Another public interest advocate who would speak only on background said he and his colleagues are troubled by Doyles affiliation with the American Council on Science and Health. Doyle is one of among hundreds of leading scientific advisers to the organization, which, according to its Web site, is a consumer education consortium concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health. But this source said the council is vehemently anti-regulatory.
Jeff Stier, ACSH associate director, strongly disagrees with that assessment of his organization.
My organization represents consumers around the country, Stier said. These groups who think, if you disagree with us, then youre in the pocket of industry I find that a very offensive allegation ... to suggest that someones paying us to lie. The very thing that makes us credible is that we have so many wonderful scientists, like Dr. Doyle, advising us.
In an interesting twist, one of the candidates that consumer groups have floated as their preferred pick for the food safety job is Caroline Smith DeWaal, who directs the food safety program at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The catch? She was recently a registered lobbyist for the group, and the Obama administration has famously said that, with very few exceptions, lobbyists need not apply.