Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a political and litigation behemoth, uses scare PR campaigns and pseudoscience to influence government regulations.

Although the NRDC claims to “connect environmental issues with the basic concerns of American families,” its scheming only restricts consumer freedom and frightens people away from safe foods like fish.

For instance, the NRDC wrongly warns, “the most common source of mercury exposure for Americans is tuna fish.” An NRDC “expert” thinks, “We need a strong global treaty … protect the safety of the fish (and other aquatic food sources) we eat.” Of course, the methylmercury found in all ocean species of fish is naturally occurring — caused by underwater volcanic activity that has been going on for millennia. Its “Mercury Calculator,” which attempts to substitute legitimate health advice for an easy but arbitrary 1-2-3 online checklist and analysis, contains an important caveat: “Remember that this calculation is only an estimate and should not be considered definitive.”

In other words, you can’t trust the NRDC. Not only does it promote faulty advice, it assumes a position of authority on health issues when it has no credibility to do so.

Equipped with activist trial attorneys, former government officials, political strategists, policy wonks and a sister 501(c)(4) advocacy group, the NRDC is an partial significant actor with a lot of money and power on the line. Ironically enough, the NRDC thinks it is still qualified to “defend…scientific integrity” and “scrutinize the qualifications of scientists…to assure they are free from financial conflicts of interest and to uncover biases.”

Not a chance. For decades, the NRDC has intentionally misrepresented scientific findings — or created its own data — resulting in national phony health scares and countless unintended consequences. Of course, a ratings-hungry press all too conveniently perpetuates their sham campaigns.

For instance, the NRDC helped to cause nation-wide pandemonium when it issued a report deeming Alar in apples unsafe. But as Dr. Joseph D. Rosen, professor of food science at Rutgers University, noted, “there was never any legitimate scientific study to justify the Alar scare.” As a result, “sales and prices of all apples declined sharply, and 20,000 apple growers in the U.S. suffered substantial financial harm — even the large number who never used Alar. Farmers went bankrupt.”

As observed in a Hudson Institute report, “Since there isn’t a judge standing at the line of ethics to slap wrists when it is crossed, the public can only hope that individuals will operate with the public’s best interests in mind. The Alar case is not very encouraging.”

Over 20 years later, doubts still linger over the NRDC’s credibility. And for good reason.

Back to Fearmongers