Policy Directions Inc.

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

Policy Directions Inc. is a Washington, DC based government relations and lobby firm for FDA and USDA regulated companies, including the animal testing, animal breeding, agribusiness, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and processed food industries, as well as universities and institutions receiving government grants. [1], [2] The firm was founded by long time Washington lobbyist Frankie Trull. Ms. Trull is also the president of the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), a trade association, and Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. [3] All are located at 818 Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC. NABR and FBR are clients of Policy Directions. In the fiscal year ending in 2008, NABR paid $80,000 to Policy Directions Inc. [4]

Overview

According to its website, Policy Directions was founded in 1995 as "customized advocacy" for health care, food, biomedical research, pharmaceutical and medical device regulation, federal nutrition policies and programs and environmental policies and programs. Policy Directions expanded in 2000 to provide services and counseling to food animal product, crop production, food inspection, food processing and retailing and related issues to corporate agribusiness such as trade, insurance, environmental policies and "radical activism". It has "longstanding relationships with key personal and committee staffs" in Congress as well as "critical players" in government agencies. Policy Directions works with the White House, U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, International Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) , U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), th U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Commerce, Labor & Justice, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSI), OSHA, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)." [5]

Government partnerships with industry

PDI's list of accomplishments includes:

  • "Industry coalition draft of legislative authority for a regulatory agency" whose language was "included in the final bill."
  • Leading a "coalition" of universities, research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to lobby Congress against "costly and ineffective rule making."
  • Leading a "broad industry coalition" to stop several "negative amendments to agriculture/FDA appropriations bills".
  • Worked with legislators in supporting and drafting the "Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act."
  • Achieved FDA support for a product that had originally been voted down.
  • Interceded on behalf of a client when the FDA final approval. ..Our client's product was approved in a timely manner.
  • Successfully lobbied Congress to secure a 20 million dollar, four year pilot program for our client's product.
  • Secured a 10% increase in funding and "administrative flexibility" to ensure our agency approval of our client's products.
  • Secured language in pending legislation that assured our client's would benefit from government-funded alternative fuels.
  • Secured funds for nutrition and medical research programs.
  • Creating a coalition of six leading biotechnology firms to promote advantageous legislation and meeting with agency officials to prevent "onerous rule making."
  • Drafting an Op-ed on a "controversial research issue" which was printed in a regional paper. [6]

Frankie Trull & AETA

According to her profile, Ms. Trull has worked with many "trade associations and national advocacy organizations". She has a "successful record of building effective coalitions". This includes a "broad array of biomedical research organizations that partnered with agriculture", to pass the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)[7] in November of 2006.

Critics have characterized AETA as being designed to protect the financial interests of corporations and industry as well as chill dissent and discourage legal activism, boycotts and protests. [8] See also Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, section 7.

Supporters of the AETA (H.R. 4239/S.3880) consider it a landmark piece of legislation which provides greater protections for researchers and companies from animal rights extremists. It is an expansion of the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act Act (Title 18, Sec. 43 of the US Criminal Code). The AETA expands offenses covered under federal law to include threats, harassment and other intimidation methods that do not physically disrupt animal enterprises, but instead elicit fear among employees (includes false bomb threats, posting personal information, etc.). The AETA also addresses campaigns of secondary and tertiary targeting directed at third parties who do business with medical research organizations. The AETA was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on September 30, 2006; approved by the House on November 13, 2006 and signed into law by President Bush on November 27, 2006. It was a bi-partisan effort between members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees. Sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Representative Thomas Petri (R-WI). [9]


Frankie Trull

Policy Direction's client FBR "monitors and analyzes the activities of animal activists" through FBR's "illegal incidents" report. [10] Policy Direction's client NABR monitors the "potentially disruptive and rapidly growing area of animal law" in their "Animal Law Section". Because, when animal rights advocates aren't engaged in radical "extremism", they are busy attempting to "incrementally change" animals laws by "increasingly sophisticated and coordinated legal strategies." [11] Policy Directions own "coordinated legal strategies" include working with the system to ensure clients of well funded "research" and projects that are free of "onerous rule making."

Selected clients

Current and former clients of Policy Directions include Charles River Laboratories, Covance Laboratories, Procter & Gamble and Merck. [12] Charles River is the world's largest supplier of laboratory animals. It has been described as the "General Motors of the laboratory animal industry." [13] Covance is the largest importer of primates in the United States and the world's largest breeder of laboratory dogs. Under its former name of Hazleton Laboratories, Covance provided animal data favorable to the tobacco industry and contributed to the continued marketing of cigarettes. In the 1990s, Covance performed studies sponsored by the tobacco industry claiming that even extreme exposure to secondhand smoke was safe for humans. [14] The Altria Group, formerly Philip Morris is a client of Covance Laboratories. [15]

All of these corporations have amassed a history of gross animal welfare violations in the United States and Europe. See also Charles River, Covance Laboratories, Proctor & Gamble and Merck.

Current & former clients

Funding

Client list

The total lobbying income for 2008 was $1,490,000. [17]

Personnel

  • Frankie Trull - President & CEO
  • Steve Kopperud - Executive Vice President
  • Steve Michael - Senior Vice President and General Counsel
  • Nicole S. Churchill - Director of Legislative Affairs
  • Jill Homer Stewart - Director of Government Affairs [18]

Contact

Policy Directions Inc.
818 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 950, Washington, DC 20006

Phone: 202 776 0071

Web address: http://www.policydirections.com/

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles

References

  1. About, Policy Directions Inc., accessed September 2009
  2. Clients, Policy Directions Inc., accessed September 2009
  3. Professionals: Frankie L. Trull, President and CEO, Policy Directions, accessed September 2009
  4. Annual Lobbying by Policy Directions Inc., Center for Responsive Politics, 2008
  5. About, Policy Directions, accessed September 2009
  6. Results, Policy Directions Inc., accessed July 2010
  7. Professionals: Frankie L. Trull, President and CEO, Policy Directions, accessed September 2009
  8. Will Potter House Passes AETA With Little Discussion or Dissent: Notes from the House Floor “Debate”, Greenisthenewred.com, Nov 2006
  9. Wikipedia [1] accessed July 26, 2010
  10. Illegal Incidents, FBR, accessed September 2009
  11. Animal Law Section: Introduction, NABR, accessed September 2009
  12. Clients, Policy Directions, Inc.
  13. C. Roland Christensen, Business Policy: Text and Cases, January 1982 p. 54, ISBN 9780256014518
  14. John J. Pippin, M.D. Covance Gets an 'F' in Social Responsibility Test, Chandler Republic, August 2006
  15. Proposal 5 — Animal Welfare Policy, Altria Group, Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders, April 2007
  16. Clients, Policy Directions Inc., accessed September 2009
  17. Annual Lobbying by Policy Directions Inc., Center for Responsive Politics, 2008
  18. [2], Policy Directions Inc., accessed March 2012

External resources