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“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review

#15 Big Sugar Borrowing Tactics from Big Tobacco

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) reported in June 2014 that “food and beverage manufacturers along with industry-supported organizations such as trade associations, front groups, and public relations firms” have actively sought to ensure that Americans continue to consume sugar at high levels. The sugar industry has adopted many of the same tactics previously developed and employed by the tobacco industry, including attacking scientific evidence; spreading misinformation through industry websites, research institutes, and trade associations to deceive the public; deploying industry scientists; influencing academia; and undermining policy.

For example, in 2003 the World Health Organization (WHO) was to publish its Global Health Strategies on Diet and Health (GHSDH), which included a report that recommended lowering sugar consumption. In response, the Sugar Association—which represents sugar cane and sugar beet producers and refiners—threatened to “exercise every avenue available . . . including asking congressional appropriators to challenge future [WHO] funding.” When the GHSDH was released the following year, it did not include the recommendation on reduced sugar consumption. In 2009, Coca-Cola, Pepsi Co., and the American Beverage Association spent over $37 million to lobby against a proposed federal sugar-sweetened beverage tax. And in 2010, food and beverage companies, along with related trade associations, made “substantial political contributions” to members of the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, which had responsibility for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). Among other goals, the HHFKA sought to implement healthier school lunches, for example by eliminating sugary drinks.

The UCS report recommended greater accountability and transparency combined with science-based policy to counter the sugar industry’s aims.

In March 2015, researchers at University of California, San Francisco, published a report based on sugar industry documents that reveal how the industry “worked closely with the National Institutes of Health in the 1960s and ’70s to develop a federal research program focused on approaches other than sugar reduction to prevent tooth decay in American children.” The authors analyzed 319 internal sugar industry documents from 1959 to 1971 and National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) documents to show how the sugar industry’s interaction with the NIDR altered the research priorities of the institute’s National Caries (Tooth Decay) Program (NCP).

The UCSF study showed that the sugar industry could not deny the scientific evidence regarding the role of sucrose in tooth decay. Instead, the industry adopted a strategy “to deflect attention to public health interventions that would reduce the harms of sugar consumption rather than restricting intake.” Industry tactics included funding a vaccine against tooth decay, even though the vaccine had questionable potential for widespread use; cultivation of relationships with NIDR leadership; and submission of a report to the NIDR that became the foundation of the first request for proposals issued for the NCP. The 1971 NCP first request for research proposals from scientists directly incorporated 78 percent of the trade organization’s own research priorities.

“These tactics are strikingly similar to what we saw in the tobacco industry in the same era,” said Stanton A. Glantz, one of the study’s coauthors and a pioneer in exposing tobacco industry tactics. “Our findings are a wake-up call for government officials charged with protecting the public health, as well as public health advocates, to understand that the sugar industry, like the tobacco industry, seeks to protect profits over public health.”

Tooth decay, though largely preventable, remains the leading chronic disease among children, according to the Centers for Disease Control. “The dental community has always known that preventing tooth decay required restricting sugar intake,” said the UCSF study’s first author Cristin Kearns. “It was disappointing to learn that the policies we are debating today could have been addressed more than 40 years ago.”

“Added Sugar, Subtracted Science: How Industry Obscures Science and Undermines Public Health Policy on Sugar,” Union of Concerned Scientists, June 2014,

Kristen Bole, “‘Sugar Papers’ Reveal Industry Role in 1970s Dental Program,” University of California, San Francisco, March 10, 2015,“sugar-papers”-reveal-industry-role-1970s-dental-program.

Student Researcher: Kaitlin Allerton (College of Marin)

Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)

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