Friends of the Earth

A FOE of Science

Friends of the Earth (FOE) is a radical environmental group that campaigns against perfectly safe foods through scare campaigns. FOE has received $43 million from foundations, most of which appear to regular support extremist environmental groups including the Foundation for the Carolinas, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Packard Foundation, and the Tides Foundation.

FOE is a science denier on the issue of genetically modified foods. FOE signed on to a campaign to destroy biotech crop fields, even though scientific organizations across the globe have found genetically modified foods to be just as safe as non-GMO foods. Moreover, the Chairman of Friends of the Earth UK supported an organization whose motto was an open invitation for violence against people: “The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” It should come as no surprise, given FOE’s record, that Britain’s Advertising Standards Agency banned an FOE fundraising leaflet for containing false information that “Today’s food is laced with dangerous hidden ingredients.” Facts don’t matter when you’ve got an ideology to push.

Nor do other people. In 2006, Friends of the Earth (FoE) held press conferences Monday in Ghana and Sierra Leone denouncing the presence of genetically modified (GM) rice in food aid shipments. FOE would apparently prefer people starve than eat GM foods. As Investor’s Business Daily responded: “Friends of the Earth? Maybe. Friends of Africans? Not a chance. If they were, they wouldn’t do something so morally reprehensible.”

Black Eye

Friends of the Earth’s anti-science campaigning was ridiculed after the group suggesting sand—yes, sand—causes cancer. As part of FOE’s anti-fracking work, the organization claimed, “Frack sand tends to contain significant amounts of silica which is a known carcinogen.” Silica is sand, and is not a carcinogen.  One professor responded, “What are they proposing? That we treat all beaches as contaminated land and pave them over?”