The prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize has been awarded to Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, TV journalists who researched the potential health risks of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), the genetically modified hormone injected into U.S. dairy cows to stimulate milk production. The hormone is one of the first genetically modified products approved by the FDA. It is banned in Europe, Japan and most other industrialized nations. The story by Akre and Wilson proved too hot for their local Fox TV network affiliate for which it was produced and ultimately led to their firing.
Greenpeace accused the European Union Council of greenwashing for attempting to classify an established health hazard as a source of renewable energy. The EU is advocating incineration of biodegradable waste, despite clear evidence that it produces virtually no useful energy. In addition a new Greenpeace report points to independent scientific research which identifies links between incineration and a variety of human health impacts.
The oil and gas industry has launched the Energy Stewardship Alliance, aimed at winning access to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ESA claims to be a non-profit coalition of "professional organizations" and "individuals" who believe opening the Refuge to oil drilling is worth the human and environmental risk.
Arctic Power, a self-described "grassroots" organization, has laid down $4 million dollars to hire Qorvis Communications. The mission? To promote President Bush's plan to expand oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. How grassroots is Arctic power? Their website vaguely refers to people from all walks of society, without much in the way of details. But their board includes representatives from such business groups as the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, the Resource Development Council, and the Alaska Oil & Gas Association. Grassroots? You make the call.
Does Nike have a First Amendment right to publicly claim that it is a leader in fighting sweatshops -- or is that false advertising? The California Supreme Court may soon decide. In a lawsuit that could have far-reaching implications for corporate "greenwashing" campaigns, environmental activist Marc Kasky has sued Nike Inc., charging that the company's public claims about conditions in its Asian factories amount to false advertising under California's consumer-protection laws.
By his own account, Barry R. Clausen has infiltrated radical environmental groups, staked out logging protests and helped bust a drug ring. He has testified before Congress about a rising tide of eco-terror, has been quoted scores of times in the national and international press and has appeared, he reckons, on 150 talk radio shows. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation and many other law enforcers don't see any sign of the surging eco-terror Mr. Clausen describes. Pressed, he acknowledges that his list of documented terror incidents includes graffiti and pie-throwings.