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LETTER: Attorney objects to coverage linking vegan investment fund and NGO behind Cooke expose

Group says highlighting ties between its chairwoman and a vegan investment fund 'raises concerns of bias and inaccuracy.'

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The following email was sent to IntraFish by Irina Anta, general counsel for Compassion Over Killing, in response to a request to interview Compassion Over Killing (COK), the group behind the undercover expose of workers abusing fish at Cooke Aquaculture's Maine hatchery:

[I]t came to our attention that IntraFish published a story about this investigation called “Plant-based seafood investor has ties to group targeting Cooke,” wherein you say “the group has ties to VegInvest.”

As you set forth in your article, Amy Trakinski is both on COK’s board and leads VegInvest. This is accurate, and certainly COK has been happy to have her as a long-time volunteer board member, which is clearly touted on our website, along with her role at VegInvest.

However, any characterization of ties between COK and VegInvest – implicitly or explicitly – is inaccurate and raises concerns about bias and defamation. COK and VegInvest are completely separate entities.

COK proudly promotes vegan eating as a way to stand against the systemic harms of animal agribusiness, which we know only too well from the dozens of investigations we have conducted over the years finding time and again that animal cruelty is, unfortunately, standard practice.

Given the concerns about the bias and inaccuracy here, I wanted to make this clear before having COK speak to you or any IntraFish reporter about this investigation, and ensure that there will not be further inferences or statements made about “affiliations” or similar relationship between COK and VegInvest. If in your follow up story you intend to focus on the content of the investigation, please let me know.

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