Genetic Literacy Project Mission Statement
Genetic engineering is reshaping farming, food and medicine, and providing new insights into our understanding of human history. The Genetic Literacy Project is committed to aiding the public, media and policymakers in understanding the societal implications of this burgeoning revolution, promoting science literacy, and ensuring that that we have transparent, ethical and science-based regulations so society can fully benefit from biotechnology innovation.
Some advocacy groups are critical of ‘disruptive’ innovation. Dramatic change, when misapplied, can lead to unintended health and environmental consequences and present ethical and religious challenges. While we respect the uncertainties inherent in science, the GLP is grounded in the conviction that uncertainty is built into change and biotechnology is a critical engine of innovation. We examine these often-profound issues on a daily basis.
The GLP’s goal, through our website and outreach efforts, including the dissemination of educational materials, organizing public and private conferences and initiating briefings with regulators and government officials, is to prevent legislative overreach grounded in ideology rather than science, help in the creation of reasonable ethical and religious oversight of biotechnological innovation, and encourage cooperation among academic and industry researchers, all in an effort to promote the public interest.
The GLP is part of the Science Literacy Project (SLP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The SLP family of sites also includes GMO FAQs: Agricultural Biotechnology Frequently Asked Questions; the Epigenetics Literacy Project; and the Genetic Expert News Service (GENeS), which was run with no editorial oversight from the GLP from 2012-14; both are now on hiatus.
The GLP takes its tagline—Science Not Ideology—very seriously. We stand for transparency and challenge bias. We are funded by grants from independent foundations and charities. The GLP also accepts tax-deductible donations from individuals and associations, but not from corporations. We have no affiliation, informal or informal, with any corporation. To the best of our knowledge, none of the organizations that has donated money to our project has financial ties to companies linked to human or agricultural genetics.
The SLP and its various subdivisions have no formal affiliation with and receive no funding from any institutions or private individuals other than those listed below and in our 990 government filings, other than small donations under $500 from private individuals.
Executive director Jon Entine was a senior fellow (unpaid) at the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy at the University of California-Davis’ World Food Institute from 2014-2016 and was previously a senior fellow (unpaid) at George Mason University’s Center for Health and Risk Communication from 2011-2104. He does no lobbying and no consulting.
NOTE: Despite allegations among activist groups, some of which have been picked up by online sites and media organizations which have not corresponded or verified these claims with the GLP, the GLP or its employees has not been offered or received any donation from Monsanto (or any of its employees) during the history of the nonprofit. There are no documents anywhere that support that allegation—none—and the activist organization USRTK, which is the primary source of such allegations, has been provided depositions from Monsanto that refutes that allegation. No media organization has presented the GLP with any documentation supporting such an allegation. The GLP posts 990s, which legally require us to disclose all of donors. None shows any donations from Monsanto or any of its affiliates.
The Genetic Literacy Project is a non-profit arm of the 501(c)(3) Science Literacy Project. We depend on the generosity of foundations, associations, philanthropists and individuals, including people like you, interested in our project and programs.
- John Templeton Foundation: $267,687
- Winkler Family Foundation: $120,000
- Charles Koch Foundation, Technology & Innovation Group: $68,500
- Charles Ohrstrom: $17.000
- Kayser Family Foundation Fund of the DuPage Foundation: $10,000
- The Bader Family Foundation: $10,000
- Perry Hackett: $2,500
- The Modzelewski Charitable Fund: $2,500
- Peter Treadway: $2,500
- Individual donations: $10,861
Conflict of Interest
This nonprofit is pledged to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest wherever and whenever possible. We have adopted stringent policies on these issues, conscious that they may be more restrictive than is customary in the world of private business. In particular: We accept no gifts from news sources. We accept no free trips. We neither seek nor accept preferential treatment that might be rendered because of the positions we hold. We do not accept either honoraria or expenses from governments, government-funded organizations, groups of government officials, political groups or organizations that take positions on controversial issues.
Verification and Fact-Checking Standards, and Corrections
There is no “Genetic Literacy Project position” on any issue. Each writer has primary responsibility for reporting, writing, and fact-checking their stories. When a story is opinion-driven, it is marked as a “Viewpoint” story. Reports are subject to review by one or more editors, who retain responsibility to run or not run a story. When pertinent, we review written quotes and audio tapes of interviews. Senior editors who have overall oversight of the daily reporting, features and resources review every online post. We are responsive in correcting errors. When we run a correction, clarification or editor’s note, we tell readers what was wrong and what is correct. If we are substantively correcting an article, photo caption, headline, graphic, video or other material, we publish a note explaining the change. The time stamp for any article changed is updated.
The GLP was conceived and launched in 2011 by Jon Entine in the wake of his writing of 5 books on genetics, chemicals and risk, and hundreds of articles on sustainability and genetics. To be eligible for donations for the nonprofit start-up from independent foundations, the GLP sought affiliation with the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS), a 501(c)(3) housed at George Mason University. GLP was founded as an independently operated division. STATS provided accounting services and administrative support from the GLP’s inception until 2014.
Entine served as a senior fellow at STATS (unpaid) to which he contributed occasional articles. Entine concurrently served as a senior fellow (unpaid) at GMU’s Center for Health and Risk Communication. In 2014, STATS folded, ceased its affiliation with GMU and was absorbed by the nonprofit 501(c)(3) Science About Science US.
In 2015, the Sense About Science board (of which Jon Entine was temporarily a member during its transition) decided that the Genetic Literacy Project should inherit the 501(c)(3) nonprofit legal status of STATS, as Sense About Science sought its own formal nonprofit status. Sense About Science registered as a 501(c)(3). That same year, the GLP formally registered as an independent 501(c)(3) under the name Science Literacy Project (the GLP then had two sister educational outreach websites, the Epigenetics Literacy Project and GENeS), permanently ending any relationship with STATS or Sense About Science.
- Drew Kershen, professor emeritus University of Oklahoma College of Law, agricultural biotechnology
- Nina Fedoroff, emeritus professor in molecular biology, Penn State University, former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Mary Boote (Roth), CEO of Global Farmer Network (formerly Truth About Trade and Technology)
- Ben Locwin, president Healthcare Science Advisors, PhD in behavioral neuroscience, MBA, MS; former director of Biogen
- Matt Winkler, chairman and founder of Asuragen and Ambion; chairman of the Winkler Family Foundation
- Geoffrey Kabat, cancer epidemiologist and author, formerly on the faculty of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Jon Entine, GLP founder and executive director
- Brian Muia, Director of Finance, Jones & Kolb
GLP 2018-2019 Annual Report
GLP 2017-2018 Annual Report
The GLP is committed to full transparency.
Download and review our 2018 Annual Report.
To Contact Us:
Science Literacy Project/Genetic Literacy Project
ATTN: Brian Muia
Jones and Kolb
3475 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 1500
Atlanta, GA 30305