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AEI-Byrne Biotechnology Protest Industry 2003

AEI-Byrne Biotechnology Protest Industry 2003

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Published by Jay Byrne
Jay Byrne chapter in "Let Them Eat Precaution: How politics is undermining the genetic revolution in agriculture" published by AEI, 2003.
Jay Byrne chapter in "Let Them Eat Precaution: How politics is undermining the genetic revolution in agriculture" published by AEI, 2003.

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Published by: Jay Byrne on Nov 01, 2011
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10/03/2013

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American Enterprise Institute 2003 page 11
 
Biotechnology, the Media, and Public Policy
PAPERS AND STUDIESAEI Online (Washington)Publication Date: June 12, 2003
 
THE AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY PROTEST INDUSTRYJay Byrne
President of v-Fluence Interactive Public Relations with 20 years of experience inpublic relations, campaign communications, and government affairs, formerlyholding communications positions at the White House, U.S. State Department,Monsanto Company, and for the City of Boston. v-Fluence is a public affairs, is-sues management and marketing support firm with special expertise in biotech-nology that analyzes and manages online risks.Agricultural biotechnology has provoked a media and marketing debate of a pitch andvigor rarely seen, even by the standards of controversies over other technological innova-tions. The intensity and confrontational tone of the debate can be traced to a new kind of professional activist, one who combines money and marketing with the growing influ-ence of the Internet to influence public opinion and public acceptance. Often portrayed asa grassroots, shoestring movement, the groups that oppose biotechnology are more accu-rately part of a much larger coalition of social activists, environmental non-profits, andsocial-investment organizations backed by a reservoir of funding from special interestfoundations.Biotechnology is only the latest high profile issues targeted by activist groups. This pro-test coalition is exploiting current concerns over globalization and leveraging complexissues like biotechnology for purposes that are not openly disclosed or easily recognizedby the public. There are three key forces behind this movement: (1)
Money
, mostly from“progressive” foundations; (2)
Marketing
, drawing on the combined resources of the an-ti-science wing of the environmentalist movement, the organic and natural products in-dustry, and the “socially responsible” investment community; and (3) the
Internet
, whichties the coalition together and provides a way to reach donors, spread campaign messag-es, market to consumers, and most key, to influence the media which shapes public per-ceptions.
 
American Enterprise Institute 2003 page 22
Money
Biotechnology––genetic engineering or genetic modification (GM) in activist parlance––has become one of the protest industry’s top causes and an effective spur for fundraising.The anti-biotech industry is not as popular myth would have it funded by small contribu-tions from many individuals. We undertook a review of publicly available U.S. IRS form990 tax returns, corporate, foundation and non-profit annual reports, and research reportsfrom watchdog groups like the Center on Consumer Freedom. Since 1994, more than$750 million in philanthropic support has been directed to anti-biotechnology groupssuch as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Institute for Agriculture Trade Policy, the Or-ganic Consumers Association, and hundreds of other activist organizations targeting agri-cultural biotechnology. (Amounts listed correspond only to amounts given to leading pro-test groups and initiatives and do not reflect all monies donated to anti-biotechnologycampaigns.)
Foundation Name Sample amounts funded toanti-biotechnology activistgroupsAndrew Mellon Foundation $2,380,000Arca Foundation $735,000Ben & Jerry’s Foundation $207,500Body Shop Foundation $40,000Carnegie Corporation of NY $3,512,000Charles S. Mott Foundation $10,173,040David & Lucile Packard Foundation $8,579,397Doris Duke Charitable Foundation $635,500Edward J. Noble Foundation $775,000Flora Family Foundation $200,881Florence & John Schumann Foundation $6,782,500Ford Foundation $39,978,020Foundation for Deep Ecology $4,158,800Gaia Fund $278,300Gap Foundation $643,000Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation $2,636,000Henry Luce Foundation $670,000HKH Foundation $670,000Irene Diamond Fund $375,000Jennifer Altman Foundation $795,000John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation $11,906,500John Merck Fund $4,673,800Joyce Foundation $14,583,00McKnight Foundation $2,795,800Overbrook Foundation $1,689,500Patagonia Fund & Patagonia, Inc. $106,500Pew Charitable Trusts $130,996,900Ploughshares Fund $1,257,800Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund $7,485,000Richard K. Mellon Foundation $4,630,000Robert Wood Johnson Foundation $574,700Rockefeller Brothers Fund $7,321,000
 
American Enterprise Institute 2003 page 33
Rockefeller Family Fund $655,000Rockefeller Foundation $3,375,000Solidago Foundation $456,000Tides Foundation & Center $1,500,000Turner Foundation $8,282,000W.K. Kellogg Foundation $2,815,000Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation $1,106,000Wallace Genetic Fund $1,905,000Wallace Global Fund $1,596,000
More than forty major U.S.-based organizations participate in significant anti-biotechnology events, publicly lobby against biotechnology, oversee Web sites dedicatedto anti-biotechnology campaigns, and/or play leadership roles in funding the anti-biotechnology movement. The financial expenditures of the top activist groups targetingbiotechnology (of which spending on biotechnology protests represents an undeterminedfraction) top $600 million annually.
Activist group name 2002 Annual ExpenditureAmerican Humane Association $10,366,805CAL PIRG $466,866Center for a New American Dream $1,595,554Center for Food Safety $705,402Consumers Union U.S. $162,992,456Council for Responsible Genetics $345,710Earth Island Institute $5,271,042Environmental Defense $41,339,781Environmental Media Services $2,148,056Environmental Working Group $2,302,243Farm Sanctuary $2,783,945Foundation on Economic Trends $438,815Friends of the Earth U.S. $4,644,563Global Resource Action Center $2,837,193Greenpeace International $112,332,000Greenpeace USA $9,809,744Humane Society of the United States $67,272,795INFACT $1,084,735Institute for Agriculture Trade Policy $3,806,614Institute for Food & Development Policy $1,297,388Institute for Social Ecology $297,018Int’l Center for Technology Assessment $566,190Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility $1,333,636MA PIRG $582,089Mothers for Natural Law (2001) $110,000National Family Farm Coalition (1999) $152,701Natural Resources Defense Council $43,370,521NY PIRG $4,802,746Oldways Preservation (Chefs Collaborative) $883,539Organic Consumers Association $1,249,727Pesticide Action Network North America $1,675,820Public Citizen Foundation $8,482,766Public Citizen, Inc $4,478,746

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