McCartney, wrestlers slam WWF
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2003:
LONDON, U.K.; HARTFORD, Connecticut–Rock star Sir Paul
McCartney opened 2003 by joining an global tag-team of critics of the
World Wildlife Fund.
“I was appalled to learn from PETA that the U.S. office of
the WWF has been a driving force behind the design and development of
one of the largest animal testing programmes in international
history,” McCartney wrote to WWF director general Claude Martin,
accusing WWF of “pressurizing the U.S. Congress to require the
testing of chemicals for hormone-disrupting effects.”
McCartney referred to the High Production Volume Challenge
testing program begun in 2000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. The program seeks to fill gaps in the U.S. registry data on
about 25,000 chemical products that were labeled “safe” before
various neurotoxic and ecotoxic effects were suspected, and before
methods were developed to detect them. The program resulted from 31
years of legal work by the Environmental Defense Fund, but is
endorsed by WWF and most other major environmental organizations.
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. attorney Jerry McDevitt
meanwhile denounced a WWF demand for $90 million from the WWE, in
settlement of $360 million in damage claims, as “in my opinion
nothing more than a shakedown.” WWF is reportedly seeking to enforce
the demand by trying to block sales of wrestling video games that
bear the former logo of WWE, founded as the World Wrestling
WWE changed names in May 2002 after the World Wildlife Fund
won two British court rulings that it infringed the WWF trademark by
using the same initials.
“We will not pay extortion or send $90 million of our
hard-earned money to Swiss bank accounts,” affirmed WWE chief
executive officer Linda McMahon.
Counterpunch columnist Jeffrey St. Clair meanwhile ripped WWF
on December 5 for allegedly becoming “little more than the well-paid
zombies of the corporations they have gotten into bed with,” naming
10 major corporate donors to WWF with dubious records on animals,
the environment, and human rights.