International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources (IFCNR) says it is a non-profit independent foundation and 'the preeminent global advocate for issues, the resources themselves, as well as the nations, people, and industries involved with environmental issues.'
IFCNR has traditionally focused on defending hunting, trapping and fishing but more recently GM has been added to its list of causes and it now has a website focusing specifically on this issue.
The rationale behind this foucs is made clear in an IFCNR article about how a specialty grocery chain had gone GM free following, 'a year-long campaign of street theater intimidation orchestrated by Greenpeace' - 'Trader Joe's Defenseless Against Greenpeace' :
'The failure of the Life Science sector to establish its own advocacy strategies - based on science and the truth - leaves institutions such as Trader Joe's virtually disarmed when confronted by critics such as Greenpeace.'
This raises the 'specter of having radical and self-serving NGOs dictate the nation's and the world's food policies based on deceptive tactics. That is an unforgivable disservice to the public, to science, and to the environment. It should not, and must not be allowed.'
IFCNR articulated its line of attack in a new year message, 'So why are environmental and animal rights advocacy groups rampaging about the globe destroying field tests of these new crops, vandalizing the research facilities... They employ the tactics of strong-arm extortionists and thugs against retailers such as Trader Joe's grocery outlets for stocking products containing even trace amounts of biotech-enhanced hybrid foods, developed and safety tested for the past decade.'
This is part of a 'Statement' by the President of the IFCNR, Stephen S. Boynton.
Boynton's biotech advocacy role follows on from such previous campaigns as a clandestine anti-Clinton campaign that helped bolster the legal efforts of Paula Jones in her sexual harassment lawsuit against the then President where 'critical assistance was provided by Stephen S. Boynton, a conservative Virginia attorney.'
In that campaign Boynton drew on long-standing ties to rightwing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife and was a key player in Scaife's anti-Clinton Arkansas Project in which $1.8 million, was 'paid out in "legal expenses" with no further explanation of what sort of legal services were provided... records indicate that the money went to conservative lawyer Stephen Boynton and... David Henderson, who in turn funneled some of the money to various anti-Clinton operatives.' A certain 'lack of documentation' to support the money flowing to Boynton and Henderson has been alleged.
Aquilino is also described as a partner and a Senior Fellow with PEAT Institute in Washington, D.C. He's also said to have 'worked on behalf of biomedical research'. The PEAT Institute has been described as 'a PR firm' but the institute prefers the term 'an advocacy strategy group' and says, 'Its clients are private corporations with sustainable use products'.
The distinction is based on the idea that corporate attempts to 'apply the techniques of brand marketing/traditional public relations spin to counter the allegations of animal rights and environmental advocacy are fruitless. The former simply is not compatible with the latter on any level. PR and brand advertising is equated in the publics mind with selling something. Advocacy is seen as helping the helpless.'
IFCNR goes on to say, 'Few consultancies understand the immense pull of advocacy. Those that do, and the PEAT Institute is one, demonstrate strategies that neutralize NGO rhetoric...'
Aquilino's vision of NGOs was outlined in an article entitled, 'The Truth About The Antis'