In our book Trust Us, We're Experts! we describe the "third party technique" that PR experts use. Reassuring words come from the mouths of supposed objective scientific experts to convince the public that a crisis is really no problem at all. A current example would be the industry front group called the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. This organization has an impressive sounding name, but it is funded by and fronts for industry. Under Clinton's Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman it received $800,000 to produce an elaborate risk analysis study concluding that mad cow disease would be no problem in the US. Now that the disease is here, the US Department of Agriculture is refusing to take the necessary steps to stop it. Instead, the Harvard Center is all over the news media assuring the public that mad cow disease in the US is no big deal. Unfortunately, most news media so far are falling for this trick, treating the Harvard Center with a respect that it does not deserve instead of exposing its paid role in the government and industry PR campaign on mad cow disease.
Harvard Center Is A Front for Mad Cow PR