A Public Resource Compiled by the

New Field Foundation

1623 Fifth Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901
501c3 nonprofit

Donor to anti-GMO organizations as part of a broader philanthropic strategy

Key People

  • Jonathon Landeck, Managing Director
  • Janis Burger, Board Secretary
  • Ellen Friedman, Board Treasurer
  • Tabara Ndiaye, Program Consultant

Established in 2004, the New Field Foundation supports “rural women’s organizations to overcome poverty, violence, and injustice in their communities.” The foundation openly supports anti-GMO activities as part of its mission because “ international financial and government interests” invest in African agriculture “often with only their own economic and food security interests in mind. New Field praises “rural women leaders” who “speak strongly against genetically modified seeds and chemical fertilizers,” because the foundation believes these technologies have no place in “a resilient and cost effective regional food system.”

Ellen Friedman, former Tides Center vice president, sits on New Field’s board of directors. The Tides Center, which has received over $8 million from the foundation, is a politically progressive nonprofit that also finances anti-GMO advocacy groups, including Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Both Greenpeace and NRDC are involved in ongoing efforts to ban herbicides paired with GMO crops, most notably glyphosate. Greenpeace has also lobbied for restrictions on the cultivation of gene-edited plants in Europe.

New Field Foundation has contributed $700,000 to the AgroEcology Fund (AEF), a multi-donor fund that believes GMO crops represent a threat to the “food sovereignty” of developing nations. AEF has also pressured African governments to block the import of GMO seeds, arguing in 2016 that “smallholder farmers have the capacity to feed their families, local and international markets on organic foods.”

In a 2015 report, co-authored with Tides, the New Field Foundation wrote that additional funding for food security in Africa was necessary to combat “such threats as corporate land grabs, patented seeds, and pro-GMO policies and practices ….” The authors added that moving  “the conversation away from bio-technology as the main solution to Food Security and poverty alleviation” is an important part of their efforts.

Financial Data


Annual Revenue: $576,410 (2015)

Major Recipients (total contributions 2012-present)

Tides Center $8,227,958

AgroEcology Fund $450,000

La Via Campesina $419,520

FAHAMU $95,700

Groundswell International Inc. $50,000

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa $41,000

Organic Seed Alliance $5,000

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Note that there are three “levels” of both donors and recipients.

Donations to advocacy groups are sometimes designated to support a specific cause, such as organic agriculture or mitigating climate change. There is no way for us to know from publicly-available documents on what the money will be spent, as we can only see the total amount donated. When we assign the levels below to donors and recipients, we assume that all donations are available to the recipient for all advocacy, including anti-GMO advocacy.

  • Level 1: Donates primarily to dedicated anti-GMO organizations
  • Level 2: A large portion of donations go to anti-GMO organizations; some donations go to organizations without a position on GMOs
  • Level 3: A small portion of donations go to anti-GMO organizations
    * Most donations go to organizations without a formal position on GMOs but which have aligned themselves with anti-GMO activists

For Level 1 recipients, all donations are used for anti-GMO advocacy. For Level 2 and 3 recipients, we don’t know how much of each donation is used for anti-GMO advocacy.

  • Level 1: Dedicated to anti-GMO advocacy
  • Level 2: Involved in anti-GMO advocacy along with other causes
  • Level 3: No specific anti-GMO advocacy, but general support
    * Organizations without a formal position on GMOs but which have aligned themselves with anti-GMO activists
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