Environmental Working Group Abandons Independent Pretense And Puts Another Industry Executive On Its Board

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Environmental Working Group, which promotes fear and doubt about the (non-organic) American food supply each year with its so-called Dirty Dozen list, tries to pretend they are not industry-driven. But they are totally industry-driven, they just engage in meaningless anti-science virtue signaling while doing so. 

They will happily take industry funding, as long as the company is one of the "socially responsible companies that offer a wide range of products and services, including organic food, personal care products and financial services." How do you know if you can pass muster as a socially responsible company for EWG? It seems all you have to do is give them money and your ethical sins are washed away. 

So Organic Valley is socially responsible, even though they just funded a study written by discredited economist Chuck Benbrook, famous for blatantly offering results for hire to organic companies. What did their industry-funded study find? That the "grass fed" milk they sell to wealthy elites is nutritionally superior to your peasant milk.

Stonyfield Farms, chaired by Gary Hirshberg, who made his organic yogurt company successful by importing dried milk from foreign countries and shipping it in on emissions-belching ships. They told him it's organic so it must be, and if all that shipping ruins Gaia for those of who us who buy local yogurt, too bad. The reputation of his brand is so bad that its former owner jettisoned it so they could buy a dairy company without the stigma, meaning Stonyfield, which sells bucolic small-town imagery for its customers, is actually part of the largest dairy multi-national conglomerate in the world. Stonyfield is the poster child for Industrial Food.

Dr. Bronner Soaps - they literally sell magic soap. And they hate vaccines.

Given their cozy relationship with industry and their ability to lobby for their clients so successfully, it is no surprise that they have named top organic baby food company founder Shazi Visram to their Board, at the suggestion of Gary Hirshberg himself.

Visram had already founded the company years earlier when her son was diagnosed with autism, but she became convinced it was due to conventional (yet somehow not organic) pesticides in food.

“When my son was diagnosed with autism, it became clear to me and my husband that it would be up to us to be his voice. I realized how it was also my duty to do everything I could to protect the health of all babies in as proactive a manner as possible,” Visram said. “I’m honored to join EWG to help shape and support the organization’s incredible efforts to protect the environmental health of mothers, babies and children.”

Shouldn't we assume that since she founded her organic baby food company in 2006 her child didn't eat any conventional food in 2010? How can she blame regular American farming for her son's diagnosis?

People who know what they are talking about, scientists and psychiatrists, obviously object to the notion that Visram's baby food, or anything organic, will prevent autism - but while lobbying, scaremongering, litigation and industry relationships have long been part of EWG culture, science never has been.


What you see on the EWG landing page. If you believe glyphosate can be harmful you probably also believe you need to buy organic pineapples...you know, to keep pesticides out.

Double bonus:

Their claim about industry funding. If this was real, they would have as little industry funding as us. But it isn't. For one thing, this graphic has not been updated since 2011. For another, they hide even more industry funding. Organic Voices Action Fund is a (c)(4) organization, so a political lobbying group, and is 100% industry funded. They have a "shared services" agreement with EWG, which means they pay rent, staff salaries, etc. for EWG, all while pretending it is not industry funding. Industry front groups are really smart about this stuff, which is is why they are all so much larger than those of us on the pro-science side.