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.
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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
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Park Foundation $255,000
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