A Public Resource Compiled by the

Food & Water Watch

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
501c3 nonprofit
FoodandWaterWatch.org

Recipient: Focus on pollution, climate change and biotech-related topics

Key People

  • Wenonah Hauter, Founder and Executive Director
  • Angie Aker, Web Editor & Writer
  • Tony Corbo, Senior Lobbyist
  • Maude Barlow, Board of Directors

Food and Water Watch

Established in 2005 as a spin off from the advocacy organization Public Citizen, Food and Water Watch claims it “champions healthy food and clean water for all” and stands “up to corporations that put profits before people.” As part of this mission, FWW opposes the use of GMO crops, which the group says rely “on dangerous pesticides and [increase] the control of corporations like Monsanto over our food.”

Assuming that Monsanto controls the federal agencies that regulate crop biotechnology, FWW says there is no scientific consensus on GMO crop safety, arguing that “powerful interests lobby to keep us in the dark about what we’re eating…” In response, FWW is working to block a federal GMO labeling law passed in 2016 and signed by then president Barack Obama. FWW refers to the legislation as “the Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, a.k.a. Monsanto’s Dream Bill” and claims the law “is an affront to democracy and to Americans’ right to know what’s really in their food ….” FWW was one of 287 signatories to a 2016 open letter, financed by the anti-GMO Center for Food Safety, to the Obama administration opposing the labeling law.

FWW has close ties to several other prominent environmental and progressive activist groups. Wenonah Hunter, Food and Water founder and executive director, served as a senior organizer at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) from 1989-2005. UCS is a wealthy environmental group that shares FWW’s  belief that industry has too much sway over regulators, arguing that president Trump’s USDA “has pulled multiple Dow [chemical company] executives and lobbyists through the revolving door into high-level government positions.” Additionally, Angie Aker, FFW’s web editor and writer, spent nearly a decade working at MoveOn.org, a progressive activist group that raises money for democratic political candidates. In support of a petition to mandate labels for foods made from GMO ingredients, the organization claimed that transgenic corn “may contribute” to anemia and leukemia. MoveOn has also encouraged its supporters to avoid “high-risk GMO ingredients,” based on recommendations from the Non-GMO Project.

Financial Data

 

Annual Revenue: $17,098,823 (2016)

Total Assets $9,625,731 (2016)

Major Donors (total contributions 2012-present)

Greater Kansas City Community Foundation $44,762,400

The Columbus Foundation $8,450,000

Silicon Valley Community Foundation $4,309,900

Chicago Community Trust $1,150,000

Town Creek Foundation $1,095,000

Schmidt Family Foundation $720,000

Park Foundation $255,000

Tides Foundation $167,818

Contribution totals only reflect publicly reported donors and may not include significant contributions from corporations, litigators and governments, domestic and foreign, through percent of sales agreements and allocations through various arrangements such as state lotteries and aid programs. Many claims by nonprofit organizations that they receive no contributions from governments or corporations are misleading or false.

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Note that there are three “levels” of both donors and recipients.

Donors
Donations to advocacy groups are sometimes designated to support a specific cause, such as organic agriculture or mitigating climate change. There is no way for us to know from publicly-available documents on what the money will be spent, as we can only see the total amount donated. When we assign the levels below to donors and recipients, we assume that all donations are available to the recipient for all advocacy, including anti-GMO advocacy.

  • Level 1: Donates primarily to dedicated anti-GMO organizations
  • Level 2: A large portion of donations go to anti-GMO organizations; some donations go to organizations without a position on GMOs
  • Level 3: A small portion of donations go to anti-GMO organizations
    * Most donations go to organizations without a formal position on GMOs but which have aligned themselves with anti-GMO activists

Recipients
For Level 1 recipients, all donations are used for anti-GMO advocacy. For Level 2 and 3 recipients, we don’t know how much of each donation is used for anti-GMO advocacy.

  • Level 1: Dedicated to anti-GMO advocacy
  • Level 2: Involved in anti-GMO advocacy along with other causes
  • Level 3: No specific anti-GMO advocacy, but general support
    * Organizations without a formal position on GMOs but which have aligned themselves with anti-GMO activists
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