June 15, 2012

Following Public Pressure, Amgen Drops Heartland Institute

The major biotechnology corporation Amgen (AMGN) has confirmed that it will no longer support the Heartland Institute, a political advocacy group that questions the science of climate change and tobacco smoking. Forecast the Facts, which is leading the campaign calling on corporations to drop Heartland, confirmed the decision via telephone with company spokesperson Kelley Davenport.

“We are pleased Amgen recognized that support for Heartland is untenable for a company based on promoting health and science,” said Forecast the Facts campaign manager Brad Johnson. “Their decision leaves Pfizer (PFE), the self-proclaimed ‘largest research-based pharmaceutical company’ in the world, as the last major pharmaceutical company still funding Heartland.”

Amgen’s last contribution to Heartland was in 2010 for $25,000. Heartland’s 2012 budget documents projected a $25,000 contribution in 2012. Amgen’s decision follows a groundswell of public outrage over the corporate support for the Heartland Institute’s toxic behavior, including a billboard campaign that equated believers in climate change with serial killers such as the Unabomber. Over 150,000 people have signed petitions to corporate leaders to drop Heartland. Amgen is the 20th company to end its support for Joseph Bast’s organization, joining its competitors Eli Lilly (LLY), Bayer (BAYRY), and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Forecast the Facts calculates that the Heartland Institue has lost $1,165,000 in expected 2012 contributions.

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Forecast the Facts is dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change: that temperatures are increasing, human activity is largely responsible, and that our world is already experiencing the effects. We do this by empowering everyday people to speak out in the face of misinformation and hold accountable those who mislead the public.

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