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January 21, 2016

Report Hits Gates Foundation on Agenda and Corporate Ties

A new report by a social-justice activist group assails the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's agenda and activities, accusing the world's largest philanthropy of using its financial clout to distort global development priorities and benefit corporate partners, The Seattle Times writes.

"The world is being sold a myth that private philanthropy holds many of the solutions to the world’s problems, when in fact it is pushing the world in many wrong directions," states the study by Global Justice Now, a British-based group with 60,000 members that advocates on trade, food, and energy policies.

According to the Times, the report is the first to lay out in one document a range of concerns activists and academics have raised about the foundation, including its work with multinational agriculture and pharmaceutical firms and health programs that critics say focus on vaccines and technological solutions at the expense of basic health systems.

The Gates foundation issued a written response asserting that the report "misrepresents the foundation, our work, and our partnerships" and that collaboration among governments, charities, and for-profit firms is necessary to improve the quality of life in the world's poorest areas.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about criticism of rich donors' approach to tackling world hunger.