Corn ethanol tax breaks end
As EWG advocated, the corn-ethanol tax credit was allowed to expire on December 31, 2011, along with tariff protection for ethanol. The Senate voted by an overwhelming 73 to 27 to kill the so-called Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit. The House voted 283 to 128 in favor of an amendment to bar the use of federal funds to subsidize ethanol infrastructure - the industry’s Plan B. It has been downhill since then for the corn ethanol lobby.
EWG calls out kids' cereals with more sugar than Twinkies
An EWG review of 84 cereal brands found that only one in four children’s cereals met a government panel’s voluntary proposed guidelines, which recommend no more than 26 percent added sugar by weight. EWG called for an even lower cap on sugar in children’s cereals.
Pollan names EWG's Cook one of most powerful foodies
Food authority Michael Pollan, writing in Forbes magazine, named EWG president Ken Cook one of the world’s seven “most powerful foodies.” Pollan said that “Cook has campaigned tirelessly to overhaul federal farm policy so that it can support, rather than undermine, America's public health and environmental goals.”
Secret Farm Bill in Super Committee efforts blocked
We put all hands on deck to oppose the subsidy lobby’s attempt to stuff the farm bill into the Super Committee deficit reduction proposal. We developed and released a stream of reports drawing media attention to the machinations of the subsidy lobby, produced a video that was aired on CNN and in Des Moines broadcast markets urging viewers to help stop the secret farm bill, visited 50 Congressional offices to ask them to help stop the secret farm bill and called every Senate and House office expressing our opposition to the bill. Our commissioned research on a new crop insurance proposal that would have cost taxpayers mightily was a game-changer that effectively killed the secret negotiations on the bill. Grist writer Tom Laskawy, in a piece entitled “No Secret Farm Bill and other things to be thankful for,” praised EWG for making the secret farm bill public. New York Times writer Mark Bittman called EWG “the best watchdog on misallocated subsides.”
Local food bill backed
EWG organized support for the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act introduced in October 2011 by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Me.) and Sen Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
California enacts BPA ban
On October 4, 2011, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an EWG-backed bill to ban BPA in sippy cups and baby bottles. After this victory, the chemical industry, reversed itself and said it would no longer battle measures to rid baby bottles and sippy cups of BPA.
The Hill taps Ken Cook for best grassroots lobbyist list
The Hill newspaper in Washington D.C. named Ken Cook one of the country’s best top grassroots lobbyists, observing, “Cook is at the forefront of challenges to corn ethanol and subsidies for Big Agriculture, upcoming hot-button issues as Congress tackles energy matters and starts work on a new farm bill. “
Just Label It!
In the fall of 2011, EWG joined California's Just Label It! Campaign to label foods that contain genetically-engineered foods. More than 60,000 people signed EWG's petition to support GMO labeling.
Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change + Health
EWG's Meat Eaters Guide to Climate Change & Health went viral in June 2011 and was picked up by Yahoo! Green, USA Today, Time, WebMD and the New York Times. Celebrity chef Mario Batali promoted the guide in an email that went to tens of thousands of Americans.
Fracking investigations expand
In June 2011, Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu recruited a panel of supposedly independent experts to advise him on fracking and the natural gas industry -- and EWG promptly discovered that six of the seven had current financial ties to the industry. EWG’s letter to Chu expressing concern was joined by more than 100 national, state, and local organizations in 13 states. EWG organized a similar letter to Chu from 60 New York state elected officials and a third letter from 28 prominent scientists.
In July 2011, EWG published “Cracks in the Façade,” uncovering an EPA document that contradicted industry claims that hydraulic fracking operation had not contaminated groundwater,
In December 2011, EWG’s report “Drilling Double Speak” chronicled how gas drilling companies routinely warned their investors of a litany of possible disasters such as leaks, spills, explosions, bodily injury and even death from hydraulic fracturing but regularly failed to mention these risks when pressing landowners to sign leases for drilling rights.