Environment

Whale of a Campaign

Iceland recently joined Japan and Norway in seeking to reverse the International Whaling Commission's ban on commercial whaling, prompting the British edition of PR Week to ask its experts, "How would you market whale meat to reluctant UK consumers?" Chris Lukehurst of the British Meat and Livestock Commission suggested "marketing it as a health food that is also environmentally friendly ... a traditional organic food" that is "free-range and not genetically modified."

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Cooptation or Cooperation? Chemical Industry Helps Fund National Research on Chemicals

The American Chemistry Council, the trade association of the chemical industry, has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences "to improve testing chemicals for potential human developmental and reproductive effects," according to a July 26 NIEHS press release.

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Hatchet Politics

The Boise Cascade Corp. is targeting the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), the environmental group that has gotten major companies to stop buying wood from the remaining old-growth forests. Boise Cascade is working with two industry-supported front groups, the Frontiers of Freedom Institute and the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, trying to get the IRS to cancel RAN's tax-exempt status and to pressure its funders to cut off the group's money.

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Japanese Official Admits Using Foreign Aid to Buy Pro-Whaling Votes

The head of Japan's fisheries agency admitted that his country uses foreign aid to pressure other countries into voting against restrictions on its whaling activities. Masayuki Komatsu added that there is "nothing wrong" with killing whales, comparing them to "cockroaches" and saying, "There are too many." We reported on the PR firms that help greenwash Japanese whaling in the 1st Quarter 2001 issue of PR Watch.

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"Hey Jack, Clean Up The Hudson" Says O'Dwyer's Editor

Kevin McCauley, editor for PR trade publication O'Dwyer's PR, calls on General Electric CEO Jack Welch to dredge up the company's PCBs in the Hudson River. Welch has adamantly opposed GE cleaning up the Hudson and denied a relationship between exposure to PCBs and cancer. The company has had success in creating opposition to dredging by bankrolling PR and ad campaigns. However, McCauley says, GE could get a big image boost "if Welch switched course and said: 'GE wants to be the country's No. 1 environmental citizen. We will dredge the Hudson River.'"

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Propaganda: Industry Spoof of Lorax

An timber-industry sponsored children's book has been modeled on Dr. Seuss's "Lorax." The book, titled "Truax," by Terri Birkett was funded by the Hardwood Forest Foundation and the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association. Four hundred thousand copies of "Truax " have been distributed to elementary schools nationwide.

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Timber Industry's SFI Certification "Greenwashing"

Pacific Lumber Co. announced it had been blessed by the American Forest & Paper Assn's "Sustainable Forestry Initiative" (SFI). Conservationists questioned Pacific Lumber's claims of sustainability, saying it reveals SFI to be little more than greenwashing. "To call Pacific Lumber's ongoing liquidation of ancient forests 'sustainable' exposes the self-serving nature of this program," commented Paul Mason of the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC). The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is the timber industry's program for certifying sustainably managed forests.

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CEI Uses Stossel to Attack Environmental Education

The polluter-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is using the upcoming Stossel report to escalate its attack on public funding of environmental education. CEI notes that "ABC News is airing a John Stossel special this Friday, June 29, exposing some of the liberal indoctrination children receive in the classroom under the guise of environmental education."

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