Smart discussion about toxics policy reform

EWG President and Co-founder Ken Cook voted Huffington Post’s Ultimate Green Game Changer

Recognized for his efforts in utilizing new media to fight misinformation and weak legislation on toxics and human health, EWG president and co-founder Ken Cook was named one of Huffington Post’s Top Ten Ultimate Green Game Changers.

After weeks of voting, Arianna Huffington announced Ken as the winner on November 18th, describing him as “The Clark Kent of Environmental Activists” and giving him the title “Ultimate Green Game Changer.”

EWG’s leading research on BPA, mercury in fish, and cell phone radiation were all listed as a few of the ways we are changing the game. Our consumer guides, easy to navigate databases, and widgets all enable Ken and the modest staff of 37 to give consumers the information they need to make the healthiest choices, and lawmakers the facts they need to make needed changes.

Ken’s well-known quote on what fuels his work:

I often tell people that at EWG we are swayed by facts, not emotion. And the facts really piss us off.

Here’s the full press release:

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

Co-Founder and President Ken Cook Voted Huffington Post ’09 “Ultimate Green Game Changer”

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. Cook responded:

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

Other Green Game Changer nominees included Isabella Rosellini, Kitchen Gardens International’s Roger Doiron, the Story of Stuff’s Annie Leonard,’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 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 1,000,000 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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