Frances Beinecke
Key Player

Co-founder, The New York League of Conservation VotersFrances Beinecke lists her profession as “environmentalist,” and the description is accurate. She graduated from Yale University and has spent her entire career at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), bringing a background in ecosystem studies to the then-fledgling organization.

In the first six months after the NRDC released its now-debunked Alar-on-apples report “Intolerable Risk,” Washington state apple growers lost $125 million. But when the New York Times cornered Beinecke on the economic impact of NRDC’s questionable (and never peer-reviewed) “science,” she was quick to blame the media. “We never set out to harm apple farmers,” she insisted.

Beinecke conveniently ignored mounting evidence that “blasé” NRDC staffers (as the Washington Times put it) “warned ‘don’t eat them,’ to callers inquiring about the safety of apples” and told the Los Angeles Times that the LA school board “was right to pull all apples out of the schools.” Further evidence of Beinecke’s deception came from NRDC attorney Janet Hathaway, who told NBC’s Today show that candy was no substitute for “killer fruit” because the NRDC “didn’t study candy bars, and they probably have pesticides as well.”

A co-founder of the New York League of Conservation Voters (along with Paul Elston and Laurence Rockefeller), Beinecke sits on the board of the World Resources Institute and has also served as board chair of the Wilderness Society and the Adirondack Council.