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WWF tries to silence criticism

NOTE: Wilfried Huismann is an investigative journalist, author, documentary film maker, and three-time winner of the Grimme Award, one of the most prestigious awards for German television. He made the documentary about the WWF: 'The Silence of the Pandas'. 

Among other things, the film looks at the Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS), an industry greenwash program launched and supported by WWF in cooperation with Monsanto. RTRS certifies GM soy sprayed with Roundup as 'responsible', in spite of the social and environmental devastation caused by the crop.

You can also see an interview with the documentary maker here (subtitled in English)
Environmentalists battle leftist author
Big Pond, June 16 2012

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) battled with a leftist author in a German court on Friday over his allegations that the nature-conservation organisation was cosy with big business.

WWF had sought an injunction against a book by Wilfried Huismann, Schwarzbuch WWF (Black Book WWF), arguing that it contained 13 untrue allegations. The author had in turn accused WWF of censorship.

WWF, which campaigns to save threatened species, raises some of its funds from business sponsors and is less radical than some other global environmentalist groups.

Huismann's book alleges WWF cooperates with companies that damage the environment and with military dictatorships. The organisation has responded that it operates pragmatically to achieve results.

Judge Margarete Reske said the two sides were arguing with such vehemence in court that it would be difficult to reach a settlement.

It was not clear if she would rule immediately or reserve judgement.

The lawyers for Huismann and his publisher, Guetersloher Verlagshaus, agreed to delete one allegation from a second edition of the book, saying it was not crucial to Huismann's argument, but held firm over the others.

WWF's lawyer, Helge Reich, said Huismann was entitled to criticise WWF, but not to falsely claim facts.

Huismann alleged WWF cooperated with Monsanto, a biotechnology and seed company. WWF told the court it was a member of a round-table group that included Monsanto, but said "cooperating" was not the proper word for this.