article Miller criticized FDA’s approach to tobacco products.

Other Controversies

Right before the Christmas in 2011, Miller wrote an article on Forbes, named “Can Tiny Amounts Of Poison Actually Be Good For You?”. In the article Miller argued the detected levels of radiation from outside of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were very low could benefit Japanese people.

Financial Ties with Corporations

No On 37 Campaign

As a well-known outspoken GMO defender, Miller was also corporations’ frontline warrior in the “No On Proposition 37” Campaign. Proposition 37 was a Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food Initiative in California and it was defeated in 2012. Campaign was funded largely by the biggest six GMO and pesticide corporations, like BASF, Bayer, Dupont, Dow Chemical Company, Syngenta, and Monsanto with an estimated $41 million donation. A political campaign management and advertising firm named Winner & Mandabach Campaigns was paid $14.7 million for "TV or cable airtime and production costs" in September 2012. Miller was featured in the most “effective” ad during the campaign, telling voters in California that Proposition 37 “doesn’t make sense”.

California Secretary of State campaign finance data.

California Secretary of State campaign finance data.

Rebekah Wilce, California GMO Labeling Supporters Confront $41 Million Opposition and 13-Point Poll Slide, PRWatch, October 25, 2012.