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Pew's agenda becomes clearer
West Highland Free Press, Friday 23 January 2004
Filed on Land-Care 02 Feb 04
© West Highland Free Press, www.whfp.com
The Scottish salmon farming industry was the victim
of a carefully orchestrated attack which involved environmental
campaigners linked to the Pew Charitable Trusts, who funded the
research on which it was based.
Inquiries by the Free Press have revealed a network
of connections between the Pew Charitable Trusts - which, bizarrely,
are funded exclusively by legacies from the oil industry and continuing
investments in companies like Exxon Mobil - and some of the most
virulent campaigners against the Scottish fish farming industry.
We have also learned that the Pew Charitable
Trusts, with assets of around four billion dollars changed their
charitable status from January 1st this year in order to allow them
to engage in fully-fledged "advocacy" as an environmental
pressure group rather than merely funding the activities of others.
Meanwhile, Scottish Quality Salmon has denied
that it is considering legal action against the Pew-funded scientists
who produced the fish farming report. Two of them are long-standing
environmental activists and one, David Carpenter, has been described
in the US as a "health scare hyperventilator".
Many of the connections between the Pew Charitable
Trusts and the anti-fish farming lobby have been made through Friends
of the Earth, the environmental pressure group active in both North
America and Europe which has enjoyed regular funding from Pew.
Although environmental organisations are extremely
coy about their funding sources, grants worth millions of dollars
to Friends of the Earth and other groups which have been
actively hostile to Scottish fish farming, including the World
Wildlife Fund, can be identified from the Pew Charitable Trusts'
Pew have also poured millions of dollars into
its "Oceans Commission" which operates a Pew-funded web-site
called Seaweb, which is edited from Alaska. This regularly carries
the outpourings of Friends of the Earth and the WWF against the
Scottish fish farming industry.
It is clear from their intensive activity in
promoting media coverage of the Pew-funded report on Contaminants
in the Global Salmon Farming Industry, that there was close liaison
between Pew and Friends of the Earth. That liaison could also have
involved a group called the Salmon Farm Monitor, which maintains
a flow of anti-salmon farming propaganda from a base at Lairg, Sutherland.
This site is run by Don Staniford, a former Friend
of the Earth employee, and openly rejoices in the prospect of Scottish
fish farm sites being closed and jobs lost as a result of his campaigning.
The chairman of the Salmon Farm Monitor and its parent body, the
Salmon Farms Protest Group, is Bruce Sandison, another veteran opponent
of fish farming and supporter of sporting estates.
Pew's tactics have become bitterly controversial in North America.
They have adopted a philosophy of paying for research and journalism
out of their bottomless resources in order to influence public opinion
towards the causes to which they are committed. At the last count,
they had spent $80 million on promoting their views through favourable
media coverage and have now expanded the approach into international
The environmental director of Pew, Joshua
Reichert - who commissioned the "contaminated salmon"
report - was at the centre of controversy over allegedly saying:
"For considerable sums of money, public opinion can be moulded,
constituents mobilised, issues researched and public officials
button-holed - all in a symphonic arrangement".
He subsequently denied the use of these words.
Some of Pew's critics in North America have noted
that while they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on attacking
other forms of industrial activity in the marine environment, they
are notably uncritical of the oil industry which, however reluctantly,
funds them. The seven Pew Charitable Trusts have their origins in
the fortune built up by Joseph N Pew, founder of Sun Oil.
Far from distancing themselves from these origins,
however, the Pew Trustees continue to invest heavily in the oil
industry. Latest returns show that they hold tens of millions of
dollars worth of stock in some of the world's most controversial
and non-environmentally friendly oil companies - including at least
$25 million in Exxon Mobil Corporation.
This week, Western Isles MSP Alasdair Morrison
"I welcome the WHFP's exposé of the shadowy world
Friends of the Earth and WWF inhabit. Both organistations should
now come clean and demonstrate exactly who funds their potentially
ruinous anti-fish farming campaigns.
"Let them tell the world how much cash they receive and
from whom. There are also some shadowy characters circling this
all-important industry masquerading as journalists. It would be
an interesting exercise to establish how many of Pew's many millions
of dollars were paid to these devout anti-fish farming operatives."
Further Reading Recommended by Land-Care
R.A., Foran, J.A., Carpenter, D.O. et al (2004). Global assessment
of organic contaminants in farmed salmon.
(2004). Soil Association tries to cash-in on Scottish Farmed Salmon
contrived food scare
See FOOD Homepage, Filed 16 Jan 04, www.land-care.org.uk Click
Here to View
Magnus (2004). Answer this: who benefits from the salmon scare?
Reproduced from The Times, Thursday 15 January with kind permission
See FOOD Homepage, Filed 16 Jan 04, www.land-care.org.uk
Here to View
Magnus (2004). Spreading salmon scare stories
Reproduced from Scotland on Sunday 11 January 2004 with kind permission
See FOOD Homepage, filed 12 Jan 04, www.land-care.org.uk
Here to View