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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment

Mission: The Environmental Working Group (EWG), founded in 1993, fills a niche in the environmental community by focusing its unique strategy on toxics, agriculture and western lands issues. Our effective advocacy efforts are bolstered by extensive web databases and a 500,000-person email list, which have become major forces in online information distribution. EWG is a national organization with headquarters in Washington, DC, and offices in Oakland, CA and Ames, Iowa.

Programs: EWG's research propels change that protects people from health problems attributed to a wide array of toxic contaminants in food, water, air, and consumer products.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 David335

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

For quite a while I was a supporter of the Environmental Working Group. However, I had an experience with the organization that had led me to question my support.

Environmental Working Group reviews a number of consumer products including sunscreens. They are particularly well known for their sunscreen reviews. Several months ago, during a discussion with a couple of dermatologists, I brought up the subject of Environmental Working Group sunscreen reviews. They both felt that the research basis for these reviews was not at all convincing. I was surprised to hear this. I have a scientific background and said that I would look into this with the organization.

Unfortunately, all of my efforts to communicate with the Environmental Working Group were frustrating leading me to question the organization's commitment to transparency. I wrote a message explaining my interest in exploring the science behind their sunscreen recommendations and was told that it would be forwarded internally to the appropriate person. 6 weeks later I had received no response. I sent the message again, this time receiving no response in 3 months. I was not able to find any additional avenues of communication with the organization.

My experience with the Environmental Working Group was what I had anticipated. I have reluctantly concluded that the the organization is unfortunately far from transparent. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to justify supporting them.

Review from Guidestar

4 Sara120

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I have worked in the Senate, for an environmental non-profit, and in the private sector on agricultural sustainability issues for over 15 years. This group more than most I've worked with has made a living off of enraging people without delivering any results in return. They do not know how to be good partners, with their own community or those on the business side they seek changes from. EWG seems to make its money from getting people mad, perhaps that is the space it intends to occupy, but don't confuse that with making change - you can't make change if you can't build trust.

Review from Guidestar