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Dol-fund Safe: Why Earth Island Hates Transparency

by Campaign for Eco-Safe Tuna
October 30, 2013

Dol-fund Safe: Why Earth Island Hates Transparency

Few organizations are cagier about cash flows than the Earth Island Institute (EII). The organization serves as an incubator for super-PACs with green-washed names and no transparency. With every new spinoff group, Earth Island expands a thick and obscure network of money flows that would make a wizened Mafioso proud. EII calls this system of obfuscation “Network Services.”  And most of the money EII collects comes from other super-PACs, giving them a level of shrouded financial secrecy that only money can buy.

Our campaign tracked EII’s funding sources up through 2007 when the organization was granted status as a 501(c)(3) and was no longer required to disclose donors or contributions. Prior to the EII veil of secrecy, organization disclosures revealed a $25,000 windfall from the No-Such Family Foundation of Westport, CT. (www.undueinfluence.com/earth_island_institute.htm). If there had been super PACs at that time, you can bet EII would have hidden that donation too.

Earth Island Institute has become the bridge troll of tuna labeling, demanding payments to their profitable International Marine Mammal Protection fund in exchange for industry to use or avoid being blacklisted by their unregulated and mis-named “dolphin-safe” labeling scheme. Companies that want to use more legitimate labels are targeted for bullying and boycott by Earth Island attorneys and thugs. Most are eventually forced to fork over the protection money to EII, feeding the next round of bullying and “donations” that EII will never have to disclose publicly. They pay lip service to green causes to bring supporters in the front door, but there’s a well-kept secret about what’s coming out the back.

When the Better Business Bureau’s National Charity Reports asked to review EII’s financials, they refused, earning them a dubious “Did Not Disclose” rating (http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/earth-island-institute-in-berkeley-ca-3260). It is unacceptable for a so-called “charitable” organization with no oversight and no transparency to profit from market manipulation. EII has gone too far and it’s time for the Justice Department to investigate their deception and put an end to the secret bullying and profiteering.  We used to expect this kind of behavior from oil industry lobbyists but today the real money’s in the green and EII is cynically cashing in at every turn.