head shot of Jill Stein in front of trees

Anti-Science Claims Shadow Stein

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has been waging an uphill battle for name recognition as she pursues her White House bid.

August 21, 2016 | Source: Georgia World | by

WASHINGTON — Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has been waging an uphill battle for name recognition as she pursues her White House bid.

But as she emerges in the public eye — she is participating in a CNN-hosted town hall on Wednesday — so have some of the retired medical doctor’s past controversial comments on vaccines, her concerns about wireless Internet use being linked to poor health and her call for a moratorium on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Emerging out of the mid-20th century environmental movement, the Green Party is at its foundation skeptical of establishment guidance and wary of corporate influence in all areas, including science. Stein, the face of the Green Party, has experienced significant backlash online as she has moved from her base within the Green Party to a national audience.

The critiques have been particularly cutting because she has railed against her mainstream opponents as anti-science and called for legal action against oil companies for disseminating information at odds with climate science.

The Green Party is first and foremost an environmentalist political movement, constantly calling for action over the established threat of climate change. Stein has made her signature policy a “Green New Deal,” which would attempt to revolutionize the US energy system and combat climate change.

Stein slammed the notion she was anti-science, telling CNN on Wednesday it was an attempt “by our detractors in the political establishment, amplified by some in the media, to discredit our campaign.”


The most pervasive of the critiques has been Stein’s past statements with regard to vaccines.

Her critics have said Stein played toward so-called “anti-vaxxers” when she told The Washington Post people had “real questions” over vaccines and their potential side-effects.

In an “ask me anything” post on Reddit, she accused the regulatory system in the US of corruption, calling the vaccine approval regime a case where “the foxes are guarding the chicken coop.”

Stein, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, says criticism of her on the issue is akin to the “‘birther’ controversy that hounded President (Barack) Obama” and “swift boat” attacks, made against John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.

“Dr. Jill Stein has repeatedly articulated her support for vaccinations in interviews and online,” Stein’s campaign said in a statement.

The third-party candidate has said her concern stemmed from corporate influence in the regulatory space, which she believes could prioritize profit over health. In response to an inquiry, Stein said Wednesday morning that she is effectively “the most pro-vaccine and pro-health candidate in this race.”

Asked if “real questions” about vaccines remain, the Stein campaign said it was still concerned over pharmaceutical industry influence over the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process and cited a 1998 anonymous survey of FDA medical officers.

“Anyone who supports vaccinations and wishes to prevent dropping vaccination rates should be concerned about the erosion of public trust caused by the corrupting influence of the pharmaceutical industry in regulatory agencies and government in general,” Stein said in the statement.

The vaccine issue has been a thorny one in recent years, with skeptics taking root in the left and right ends of the US political spectrum.

Several other politicians have gotten flak on the issue, including Republican nominee Donald Trump and former Rep. Michele Bachmann, whose insistence on a potential link between vaccines and autism contributed to her failed 2012 GOP presidential bid.

Trump has voiced his concerns over vaccines for years, writing on Twitter in 2012: “Massive combined inoculations to small children is the cause for big increase in autism….”

In 2014, he wrote, “I am being proven right about massive vaccinations—the doctors lied. Save our children & their future.”