The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a leading opponent of animal rights extremism, has filed a complaint with the IRS alleging that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is abusing its not-for-profit status to benefit the for-profit corporation, Whole Foods. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey sits on the HSUS Board of Directors.
The complaint alleges that HSUS is threatening food businesses with reprisals unless they procure their meats from the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), an organization set up by and largely funded by Whole Foods to “certify” humanely raised meat. HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle serves on the board of GAP. Whole Foods is reportedly paying the salaries of three GAP employees, including its Executive Director.
A story on the CCF website notes that HSUS appears to be acting as the “enforcer” by pressuring companies to buy only those products certified as “humane” by GAP, and available from Whole Foods. And, of course, HSUS and Whole Foods get to decide how “humane” is defined.
CCF concludes that the arrangement “smells rotten.” We couldn’t agree more. When you use your tax-exempt organization to grow the profits of a for-profit corporation run by one of your board members, in plain language–it stinks.