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Center for Global Food Issues Calls for Transparency for Environmental Groups Behind Atrazine Campaign
Date:6/18/2010

lar scare” and the current campaign against atrazine. Avery cites records that show that by 2004, the tax-exempt organization had received nearly $6.5 million in discretionary grants from the EPA since 1993, noting the EPA conceded all the discretionary grants awarded to the NRDC were awarded without competition. Additionally, Avery contends tax returns show NRDC received $350,000 in government money in 2007; similarly, the allied Land Stewardship Project also receives about 14 percent of its money from government grants.

Furthermore, Avery states in the entry that “according to its most recently available tax return, from 2007, the NRDC received revenues of more than $100 million and has net assets of more than $187 million. According to the Green Tracking Library, former NRDC president and founder John H. Adams had a combined 2006 income of $757,464. Just because the NRDC is officially non-profit does not mean it cannot make money from its attacks. In going after alar, the NRDC caused apple farmers to lose more than $100 million.”

Also notable, Avery highlights quote by PR strategist David Fenton in the aftermath of alar campaign: “We designed [the alar campaign so that revenue would flow back to the National Resources Defense Council from the public, and we sold this book about pesticides through a 900 number and the (Phil) Donahue show. And to date there has been $700,000 in net revenue from it.”

Avery remarks, “I suggest that reporters, if they really want to fulfill their watchdog function, maybe ask some of these activists where their funding comes from. This is particularly important, as the activist campaign against atrazine is based largely on discrediting the ‘industry-based’ science on which regulatory approval has been at least partially based. If the default assumption is that money is the root of all evil, then transparency should be the price of being taken seriously b
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