1. What is the International Food Information Council Foundation?
The International Food Information Council Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-partisan educational foundation based in Washington, DC.
Our mission is to effectively communicate science-based information about health, nutrition and food safety for the public good.
2. Why does the International Food Information Council Foundation exist?
We were formed in 1991 as the public education arm of the International Food Information Council (IFIC). We originally were named the Food Education Foundation and later renamed the International Food Information Council Foundation.
We envision a global environment where credible science drives food policy and consumer choice, and we exist to help facilitate that environment.
3. How does the International Food Information Council Foundation accomplish its mission?
By its nature, scientific research is not readily accessible to most people and can be difficult to understand. We help consumers understand scientific findings regarding health, nutrition, and food safety in language that is clear and easy to apply to their diets and lifestyles.
We help stakeholders including health and nutrition professionals, educators, government officials, journalists, food, beverage, and agricultural industry professionals, and consumers stay on top of the latest research and trends. In addition to our publications, which are available through www.FoodInsight.org, we also bring public and private stakeholders together for conferences and discussions surrounding health, nutrition and food safety topics of mutual interest.
Here are some of our tools and resources to help consumers make informed choices:
- Research: We conduct primary research on public opinion about food safety and nutrition. We share the results of this U.S. consumer attitudinal research with stakeholders and the public. A current example of a research product is our International Food Information Council Foundation Food & Health Survey.
- Reports: We report on the latest research on food safety and nutrition and communicate the state of the science in clear, easy-to-understand language.
- Educational Materials: We develop materials, test them with consumers and share the results with the media and stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
- News Media Resource: We provide science-based information to the media and refer news reporters to experts on a variety of nutrition and food safety topics.
- Conferences and Events: We bring diverse stakeholders together in a variety of forums to share information and improve understanding of nutrition and food safety issues. View our Calendar of Events.
- Web Site/Publications: Our Web site, www.FoodInsight.org, includes publications that provide information to the public and other stakeholders. Select publications are also available for purchase at our Publications Store.
- Professional Education Provider: We provide Continuing Professional Education (CPE) programs for health and nutrition professionals. We are an approved provider for American Dietetic Association (ADA) CPE programs. We have developed a series of Commission on Dietetic Registration-approved CPE programs on subjects relating to food, nutrition, communications, food safety, food biotechnology and a host of other topics. For a list of available CPE programs see: http://www.cdrnet.org
- Partnerships: We partner with many other credible organizations in a variety of ways to advance the public understanding of health, nutrition and food safety.
4. How does the International Food Information Council Foundation work with the news media?
Our media team helps journalists and bloggers who are writing about health, nutrition and food safety. For example, we connect journalists with credentialed experts. We help reporters understand what the public thinks about food safety and nutrition topics (by sharing the results of our consumer attitudinal research). We can arrange briefings on the latest in food safety and nutrition information. We organize Web casts that share new insights. We send alerts to journalists to help add context to breaking issues. We work to ensure accuracy and correct misinformation in the blogosphere. Through a past partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health, we offer tools to help journalists understand and accurately report on emerging science on nutrition, food safety, and health. Contact our media relations department at 202-296-6540 or email@example.com. Go to the News Room.
5. Is the International Food Information Council Foundation international?
We are primarily a U.S. educational organization. The "International" in our name recognizes the global nature of food and health issues and the fact that we offer educational materials for translation to an informal network of independent Food Information Organizations and partners around the world.
6. How is the International Food Information Council Foundation organized and staffed?
A Board of Trustees oversees the Foundation. The majority of our Trustees represent universities, governmental bodies, research laboratories and public foundations. The balance of our Trustees represent for-profit companies.
David Schmidt is our President and CEO. Kimberly Reed is our Executive Director. We share staff and office space with IFIC. In accordance with IRS regulations, we reimburse IFIC for staff time and office space. Full Staff List.
7. How is the International Food Information Council Foundation funded?
We receive funding from four sources:
- Companies that support the Foundation’s mission.
- Contributions from other foundations and associations (including IFIC).
- Grants from government agencies.
- Individual contributions.
View our list of Partners and Supporters(PDF). View our 990 Tax Forms.
8. How can someone contribute to the International Food Information Council Foundation?
We are a 501(c)(3) public education foundation as determined by the Internal Revenue Service. Contributions are deductible as charitable contributions. The organization’s public foundation tax status also permits contributions from other foundations (both public and private) as well as government grants and support. For information on how to contribute, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. How does the International Food Information Council Foundation allocate its financial resources?
As the 2009 expense chart below shows, our resources are dedicated to support our educational programs and attitudinal research studies, as well as administration.
International Food Information Council Foundation Expenditures 2009
10. What is the difference between the International Food Information Council Foundation and IFIC?
||International Food Information Council Foundation
501(c)3 public education foundation
||A global environment where credible science drives food policy and consumer choice.
||To effectively communicate science-based information about health, nutrition and food safety for the public good.
||To effectively communicate science-based information about food safety and nutrition to health professionals, government officials, educators, journalists, and consumers.
||Board of Trustees
A majority represent universities, governmental bodies, research laboratories and public foundations.
|Board of Directors
11. How do you select topics and develop questions for your consumer research?
We monitor the food safety and nutrition topics that are of the greatest interest to consumers through various outlets, including traditional media and social media. We also examine how consumers perceive risks and how they understand and interpret communications such as labels on packages or health and safety messages from the government. Based on this analysis, we select topics for our research.
Our attitudinal research is conducted according to accepted methodologies, which we detail in each report that we publish. One example of a research product is our International Food Information Council Foundation Food & Health Survey.
Often, we make our research available in published literature by working with experts on peer-reviewed research reports in respected journals.
12. How does the International Food Information Council Foundation interact with policymakers?
We provide our educational materials to policymakers, often during a public comment period or through other educational opportunities with our partners. We also make our research available to federal press offices and others who seek additional context on consumer research on food and nutrition issues.
In addition, we play a convening role by organizing conferences that bring different stakeholders and policymakers together to better understand the issues of the day.
13. How does the International Food Information Council Foundation work with experts?
One of our greatest strengths is our deep and extensive network of more than 350 credentialed experts in food safety, health and nutrition. Many of these experts are based at universities and all are accomplished in their fields. We rely on these experts to review the accuracy and context of our educational materials, help us understand emerging issues, participate in Web casts and speak at conferences around the world.
In addition, when reporters contact us seeking information, we often refer them to relevant experts who can help inform the public at large. We have no control over whether or not experts respond to the reporters who reach out to them. Similarly, we do not approve their remarks or have control over what these experts say. We never ask experts to speak in support of any company, product, brand or industry. We do not pay experts for media interviews.
14. Does the International Food Information Council Foundation speak for the food, beverage or agricultural industries?
No. In accordance with our Guiding Principles, we do not speak for any industry, company or product. We do not endorse products or accept advertising. Our work is based on the totality of the science, and we produce educational materials that reflect the state of the science.
15. Does the International Food Information Council Foundation engage in political activities?
No. In accordance with our Guiding Principles, we do not take positions, lobby or advocate for legislation or regulations. We do not have a political action committee (PAC). We do not hold fundraisers or contribute to candidates for political office.
16. What are your policies for those who interface with the media or with consumers through social media venues on behalf of the International Food Information Council Foundation?
We encourage our staff to participate in discussions in social media as we know this is an important and effective way to reach people. In accordance with our Guiding Principles, our staff must identify themselves as International Food Information Council Foundation representatives when they are communicating on behalf of the organization.