Who is the Environmental Working Group (EWG)?

EWG is an environmental organization that specializes in environmental research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands, and corporate accountability.

EWG is a non-profit organization (501(c)(3)) whose mission, according to their website, is “to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.” Their funding is from “private foundations, individuals and select corporations.”

EWG was founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles and is headquartered in Washington DC in the United States. They have not filed a tax return on the 501 c 3 since 2008, according to the 990 database Exempt World, which is a subscription service to track 990’s.  Even though EWG is categorized as a charitable organization, it is still required to file a return under IRS codes and submit their “list of activities” to the IRS on an annual basis, even if they file an extension.

It is my personal opinion, based on our research here in D.C., that EWG is not just a humble “nonprofit research outfit,” as it is being described by the mainstream press. It is a savvy political animal funded by deep-pocketed foundations with a “big-government agenda”. And it is engaged in aggressive eco-lobbying that belies its image as an innocuous public charity dedicated to “educating” citizens. I am always suspicious of any organization whose major sources of funding are derived from special interest organizations in the form of grants. A consumer has to be very careful when evaluating the sources he or she uses to determine the efficacy of a product or a service. If an organization becomes too heavily vested in it’s grants to survive, it is also my opinion, misused as a vehicle to advance a perpetual message of gloom and doom in an effort to keep the grants rolling in rather than truly aiding the consumer.

For a comprehensive Report on EWG’s Political Activity, which was hand delivered to the IRS, please see this link at Undue Influence

EWG is formerly a project of the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center, operating with donor advised funds, which may be anonymous to hide the identity of the actual donor. EWG’s 1999 Form 990 Part IV shows a continuing relationship with the Tides Center as a “supported organization.” EWG uses huge foundation grants to spread anti-industry messages in an attempt to shape public opinion against corporations and capitalism.  In 1992, EWG formed the Clearinghouse for Environmental Research and Advocacy to smear and destroy the wise use movement.

History: Although Ken Cook told the New York Times that EWG was started in 1993 (“Web Site Helped Change Farm Policy,” February 24, 2002, by Elizabeth Becker), in fact it began receiving foundation grants in 1989. At that time EWG was not incorporated and received grants through the IRS tax exemption of the Island Press, a small Washington, DC-based environmental book publisher created in 1979 by Mellon heiress Catherine Conover. In 1984, Island Press was reorganized as the Center for Resource Economics / Island Press.

From 1989 to 1993, Ken Cook was vice president for policy of the Center for Resource Economics, and operated EWG with $5 million in grants from 17 foundations variously directed to EWG, EWG/Island Press, and Tides Foundation/EWG. From 1991 to 1993, Richard Wiles was executive director of Environmental Exchange, a small ($350,000 annual budget) Washington, DC organization.

In 1993 EWG went under the umbrella of the Tides Foundation. Tides founder Drummond Pike was and remains a member of the Center for Resource Economics’ board of directors (treasurer), as well as a board member of EWG. Catherine Conover was and remains a director of the Center for Resource Economics and one of the largest donors to Pike’s Tides organizations.  EWG was transferred to the newly-created Tides Center during a 1990s reorganization.

EWG emerged from the Tides umbrella in 1999 and incorporated in Washington, DC. They have received 93 Major Grants since 1989 totaling more than $20 million.

NOTE: The Environmental Working Group website and publications do not reveal their funding source amounts, nor do their IRS Form 990 annual reports. The data below were obtained from private subscription-only databases of the Foundation Center. THIS INFORMATION WAS NOT PROVIDED BY ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP.

As per federally filed lobbyist reports, EWG hires itself as its own lobbyist and has paid itself $309,514.00 in lobby fees since 2007. On the reports, Jason Rano, Bobbie Manning and Sandra Schubert are listed as the lobbyists per se, but we cannot locate any of these individuals as federally registered lobbyists in D.C. You are required to register by law if you lobby in D.C. for any organization. Of note is named EWG lobbyist Carolyn Brickey. She is only listed as serving as an uncompensated lobbyist for The Pew Charitable Trusts, an independent nonprofit, which is the sole beneficiary of seven individual charitable funds established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew.

Board of Directors for EWG:

  • David Baker: Founder and executive director of Community Against Pollution (CAP). David is also a member of the NAACP and the Coalition for Black Trade Unionists.
  • Rev. Sally Bingham:  Environmental Minister at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. She is the founder and executive director of The Regeneration Project, a nonprofit ministry deepening the connection between faith and the environment.
  • Sandy Buchanan:  Executive director of Ohio Citizen Action
  • Ken Cook:  Co-founder and president of the Environmental Working Group.
  • Steven Damato:  H as been involved in the organic agriculture and food industry for the past thirty years. He is an active partner in Changing Seas, LLC, a seafood company dedicated to sustainable and organic seafood.
  • Laura Turner Seydel:  A national environmental activist and eco-living expert.
  • Drummond Pike:  (Chair) is the founder and chief executive officer of Tides Network.
  • Perry Wallace:  Is a tenured Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law of the American University, where he teaches corporate, environmental and international law.
  • Pete Myers:  Is CEO and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences.
  • Meredith Wingate:  Is a Program Officer in the Power Utilities Program at the Energy Foundation since 2008. She co-manages the Foundation’s grants portfolio in the areas of utility energy efficiency and opposition to new unabated coal fired power plants.
  • Alicia Wittink:  Is a trustee with the Park Foundation based in Ithaca, NY. She is a co-founder of DC EcoWomen’s Hour.

EWG Management Team

  • Ken Cook – President
  • Chris Campbell – VP for Information Technology
  • Craig Cox – Senior VP for Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Alex Formuzis – VP for Media Relations
  • Jane Houlihan – Senior VP for Research
  • Jocelyn Lyle – Director of Development
  • Scott Mallan – VP, Finance & Chief Operating Officer
  • Renee Sharp – Director, CA Office & Senior Scientist
  • Heather White – Chief of Staff and General Counsel
  • Richard Wiles – Senior VP for Policy and Communications
  • Chuq Yang – Director of Technology

EWG Staff:

  • Bill Allayaud – California Director of Governmental Affairs
  • Dave Andrews, Ph.D. – Senior Scientist
  • Claudia Arango – Development Associate
  • Leeann Brown – Press Associate
  • Nils Bruzelius – Executive Editor
  • Don Peterson Carr – Senior Communications and Policy Advisor
  • Dean Clark – Web Designer/Developer
  • David Degennaro – Legislative and Policy Analyst
  • Lisa Frack – Social Media Manager
  • Sean Gray, M.S. – Senior Analyst
  • Kari Hamerschlag – Senior Analyst
  • Dusty Horwitt, J.D. – Senior Counsel
  • Andrew Hug – Analyst
  • Colleen Hutchings – Email Marketing Manager
  • Anila Jacob, M.D. – Senior Scientist
  • Nneka Leiba, M.Phil., MPH – Environmental Health Researcher
  • Brett Lorenzen – Mississippi River Project Coordinator
  • Sonya Lunder – Senior Analyst
  • Bobbie Manning – Environmental Health Outreach Coordinator
  • Morgan Maurer – Administrative Assistant
  • Olga Naidenko, Ph. D. – Senior Scientist
  • Jason Rano – Legislative Analyst
  • Amy Rosenthal – Individual Donor Fundraising & Outreach Manager
  • Elaine Shannon – Editor-in-chief
  • Rebecca Sutton, Ph.D. – Senior Scientist
  • Lindsay Talley – Administrative Assistant & Secretary
  • Tolga Yalniz – Web Designer/Developer

EWG Lobbyists:

  • Susanne Fleek (in-house)
  • Anne Keys, (in-house), former Clinton Administration Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Carolyn Brickley (consultant)

Organization Name/Address:

ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP
1436 U ST NW STE 100
WASHINGTON, DC 20009-3987

  • Asset Amount:  $5,413,190
  • Income Amount:  $8,652,806
  • Form 990 Revenue Amount: $6,242,570
  • Employer Identification Number:  52-2148600 (nine digit number assigned by the IRS to identify a company)
  • Ruling Date:  06/1999 (the month and year of a ruling or determination letter recognizing the organization’s exempt status)
  • In Care Of Name:  N/R (the officer, director, etc. to whose attention any correspondence should be directed)
  • Classification:  Charitable Organization (category under which an organization may be tax exempt)
  • Filing Requirement:  Form 990 – (all other) or 990EZ return (the primary return(s) the organization is required to file)
  • Taxonomy:  Energy Resources Conservation and Development (classifies an exempt Internal Revenue Code 501 (c)(3) organization)
  • Secondary Name:  N/R (another name under which this nonprofit organization does business. Also used for trade names, chapter names, or local numbers for subordinate organizations of group rulings)
  • Affiliation:  (defines the organizational grouping).  This organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
  • Deductibility Status:  Contributions are deductible
  • Principal Activity 1    n/r
  • Principal Activity 2    n/r
  • Principal Activity 3    n/r
  • Foundation Type:  Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public
  • Tax Period:  12/2008  (the date of the latest return filed)

A sister organization, the EWG Action Fund, is the lobbying arm (501(c)(4)) of the organization and was founded in 2002.

Issue areas and projects:

EWG works on three main policy or issue areas: toxic chemicals and human health; farming and agricultural subsidies; and public lands and natural resources. EWG’s largest focus is reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). When the act passed it declared safe some 62,000 chemicals already on the market, even though there were little or no data to support this policy. Since that time another 20,000 chemicals have been put into commerce in the United States, also with little or no data to support their safety. EWG is working to pass the Kid-Safe Chemical Act which would requires that industrial chemicals be safe for infants, kids and other vulnerable groups.  52% of EWG’s resources go to toxic chemicals and human health.

Toxic chemicals and human health
EWG has created a cosmetics safety database which indexes and scores products based on their ingredients. Their Guide to Pesticides in Produce lists 44 fruits and vegetables based on the number of pesticides they were found to contain according to USDA data. A series of studies testing for the presence of chemicals in people’s bodies is known as body burden. The organization has also constructed a national database of tap water testing results from public water utilities. Their work has extended to a variety of other chemicals, including bisphenol A, perchlorate, mercury, flame retardants, and arsenic in treated wood.

Agricultural policy
EWG publishes a database of agricultural subsidies and their recipients [9]. The EWG Action Fund advocates for farm bill reform in the form of decreased disaster payments and subsidies for commodity crops, and increased funding for nutrition programs, conservation, specialty crops (i.e. fruits and vegetables), and organic agriculture.

Natural resources
The organization investigates and publishes information regarding oil and gas drilling and mining projects that may pose a threat to human health and the environment.

Current Projects:

Cell Phone Radiation Report
EWG launched a cell phone radiation report in September that stated while the long term effects of cell phone radiation are still being studied, there is sufficient research that shows higher risk for brain and salivary gland tumors among heavy cell phone users. EWG encouraged consumers to look up their cell phone’s radiation level, and to wear a headset when talking on the phone to limit their exposure.

Skin Deep
Skin Deep  is a cosmetics safety database which pairs ingredients in over 41,000 products against 50 toxicity and regulatory databases. The database is intended as a resource for consumers, who can search by ingredient or product when choosing personal care products.

In June 2009, EWG updated Skin Deep with a report on chemicals in sunscreen, lip balm and SFP lotions. The report states that 3 out of 5 sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. The report identifies only 17% of the products on the market as both safe and effective, blocking both UVA and UVB radiation, remaining stable in sunlight, and containing few if any ingredients with significant known or suspected health hazards.

In its fourth annual “Sunscreen Guide”, issued in May 2010, Environmental Working Group gives generally low marks to currently available sunscreen products. EWG researchers recommend only 39 out of 500 sunscreens available at the time.

Industry representatives call these claims “highly inaccurate.” Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), Associate General Council, Farah Ahmed stated, “It is very clear to me that they have a very low level of understanding of the way sunscreens work and the way they are regulated by the FDA and tested by the industry.” She expressed further concern saying “I would hate to think that there are parents out there not using sunscreen on their kids because of a report like this that is not based on real science.” Representatives from Schering-Plough (Coppertone), Johnson & Johnson (Neutrogena), and Banana Boat also reiterated their products’ safety and efficacy.

2007 Farm Bill
EWG operates the farm subsidy database, an online searchable database of recipients of taxpayer funded agriculture subsidy payments. The information is obtained directly from the United States Department of Agriculture via Freedom of Information Act requests.

In the 2007 Farm Bill, EWG is advocating for:

Cutting wasteful spending to profitable large farm operations, absentee landlords, ‘hobby’ farmers.
Increased support for organic agriculture, the fastest growing sector of the agriculture industry. In August 2007, EWG president Ken Cook delivered a petition of 30,000 names gathered online to Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI).

Increasing funding for nutrition.

Increasing funding for conservation.

During the fall 2007 debate over the farm bill EWG produced computer generated Google maps of cities across the country identifying the number of federal farm subsidy checks sent to that area. Acting-Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner used the maps during speeches and with the media as he advocated for fundamental reforms to the farm subsidy programs. [citation needed]

For Fiscal Year Ending December 2006, EWG raised nearly $3.6 million and spent $3.2 million. Over 84 cents out of every dollar go towards EWG’s actual programs.  EWG’s IRS Form 990 is available on GuideStar. As of March 2008, EWG reports 30 staff members with its president Ken Cook earning $192K per year in 2006.

Most (78%) of the funding comes from foundations, and a partial list of 25 major funders is available on the organization’s website. 18% of the budget comes from individuals, with the rest stemming from interest, small sales, and consulting for other organizations.

Challenge to 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Status
On February 8, 2002, the Bellevue, WA based Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise filed a complaint with IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti, claiming that the EWG’s “excessive lobbying and politicking” activities are “clearly illegal and should (at a minimum) result in revocation of the organization’s tax-exempt status.”

The complaint charges that the group hid its political-lobbying expenditures, failed to register as a lobbyist in California, submitted false or misleading reports with the IRS and acted as a political-action organization in violation of Section 501(c)(3) rules. Ron Arnold, executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, stated that “The Environmental Working Group is not what it seems. Its goal is not protecting the environment. Its goal is power–political power.”

Guest post provided by BA Carrington with Empowerment Enterprises, Ltd

  • http://www.sterlingminerals.com/ Katherine

    Finally the “Voice” of truth rings out! Personally, I am extremely grateful to this person for taking the time in bringing this very pertinent information to the forefront of the reasoning and truth behind EWG's actual agenda. This is probably the most important single piece ever written about them next to Dene Godfreys' article on the “Skin Deep Data Base”.

    We are also dealing with similar funding in terms of the presidents cancer panel when looking closely at the multi million dollar grants going to scientists who study and support the working agenda of the EPA. Although I do believe the EPA has solved many environmental issues in our nation, it is also clear that sometimes they go looking under rocks for anything to keep the tax payer money flowing. Without this, they would become obsolete, and no longer needed.

    And with all of the evidence finally laid out on the financial truth behind these entities, it only further supports the reasoning behind why it was so necessary to create the “Personal Care Truth” site. Excellent work “guest” poster. Thank you for this in depth report!

  • http://www.cactusandivy.com Lisa M. Rodgers

    No wonder EWG is asking for $5 here and $10 there. They have a great many employees that get a paycheck. I wonder how much is left over to spend on research?

  • http://www.sterlingminerals.com/ Katherine

    Well if you think about it Lisa, all the research they deliver is from other data bases and others showing their unique findings….

    For instance, can you locate an actual study performed by the EWG? I can't! It appears they rely solely on others work….which means when it comes to my articles linking back to the scientific studies I represent in my findings and conclusions, then I am extremely underpaid compared to EWG! In fact I think we all are!

    Kind of puts a wrinkle in the whole vested interest accusations on the reasons behind providing this website to consumers and others in the industry, since I know for a fact that I don't get paid to divulge research as do any of us on Personal Care Truth providing the answers as best we can!

  • http://twitter.com/essentialU Kayla Fioravanti

    Brilliant! This writer did a great job giving us the facts all in one well organized article. I will be linking back to this in a blog today.

  • JCC

    Thank you so much for this information. We cosmetic chemists (and others) often feel like we're facing a huge uphill battle when it comes to educating the public who seem only to look at Skin Deep for their information (or misinformation, as it were). It's hard for them to realize that the EWG isn't just looking out for your children's best interests, but the interests of many huge foundations that control the purse strings and have their own agenda as well. While this is true almost everywhere these days, the more we know, the better off we will be when trying to determine the “truth.” Thanks so much for this post and for PersonalCareTruth.com! What a wealth of science-based information!

  • Marion Dove

    thanks for this great article!

  • http://greenskincareblog.com/ Kristin Fraser Cotte

    That's a great point Lisa. They ask for $5 or $10 every week. They're employees are VERY well compensated…where are these donations being spent, research or salaries?!

  • Anonymous

    First, I will say that I know people here are not going to like this post and that I know this post will be responded to with a certain amount of defensiveness. If this is truly an open forum discussion, then I should feel free to express my point of view and/or opinion without being attacked. Based on reading responses to other posts opposing common views here, I know what to expect but I'll go ahead anyhow.

    While I enjoy reading the info on Personal Care Truth, I at the same time do not believe that opinions here are entirely unbiased. You are scientists and product line developers/owners with money and careers at stake; not neutral parties. While I do recognize the political influence behind EWG, I believe there is also an underlying influence behind this website as well. While you may have certain scientific studies to reference, the outcome of scientific studies can also be influenced by who is performing and funding them. I'm not saying that's what you're doing here, just that it's possible and it has and does happen.

    Bottom line for me – the PCT would have more influence and credibility if you all would stop outright attacking the EWG. While I understand that you are trying to raise the question of EWGs credibility, I believe that by doing it they way you are puts the PCTs credibility at risk. Time to grow up and stop throwing fuel on the fire. When one group objects too strongly/loudly against another group, it can actually give the opposing group more credibility. Pretty soon when someone cries wolf too many times, people will stop listening to them.

    As for published scientific studies being harvested from all sources by the EWG and the authors not being compensated for it, try copyrighting your work before you publish it and that problem will disappear. As scientists, you well know that for every question/problem there is a solution.

  • http://greenskincareblog.com/ Kristin Fraser Cotte

    Dear “anonymous”

    Thanks for your comments. You are most definitely entitled to your own opinion and thank you for taking the time to comment. To better understand where we are coming from, I would like to direct you to 2 posts that may explain in a bit more detail why we are raising awareness.
    Ask The Experts http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/06/ask-the-ex
    The Revealing Truth of the EWG Money Trail http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/07/the-reveal

    For the record: no one at PCT is paid, nor do we constantly solicit donations to fund our salaries (as I mentioned they are non-existent from PCT) or research. This strong group of experts and leaders in different facets of the beauty industry volunteer their time, resources and information to make better sense to the public of what is going on in the industry to educate everyone: consumers and peers alike.

    I'd also like to remind you that your money is at stake here… with the lobbying currently going on in the political scene, you may see extreme hikes in pricing of personal care products- here's another post I'd like to direct you to with more info: http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/06/the-real-c

  • http://www.cactusandivy.com Lisa M. Rodgers

    Hey Anonymous -

    Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments when you had thoughts they would not be well received.

    You would be correct by assuming there is an underlying influence behind this website. Kristin and I were both Campaign for Safe Cosmetics signers. We followed all that was required of us to maintain on the compact. When decisions were made that altered our feelings of being a signer, we both, at different times, simply asked to be removed.

    We both feel strongly that consumers deserve truthful information, bottom line. As manufacturers, we follow all the guidelines set forth to make sure we are producing safe personal care products. The stand we take on PCT is very personal, simply because we are part of an industry the EWG and CFSC are attacking.

    Kristin and I both manufacture safe personal care products without adding “hidden chemicals” as the alarmists would have you believe. We take our stand because the actions of alarmists peddling their 'junk science' and 'precautionary principles' have no merit. You can't change regulations that have been in place for many many years based on a “what if or educated guess”.

    We also feel it is reckless for EWG to tell its consumer base that “if you can't pronounce it, it can't be safe”. If you haven't had the opportunity, take time to read 'Are We Being Duped?' http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/06/are-we-bei… to see how scaremongering can change the minds of free thinking consumers.

    And, if you haven't listened to actual testimony from the Colorado legislative session back in March, please take a moment to read and listen to audio on 'Straight From the Horse's Mouth' http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/06/straight-f

    Personal Care Truth is not attacking EWG with false information. We are providing the truth. If there is anything on this site that you know to be false, please bring it to my attention. Our goal is to provide the truth and nothing but the truth.

    Again, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to voice your opinion. I too feel very strongly and do not make apologies for my position.

    Have a great weekend!

    Lisa

  • Anonymous

    I also support the truth – and I never said that PCT was publishing false information! (Those are your words, Lisa, not mine.) It has been proven time and again that the outcome of scientific studies can be swayed by who's performing and funding them – this is evidenced over and over by drugs being approved as “safe” based on the scientific studies (performed by the companies who will make millions off of the sale of those drugs), only later to be recalled because they turned out to be harmful. I didn't say that's what anyone on this site is doing, just that it does happen.

    I'm not defending EWG in any way, but simply pointing out that the info here is not necessarily unbiased, just as EWGs info is not unbiased. Scientists participating on this website may all be volunteers, but as product line creators and owners there is a financial investment at stake. You want to sell your product lines and make money, therefore there is bias. (I know once again you will disagree with this point, but that's okay.)

    I'm glad that the PCT website is telling the other side of the story – but the constant attack campaign against EWG, in my opinion, hurts the PCTs credibility. If your goal is telling the truth about personal care products and ingredients, then continue on that mission by providing the scientific info you have been. If your goal is to tear down the EWG then continue on that mission as well, but you might be better served by making that mission a separate one in order to maintain PCTs credibility.

  • http://www.cactusandivy.com Lisa M. Rodgers

    Hey Anonymous -

    Thanks for your reply. I was simply making a statement that PCT was providing truthful information about EWG. I never made mention that you were stating we were publishing false information. I also did not state in any way that you did not support the truth.

    You commented that PCT was constantly attacking the EWG and I gave you the reasons why we publish information on this site about them. Out of the 83 published posts to date, 3 are entirely about EWG and 7 are of the Skin Deep database. That amounts to 12% that we have dedicated to informing consumers about an organization that is out to change the cosmetic industry based on the lack of science.

    I did not co-found PCT to increase sales in my company. We do not promote any product on this site, just information. Kristin and I do not take a salary and we have used personal, not business money to create this site. Not once do we ask for PCT readers to stroll on over to our business sites to make a purchase.

    Again, you do have your opinion and for every 1 like yours, there is 1 like mine. We knew we would ruffle feathers when we started talking about EWG. I'm not going to exclude information about a non-profit organization, that pulls in millions of dollars each year to wage a scaremongering campaign to change the cosmetic industry, just because some people will have concerns.

    Our goal is not to tear down the EWG. We simply are providing information about who they are and what their agenda is. The EWG has everything to do with the personal care products industry, so therefore, we will continue to publish information about them. As long as they are spreading misinformation to consumers, we will write about why their information is incorrect.

    It's as simple as that.

  • Sarah

    I am a visitor here like you. In fact, this is my first time visiting this site. I wanted to make a couple of points. First of all, vigorous disagreement is not the same as “attacking.” If you aren't called a name or harassed, your intelligence or good name aren't impugned, and you aren't told where to go just for having a different opinion, you aren't being attacked; rather, you are being disagreed with. Which isn't fun if you're the only one arguing a particular side, but it can be tolerated as long as you remember it's about the issue and not about you personally. This is a bit of a side track, but I wanted to comment on your ideas about research bias. I am not now involved in research, but I have been in the past (not concerning cosmetic ingredients or safety). You say that the fact that some drugs are recalled after they are initially approved proves that a bias was introduced into the original clinical trials. This interpretation of drug recalls is not accurate. What happens is that data on safety (adverse events) is collected during the pre-marketing clinical trials. The data is examined and a decision is made as to whether there are any risks apparent from that data. New data can emerge after a drug is approved and on the market that the scientists, the manufacturer and the FDA (who do not have crystal balls) could not have predicted based on the pre-marketing safety data. That does not mean they are dishonest or biased scientists; it just means no participant in the studies had that side effect during the course of the studies, so the researchers, the manufacturer and the FDA didn't know it was a possible side effect. By the way, this does not happen very often, which to my mind is a testament to the scrupulosity of researchers and the entire clinical research and approval process. No pharmaceutical company wants to market an unsafe product, not only because their own family and friends might take the drug once it's on the market, but also because it could financially ruin them. I can tell you from first-hand experience that researchers take their ethical responsibilities very seriously. Many times they do not know, and cannot find out, who is getting the drug and who is getting placebo. I thought it important to address what you said, even though it wasn't your major point, because I am concerned about a growing anti-science bias in our society.

  • Dene62

    Great post, Anonymous – it's good to get views that don't always totally coincide with your own, partly because it enables you to hone your arguments, but it's also good to prove that Lisa and Kristin don't do what many other sites and blogs do, ie remove any posts that conflict with the view of the site/blog owners.

    As, presumably, you consider me one of the “guilty” parties “attacking” (I prefer to think of it as “exposing”) Skin Deep, I feel obliged to make some form of response.

    Firstly, I totallly agree with Sarah's position in reply to you regarding the “bias” of testing pharmaceuticals, but also, you need to accept that you are talking about two very different areas when you compare pharma and cosmetics. Cosmetics is not a “pure” science, and very few toxicity studies are carried out purely to enable the use of any specific ingredient in cosmetics. In pharma, the converse is usually true. Additonally, the pharma studies are carried out for two different reasons:

    1) To establish the efficacy of the drug

    2) To test the toxicity of the drug

    It is (arguably) easier to manipulate the efficacy studies, whereas a straighforward toxicity study gives a result of varying degrees of usefulness, but usually based on a standard protocol, often internationally accepted.

    In these standard toxicity studies (that also may be applied to cosmetic ingredients), there is no room for bias, irrespective of who provides the funds for the research, so your comment regarding this is a little wide of the mark. The only bias may be in the interpretation of the results, for example when organisations such as EWG focus solely on the hazard identified in the study, and totally ignore the concentrations required to cause health problems. (There I go again!)

    With respect to my own “vested interest”, I have no commercial, nor career interest or advantage in exposing the sham that is Skin Deep – I could quite happily live out the rest of my life never mentioning either SD or EWG again, and it would not make a jot of difference to me or ,my career. My only real vested interest is the purely personal satisfaction I get from digging into the workings of Skin Deep and determining the logic of the argument (for OR against). There is also the great boost to my underfed ego when people contact me and tell me that I have done a great job (which doesn't happen anywhere near often enough, incidentally! lol).

    Long may you contribute to this site, Anonymous – you seem like a reasonable person, and it is good to have reasonable discussion on here. If we all agreed all the time, it would be totally boring!

  • http://www.cactusandivy.com Lisa M. Rodgers

    Thanks for your comments Dene. And yes, if we all agreed all the time, life would be very boring!

  • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Apito

    After work today, I decided to try to find out a little more about the finances of the EWG funded Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Mia Davis recently said something that had me curious about their finances.

    I learned that Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is not actually a non-profit organization itself.  I never realized that before.  I thought the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics was a registred with our government as a non-profit organization – not so!

    When you try to make a donation to the CSC, you are taken to another non-profit organization: Breast Cancer Action.

    “Your secure, tax-deductible online gift to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics will be made via the Breast Cancer Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a project of the Breast Cancer Fund.”

    It’s a little confusing because when you try to view the 2010 returns, half way through the forms turn into the 2009 forms.  So, some of the figures may actually be from 2009 even though the link states that they are the 2010 990’s!

    http://www.breastcancerfund.org/about/financial-information/

    The total revenue was $3,109,154 in 2009 with a total over the past 5 years of $16,378,945.
    Jeanne Rizzo was paid $152,060; Janet Nudelman was paid $110,627; There are 29 employees of Breast Cancer Action.

    Their Federal Policy Consultant is an Independent Contractor, Raben Group out of Washington, DC.  They were paid $136,000 in 2010.

    They also spend $55,400 on Lobbying.

    Here is where things are a bit inbred: BCA gave $33,658 to Clean Water Action and $8,034 to Commonweal; specifically to support the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics organizing of “Safe Cosmetics Legislation” in the Northeast, California and Nationally.
     
    (They also gave $7,457 to the National Council of Churches, and $14,668 to the Mercy Foundation North, a nonprofit corporation sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy – food for thought if you have feelings about religion being mixed with stuff like this. Although the tax documents state that the money to the National Council of Churches is to “Support the NCC’s work on Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Grassroots organizing of Safe Cosmetics Legislation in the Northeast and Nationally.”)

    I am curious why Nuns on the west coast are being given donations to support CSC Safe Cosmetics legislation in the Northeast?  That seems really strange to me.

    They also gave to the $7,500 Coming Clean Collaborative: “Support CC’s Leadership and Participation in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and to support CC’s ability to devise media strategies and conduct outreach to media.”

    And they gave $9.605 to Women’s Voices for the Earth to support their work on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ grassroots organizing for Safe Cosmetics Legislation in Idaho and Montana and nationally.

    “The Breast Cancer Fund’s current legislative initiatives include …bpa; a legislative campaign to ensure that all cosmetics sold in this country are safe and non-toxic; and support for a federal bill that will reform our broken chemical management system so that public health is protected.”
    The campaign referred to above is the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – identified in Schedule O by http://www.safecosmetics.org

    So it really is not in any way transparent how much money gets funneled through the Breast Cancer Action organization to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics organization, because the Campaign operates under the name of many, many different organizations.
    http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?list=type&type=34

    “Key nonprofit coalition partners in the Campaign include the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow (represented by Clean Water Action and Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition), the Breast Cancer Fund, Commonweal, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth and Women’s Voices for the Earth.”

    These partners represent millions and millions of dollars.  Maybe that’s what is meant by “grassroots”…but I don’t know…put it all together and you have quite a substantial forest!

    • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Apito

      “$6 billion a year is committed to breast cancer research and awareness campaigns”
      “Yet what many in the breast cancer community are loathe to admit…we are really no closer to a cure today than we were two decades ago. In 1991, 119 women in the U.S. died of breast cancer every day. Today, that figure is 110″

      “…too much is spent on awareness campaigns — walks, races, rallies — at the expense of research.”

      Breast Cancer Industry Scams – Marie Claire http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/news/breast-cancer-business-scams?click=main_sr

      And on what to watch out for “How clear is the charity about its long and short term goals? Be skeptical of breast cancer charities whose mission statement includes “awareness”. What exactly does that mean? How does it plan to make people more aware? At what point will it have satisfied its mission?”

      http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/news/breast-cancer-business-scams-4

      • Dene62

        Nice piece of research,Sue! If that figure of 119 in 1991 reducing to 110 today is accurate then, whilst is not a great reduction, it makes a total mockery of the claims that “breast cancer rates are soaring”, as is claimed by many (most?) of the anti-chemicals brigade. Furthermore, given that cosmetics usage has probably increased over that same period, it gives further lie to any claim of a link between cosmetics usage and breast cancer. I am aware, however, that my statement doesn’t take into consideration any improvement in cancer treatment and, hence, survival rate, but it remains a fact that there is no proven connection between the use of cosmetics and the incidence of breast cancer.

  • DB

    The disabling of right click on your website is annoying and asinine.

    • http://personalcaretruth.com Lisa M. Rodgers

      Thanks so much for your “annoying and asinine” comment. Copyright protection is there for a reason. We have been in the process of changing our right click protection because there have been many that wish to share, and have voiced their opinion of blog protect. We are now using a new service. Sorry if it is troubling for you, however; we believe in protecting the content on our site from those that would pass it off as their own without giving credit to the author.

  • DB

    See? It does nothing to keep me from copying your site.  So turn it off.  All it does is annoy people.Personal Care Truth or Scare cosmetic safety information based on scientific research

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    You are here: Home / Information / Who is the Environmental Working Group (EWG)?

    Who is the Environmental Working Group (EWG)?

    Posted by Guest on July 8, 2010 · 19 Comments and 21 Reactions 

    EWG
    is an environmental organization that specializes in environmental
    research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural
    subsidies, public lands, and corporate accountability.
    EWG is a non-profit organization (501(c)(3)) whose mission, according
    to their website, is “to use the power of public information to protect
    public health and the environment.” Their funding is from “private
    foundations, individuals and select corporations.”
    EWG was founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles and is
    headquartered in Washington DC in the United States. They have not filed
    a tax return on the 501 c 3 since 2008, according to the 990 database
    Exempt World, which is a subscription service to track 990’s.  Even
    though EWG is categorized as a charitable organization, it is still
    required to file a return under IRS codes and submit their “list of
    activities” to the IRS on an annual basis, even if they file an
    extension.
    It is my personal opinion, based on our research here in D.C., that
    EWG is not just a humble “nonprofit research outfit,” as it is being
    described by the mainstream press. It is a savvy political animal funded
    by deep-pocketed foundations with a “big-government agenda”. And it is
    engaged in aggressive eco-lobbying that belies its image as an innocuous
    public charity dedicated to “educating” citizens. I am always
    suspicious of any organization whose major sources of funding are
    derived from special interest organizations in the form of grants. A
    consumer has to be very careful when evaluating the sources he or she
    uses to determine the efficacy of a product or a service. If an
    organization becomes too heavily vested in it’s grants to survive, it is
    also my opinion, misused as a vehicle to advance a perpetual message of
    gloom and doom in an effort to keep the grants rolling in rather than
    truly aiding the consumer.
    For a comprehensive Report on EWG’s Political Activity, which was hand delivered to the IRS, please see this link at Undue Influence
    EWG is formerly a project of the Tides Foundation and the Tides
    Center, operating with donor advised funds, which may be anonymous to
    hide the identity of the actual donor. EWG’s 1999 Form 990 Part IV shows
    a continuing relationship with the Tides Center as a “supported
    organization.” EWG uses huge foundation grants to spread anti-industry
    messages in an attempt to shape public opinion against corporations and
    capitalism.  In 1992, EWG formed the Clearinghouse for Environmental
    Research and Advocacy to smear and destroy the wise use movement.
    History: Although Ken Cook told the New York Times that EWG was
    started in 1993 (“Web Site Helped Change Farm Policy,” February 24,
    2002, by Elizabeth Becker), in fact it began receiving foundation grants
    in 1989. At that time EWG was not incorporated and received grants
    through the IRS tax exemption of the Island Press, a small Washington,
    DC-based environmental book publisher created in 1979 by Mellon heiress
    Catherine Conover. In 1984, Island Press was reorganized as the Center
    for Resource Economics / Island Press.
    From 1989 to 1993, Ken Cook was vice president for policy of the
    Center for Resource Economics, and operated EWG with $5 million in
    grants from 17 foundations variously directed to EWG, EWG/Island Press,
    and Tides Foundation/EWG. From 1991 to 1993, Richard Wiles was executive
    director of Environmental Exchange, a small ($350,000 annual budget)
    Washington, DC organization.
    In 1993 EWG went under the umbrella of the Tides Foundation. Tides
    founder Drummond Pike was and remains a member of the Center for
    Resource Economics’ board of directors (treasurer), as well as a board
    member of EWG. Catherine Conover was and remains a director of the
    Center for Resource Economics and one of the largest donors to Pike’s
    Tides organizations.  EWG was transferred to the newly-created Tides
    Center during a 1990s reorganization.
    EWG emerged from the Tides umbrella in 1999 and incorporated in
    Washington, DC. They have received 93 Major Grants since 1989 totaling
    more than $20 million.
    NOTE: The Environmental Working Group website and
    publications do not reveal their funding source amounts, nor do their
    IRS Form 990 annual reports. The data below were obtained from private
    subscription-only databases of the Foundation Center. THIS INFORMATION WAS NOT PROVIDED BY ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP.
    As per federally filed lobbyist reports, EWG hires itself as its own
    lobbyist and has paid itself $309,514.00 in lobby fees since 2007. On
    the reports, Jason Rano, Bobbie Manning and Sandra Schubert are listed
    as the lobbyists per se, but we cannot locate any of these individuals
    as federally registered lobbyists in D.C. You are required to register
    by law if you lobby in D.C. for any organization. Of note is named EWG
    lobbyist Carolyn Brickey. She is only listed as serving as an
    uncompensated lobbyist for The Pew Charitable Trusts, an independent
    nonprofit, which is the sole beneficiary of seven individual charitable
    funds established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of
    Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew.
    Board of Directors for EWG:

    David Baker: Founder and
    executive director of Community Against Pollution (CAP). David is also a
    member of the NAACP and the Coalition for Black Trade Unionists.

    Rev. Sally Bingham:  Environmental Minister at
    Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. She is the founder and executive
    director of The Regeneration Project, a nonprofit ministry deepening the
    connection between faith and the environment.

    Sandy Buchanan:  Executive director of Ohio Citizen Action

    Ken Cook:  Co-founder and president of the Environmental Working Group.

    Steven Damato:  H as been involved in the organic
    agriculture and food industry for the past thirty years. He is an active
    partner in Changing Seas, LLC, a seafood company dedicated to
    sustainable and organic seafood.

    Laura Turner Seydel:  A national environmental activist and eco-living expert.

    Drummond Pike:  (Chair) is the founder and chief executive officer of Tides Network.

    Perry Wallace:  Is a tenured Professor of Law at
    the Washington College of Law of the American University, where he
    teaches corporate, environmental and international law.

    Pete Myers:  Is CEO and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences.

    Meredith Wingate:  Is a Program Officer in the
    Power Utilities Program at the Energy Foundation since 2008. She
    co-manages the Foundation’s grants portfolio in the areas of utility
    energy efficiency and opposition to new unabated coal fired power
    plants.

    Alicia Wittink:  Is a trustee with the Park Foundation based in Ithaca, NY. She is a co-founder of DC EcoWomen’s Hour.

    EWG Management Team

    Ken Cook – President

    Chris Campbell – VP for Information Technology

    Craig Cox – Senior VP for Agriculture and Natural Resources

    Alex Formuzis – VP for Media Relations

    Jane Houlihan – Senior VP for Research

    Jocelyn Lyle – Director of Development

    Scott Mallan – VP, Finance & Chief Operating Officer

    Renee Sharp – Director, CA Office & Senior Scientist

    Heather White – Chief of Staff and General Counsel

    Richard Wiles – Senior VP for Policy and Communications

    Chuq Yang – Director of Technology

    EWG Staff:

    Bill Allayaud – California Director of Governmental Affairs

    Dave Andrews, Ph.D. – Senior Scientist

    Claudia Arango – Development Associate

    Leeann Brown – Press Associate

    Nils Bruzelius – Executive Editor

    Don Peterson Carr – Senior Communications and Policy Advisor

    Dean Clark – Web Designer/Developer

    David Degennaro – Legislative and Policy Analyst

    Lisa Frack – Social Media Manager

    Sean Gray, M.S. – Senior Analyst

    Kari Hamerschlag – Senior Analyst

    Dusty Horwitt, J.D. – Senior Counsel

    Andrew Hug – Analyst

    Colleen Hutchings – Email Marketing Manager

    Anila Jacob, M.D. – Senior Scientist

    Nneka Leiba, M.Phil., MPH – Environmental Health Researcher

    Brett Lorenzen – Mississippi River Project Coordinator

    Sonya Lunder – Senior Analyst

    Bobbie Manning – Environmental Health Outreach Coordinator

    Morgan Maurer – Administrative Assistant

    Olga Naidenko, Ph. D. – Senior Scientist

    Jason Rano – Legislative Analyst

    Amy Rosenthal – Individual Donor Fundraising & Outreach Manager

    Elaine Shannon – Editor-in-chief

    Rebecca Sutton, Ph.D. – Senior Scientist

    Lindsay Talley – Administrative Assistant & Secretary

    Tolga Yalniz – Web Designer/Developer

    EWG Lobbyists:

    Susanne Fleek (in-house)

    Anne Keys, (in-house), former Clinton Administration Deputy
    Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of
    Agriculture.

    Carolyn Brickley (consultant)

    Organization Name/Address:
    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP

    1436 U ST NW STE 100

    WASHINGTON, DC 20009-3987

    Asset Amount:  $5,413,190

    Income Amount:  $8,652,806

    Form 990 Revenue Amount: $6,242,570

    Employer Identification Number:  52-2148600 (nine digit number assigned by the IRS to identify a company)

    Ruling Date:  06/1999 (the month and year of a ruling or determination letter recognizing the organization’s exempt status)

    In Care Of Name:  N/R (the officer, director, etc. to whose attention any correspondence should be directed)

    Classification:  Charitable Organization (category under which an organization may be tax exempt)

    Filing Requirement:  Form 990 – (all other) or 990EZ return (the primary return(s) the organization is required to file)

    Taxonomy:  Energy Resources Conservation and Development (classifies an exempt Internal Revenue Code 501 (c)(3) organization)

    Secondary Name:  N/R (another name under which this nonprofit
    organization does business. Also used for trade names, chapter names, or
    local numbers for subordinate organizations of group rulings)

    Affiliation:  (defines the organizational grouping).  This
    organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary
    (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping
    of organizations).

    Deductibility Status:  Contributions are deductible

    Principal Activity 1    n/r

    Principal Activity 2    n/r

    Principal Activity 3    n/r

    Foundation Type:  Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public

    Tax Period:  12/2008  (the date of the latest return filed)

    A sister organization, the EWG Action Fund, is the lobbying arm (501(c)(4)) of the organization and was founded in 2002.
    Issue areas and projects:
    EWG works on three main policy or issue areas: toxic chemicals and
    human health; farming and agricultural subsidies; and public lands and
    natural resources. EWG’s largest focus is reform of the Toxic Substances
    Control Act (TSCA). When the act passed it declared safe some 62,000
    chemicals already on the market, even though there were little or no
    data to support this policy. Since that time another 20,000 chemicals
    have been put into commerce in the United States, also with little or no
    data to support their safety. EWG is working to pass the Kid-Safe
    Chemical Act which would requires that industrial chemicals be safe for
    infants, kids and other vulnerable groups.  52% of EWG’s resources go to
    toxic chemicals and human health.
    Toxic chemicals and human health

    EWG has created a cosmetics safety database which indexes and scores
    products based on their ingredients. Their Guide to Pesticides in
    Produce lists 44 fruits and vegetables based on the number of pesticides
    they were found to contain according to USDA data. A series of studies
    testing for the presence of chemicals in people’s bodies is known as
    body burden. The organization has also constructed a national database
    of tap water testing results from public water utilities. Their work has
    extended to a variety of other chemicals, including bisphenol A,
    perchlorate, mercury, flame retardants, and arsenic in treated wood.
    Agricultural policy

    EWG publishes a database of agricultural subsidies and their recipients
    [9]. The EWG Action Fund advocates for farm bill reform in the form of
    decreased disaster payments and subsidies for commodity crops, and
    increased funding for nutrition programs, conservation, specialty crops
    (i.e. fruits and vegetables), and organic agriculture.
    Natural resources

    The organization investigates and publishes information regarding oil
    and gas drilling and mining projects that may pose a threat to human
    health and the environment.
    Current Projects:
    Cell Phone Radiation Report

    EWG launched a cell phone radiation report in September that stated
    while the long term effects of cell phone radiation are still being
    studied, there is sufficient research that shows higher risk for brain
    and salivary gland tumors among heavy cell phone users. EWG encouraged
    consumers to look up their cell phone’s radiation level, and to wear a
    headset when talking on the phone to limit their exposure.
    Skin Deep

    Skin Deep  is a cosmetics safety database which pairs ingredients in
    over 41,000 products against 50 toxicity and regulatory databases. The
    database is intended as a resource for consumers, who can search by
    ingredient or product when choosing personal care products.
    In June 2009, EWG updated Skin Deep with a report on chemicals in
    sunscreen, lip balm and SFP lotions. The report states that 3 out of 5
    sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain
    ingredients with significant safety concerns. The report identifies only
    17% of the products on the market as both safe and effective, blocking
    both UVA and UVB radiation, remaining stable in sunlight, and containing
    few if any ingredients with significant known or suspected health
    hazards.
    In its fourth annual “Sunscreen Guide”, issued in May 2010,
    Environmental Working Group gives generally low marks to currently
    available sunscreen products. EWG researchers recommend only 39 out of
    500 sunscreens available at the time.
    Industry representatives call these claims “highly inaccurate.”
    Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), Associate General Council, Farah
    Ahmed stated, “It is very clear to me that they have a very low level of
    understanding of the way sunscreens work and the way they are regulated
    by the FDA and tested by the industry.” She expressed further concern
    saying “I would hate to think that there are parents out there not using
    sunscreen on their kids because of a report like this that is not based
    on real science.” Representatives from Schering-Plough (Coppertone),
    Johnson & Johnson (Neutrogena), and Banana Boat also reiterated
    their products’ safety and efficacy.
    2007 Farm Bill

    EWG operates the farm subsidy database, an online searchable database of
    recipients of taxpayer funded agriculture subsidy payments. The
    information is obtained directly from the United States Department of
    Agriculture via Freedom of Information Act requests.
    In the 2007 Farm Bill, EWG is advocating for:
    Cutting wasteful spending to profitable large farm operations, absentee landlords, ‘hobby’ farmers.

    Increased support for organic agriculture, the fastest growing sector of
    the agriculture industry. In August 2007, EWG president Ken Cook
    delivered a petition of 30,000 names gathered online to Congressman Ron
    Kind (D-WI).
    Increasing funding for nutrition.
    Increasing funding for conservation.
    During the fall 2007 debate over the farm bill EWG produced computer
    generated Google maps of cities across the country identifying the
    number of federal farm subsidy checks sent to that area.
    Acting-Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner used the maps during
    speeches and with the media as he advocated for fundamental reforms to
    the farm subsidy programs. [citation needed]
    For Fiscal Year Ending December 2006, EWG raised nearly $3.6 million
    and spent $3.2 million. Over 84 cents out of every dollar go towards
    EWG’s actual programs.  EWG’s IRS Form 990 is available on GuideStar. As
    of March 2008, EWG reports 30 staff members with its president Ken Cook
    earning $192K per year in 2006.
    Most (78%) of the funding comes from foundations, and a partial list
    of 25 major funders is available on the organization’s website. 18% of
    the budget comes from individuals, with the rest stemming from interest,
    small sales, and consulting for other organizations.
    Challenge to 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Status

    On February 8, 2002, the Bellevue, WA based Center for the Defense of
    Free Enterprise filed a complaint with IRS Commissioner Charles
    Rossotti, claiming that the EWG’s “excessive lobbying and politicking”
    activities are “clearly illegal and should (at a minimum) result in
    revocation of the organization’s tax-exempt status.”
    The complaint charges that the group hid its political-lobbying
    expenditures, failed to register as a lobbyist in California, submitted
    false or misleading reports with the IRS and acted as a political-action
    organization in violation of Section 501(c)(3) rules. Ron Arnold,
    executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free
    Enterprise, stated that “The Environmental Working Group is not what it
    seems. Its goal is not protecting the environment. Its goal is
    power–political power.”
    Guest post provided by BA Carrington with Empowerment Enterprises, Ltd

    Health18

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Rivas/100001195250784 Nathan Rivas

      DB, it is true that if anyone really wants to copy something from a website, they could simple transcribe it, but there is nothing wrong with making plagiarism a little more difficult. The only thing “annoying and asinine” on this discussion board is the post to which I’ve responded. 

  • Don

    Sounds like someone is jealous at EWG beating them at their own game….lobbying that is. As far as the junk science/alarmist theory EWG posts the strength of the scientific data surrounding any chemical in it’s personal care database. Consumers can make their decisions based on the data available. Personally, I use personal care products devoid of any chemicals deemed unsafe according to EWG and they work just fine.

    • Dene Godfrey

      It’s entirely your choice to afford the EWG any credibility, Don, but the EWG don’t actually publish the results of studies on Skin Deep, and they don’t really assess the “strength” of the data (in terms of the scientific credibility of the studies); they just quote a % figure that doesn’t neccesarily mean anything. Whether the products work or not is not the real issue here; it’s whether or not those ingredients claimed by the EWG to be unsafe are truly unsafe. Their “safety” assessment methodology is deeply flawed (as highlighted in other articles on this site – search for “Skin Deep” to see what I mean here) and they rely on scaremongering, not proper science. If you wish to believe them, that’s fine, but you are being mislead, I’m afraid! (And the vast majority of consumers are not sufficiently knowledgeable – scientifically – to make any accurate decisions as to whether or not Skin Deep is correct.)
      I have no idea on what basis you suggest that jealousy is a factor – that sounds a little silly to me, to be honest!

  • http://twitter.com/NyctoDea Theodora Dea

    Sad thing is what the lady is saying she feared is actually happening. In the summer with intense UV rays spending a full day at their lake house and bringing my little brother she didn’t let them use sunblock and does not buy any and tells her son it causes cancer. She really believes it is more dangerous to wear sunblock than be outside by a reflective lake for 10 hrs swimming and boating. She also has a lot of skin aging for her age. I should give her the link to the beauty brains!