FAQs

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


 

1. What is the International Food Information Council Foundation?

The International Food Information Council Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan educational foundation based in Washington, D.C.

Our mission is to effectively communicate science-based information about health, nutrition and food safety for the public good. 

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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.

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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 annual 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, health, 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, health, and food safety issues.
     
  • Website/Publications: Our website, www.FoodInsight.org, includes publications that provide information to the public.
     
  • Our Food Advocates Communicating Through Science (FACTS) Network is a global, interactive network of tens of thousands of people, formed to offer clarification on the growing tide of deceptive advice and misleading statistics that define a large portion of today’s food and nutrition dialogue. Made up of scientists, healthcare experts, food advocates, and consumers, FACTS provides scientific conclusions and compelling insight from experts, correcting common misperceptions about modern food production, food safety, nutrition, health and wellness. Click here to join our FACTS Network.
     
  • Professional Education Provider: We provide Continuing Professional Education (CPE) programs for health and nutrition professionals. We are an approved provider for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) 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 and Collaborations: We partner and collaborate with many other credible organizations in a variety of ways to advance the public understanding of health, nutrition and food safety. 

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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 arrange briefings on the latest in food safety, health, and nutrition information. We organize webcasts 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 media@foodinsight.org.

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5. Is the International Food Information Council Foundation “international”?

Out of our 1+ million annual website visits, 35 to 40 percent typically come from outside the United States. On an annual basis, FoodInsight.org is visited by people in every country of the world and speakers of more than 90 languages.  We also are able translate key resources into additional languages.   

While we are primarily a U.S. based educational organization, the "International" in our name recognizes the global nature of food and health issues.  We are part of an independent network of Food Information Organizations (FIOs) and partners from around the world.  Click here to learn more about the members of the FIO Network which are located in key countries and regions.  We also engage with developed and emerging market countries, host and participate in global conferences and workshops, facilitate the International Center of Excellence in Food Risk Communication, and have an international section on our website with articles and key events that are international in scope.

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6. How is the International Food Information Council Foundation organized and staffed?

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.

Kimberly Reed is our president. 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.

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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. View our 990 Tax Forms.

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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 info@foodinsight.org.

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9. What is the difference between the International Food Information Council Foundation and IFIC?

  International Food Information Council Foundation  IFIC
Legal structure  Nonprofit
501(c)3 public education foundation 
Nonprofit
501(c)6
 
Vision  A global environment where credible science drives food policy and consumer choice.
Mission  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.
 
Oversight  Board of Trustees
A majority represent universities, governmental bodies, research laboratories and public foundations. 
Board of Directors
 
Web site  www.foodinsight.org

 www.ific.us

Date Founded  1991  1985

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10. 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.

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11. 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 government 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 together different stakeholders and policymakers to better understand the issues of the day.

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12. 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 400+ 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 webcasts, 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.

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13. 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 scientific consensus, and we produce educational materials that reflect the current and evolving state of the science.

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14. 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.

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15. 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.

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