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Embracing New Media Tools to Protect Public Health and the Environment Earns EWG Top Web Honor

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Washington, D.C. -- The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is proud to announce that president and co-founder Ken Cook has been voted The Huffington Post's Ultimate Green Game Changer of 2009 for harnessing new media to reshape federal environmental policy and public awareness.

In September, the consistently top-rated blog Huffington Post named Cook as one of its top ten "Ultimate Green Game Changers." Over the past two months, votes cast by the blog's readers carried him to the top of that list, with an average rating of 8.3 out of ten.

"On behalf of the Environmental Working Group's staff and supporters, I offer sincere thanks to Arianna Huffington, the editors and staff at the Huffington Post," said Cook.

"To win based in part on our ability to harness new media and communications tools is invigorating and renews our commitment to fighting effectively for public health and the environment," said Cook.

"It's an honor to be listed alongside these nine extremely accomplished, innovative colleagues in the environmental movement," Cook added.

Other Green Game Changer nominees included Isabella Rosellini, Kitchen Gardens International's Roger Doiron, the Story of Stuff's Annie Leonard, 350.org's Bill McKibben, Treehugger's Graham Hill, Climate Counts' Gary Hirshberg, David De Rothschild, Carrot Mob's Brent Schulkin and Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine's Gavin Starks.

Since founding EWG in 1993, Cook has been leading an information-driven campaign to focus attention on facts and data that are commonly overlooked or unpublished. In nominating him, Huffington Post's editors singled out EWG's data-driven work on a comprehensive cell phone radiation database, mercury contamination in tuna, the dangers of BPA and EWG's heavily searched farm subsidy database.

The farm subsidy database is a powerful tool for lawmakers and media that reveals the billions of taxpayer dollars funneled to the largest and most profitable agri-business operations. The Huffington Post pointed out that the New York Times refers to the database as a "must-read for farmers."

More recently, EWG has provided consumers with information needed to make the healthiest choices for them and their families, including a widget for finding the radiation output of popular cell phone models and a guide to avoiding mercury in seafood. These are all part of the more than one million pages of robust web content EWG maintains with a modest staff of 37 employees.

With the rollout of each new consumer guide or study, EWG's online list of supporters grows, currently in the hundreds of thousands. Those on the list receive regular updates about EWG's work and are active participants when asked step up and help out, whether calling and emailing policymakers or flooding industry with phone calls demanding change.

The Huffington Post called Cook the "Clark Kent of environmental activists" and highlighted one of his most widely publicized quotes: "I often tell people that at EWG we are swayed by facts, not emotion. And the facts really piss us off."

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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.http://www.ewg.org