Anti-chemical enviros call in help from mommy ‘stroller brigade’

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Betsi Fores The Daily Caller News Foundation
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In what may be an act of desperation, left wing environmentalist groups have called in mom.

Under the guise of a coalition of mommy bloggers and their intrepid “stroller brigade,” the “Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families” lobbying coalition will hold a rally and a press conference on May 22, and meet with members of Congress to gin up support for the Safe Chemicals Act.

Stroller marches have long been used by environmentalists and other groups as a way to brand their message as resonant with concerned mothers looking out for their children’s safety.

Last November the Natural Resources Defense Council, a member of the “Safer Chemicals” coalition, held a similar stroller march, asking Senators to co-sponsor the bill.

In 2004, the Sierra Club, also a member of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, held a “Mother’s Day Stroller Brigade” as a protest tactic against mercury pollution. The march advertised that “One in six moms needs to be worried about toxic mercury,” a number that came from a single EPA scientist, the late Kathryn Mahaffey. The EPA later disavowed the statistic, but it helped launch the modern day mercury-in-fish scare movement.

Then, the Sierra Club was more concerned with mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants than about seafood. The tuna fish sandwiches featured in the march were largely irrelevant, since tuna is an ocean fish that’s largely unaffected by man-made mercury emissions on land.

“Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families,” describes itself as a “mom-based coalition,” but the group’s website boasts a membership of more than 280 groups including Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood, the League of Conservation Voters, Green America and the EarthJustice environmental-advocacy law firm.

Environmental Defense, a green group that works with government and industry, announced the coalition in 2009. The band of purported “moms” shares a office space and a phone number in Washington, D.C., with the mega-enviro group, according to Senate lobbying disclosures.

In the last two years the campaign has spent nearly $700,000 lobbying Congress, according to those lobbying disclosures.

The coalition does not voluntarily disclose their donors, but according to IRS data provided to The Daily Caller by, its funding and operation is provided by a Boston organization called the Environmental Health Fund. The Environmental Health Fund and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families share many of the same senior staff.

FoundationSearch’s data, which comes from publicly available IRS filings, shows that grants earmarked for the effort have come from the Marisla Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Bauman Family Foundation, the Fine Fund and the Thomas Phillips and Jane Moore Johnson Fund.

The Kresge Foundation has been its biggest donor, awarding a two-year $500,000 grant in 2010. That same year, the Marisla Foundation donated $275,000.

The Bauman Family Foundation, a grantmaker to many left-wing causes, donated $50,000 in 2011 despite what its tax return demonstration may be a conflict of interest: The foundation’s holdings include $23,000 in Dow Chemical Co. stock, a nearly $10,000 investment in Air Products & Chemicals Inc., $7,000 in Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, $4,000 in Israel Chemicals SHS, and roughly $2,000 in the Hitachi Chemical Company.

It also holds mutual fund shares that include another $160,000 in Dow Chemical stock.

The Safe Chemicals Act was sponsored by Senator Frank Lautenberg, who has sponsored a host of other green legislation.

According to, the bill has a 1 percent chance of being enacted.

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