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OCA Announces New Project to Monitor Biomedical Industry & Public Health

Press Advisory
For Immediate Release
May 5, 2005

For Further information contact:
Lynn Ehrle

Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the 600,000 nationwide Organic Consumers Association (OCA) announces the launch of a new OCA-sponsored project, the international Science Oversight Board (iSOB), that will expand OCA’s outreach into the biomedical and public health arena. The OCA has appointed long-time consumer advocate Lynn Howard Ehrle, who chairs the iSOB board, to assume the post of OCA Senior Biomedical Policy Analyst. In the early 90s Ehrle served as policy analyst for the OCA's predecessor group, the Pure Food Campaign, in a fight against the commercialization of Monsanto's controversial recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) into the milk supply. The iSOB oversight board will investigate and publicize conflicts of interest at academic medical centers and in governmental agencies worldwide, with a focus on the corporatization of medicine and the commodification of human life.

In the early days of his teaching career Ehrle became vice president and then president of the American Federation of Teachers union. His consumer activism began in 1969 when he became a founding member and vice president of the Consumer Alliance of Michigan, a post he held throughout the decade of the 70s. During his tenure he prepared and presented numerous briefs in utility rate cases before the Michigan Public Service Commission and was twice-nominated for a commissioner slot. In 1970, Ehrle authored the first consumer rights textbook (Consumer Rights: Battle in the Marketplace) and also founded the Consumer Educators of Michigan. He has served as a policy analyst for five environmental and public health organizations and is currently a freelance medical writer and member of the National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981).

When asked to identify the greatest public health challenge over the next decade, Ehrle responded, “We are unwilling victims in a huge radiation, chemical, and genetic engineering experiment without our informed consent.”

Ronnie Cummins concluded, "The Organic Consumers Association is happy to be sponsoring the new international Science Oversight Board. Reestablishing proper oversight over government, academia, and corporate policies that impact public health is a matter of literal life and death for American consumers and their children."