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Forum Post: Winning Our Hearts and Minds? Monsanto and Big Food Pull Out the Big Guns

Posted 12 months ago on Aug. 5, 2013, 3:41 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5854)
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Winning Our Hearts and Minds? Monsanto and Big Food Pull Out the Big Guns

Monday, 05 August 2013 09:34 By Katherine Paul and Zack Kaldveer, Organic Consumer's Association | Report

http://truth-out.org/news/item/17976-winning-our-hearts-and-minds-monsanto-and-big-food-pull-out-the-big-guns

Monsanto and Big Food are taking the battle for consumers' hearts and minds to the next level. And it's no coincidence that they're pulling out the big guns just as the Washington State I-522 campaign to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products is gaining steam.

Can industry front groups and slick public relations firms convince us that the products they're peddling are not only safe, but good for us? Will the millions they spend on websites and advertorials pay off? We're guessing not, given the latest New York Times poll stating that 93 percent of Americans want labels on foods containing GMOs. Still, it can't hurt to know who's behind the latest salvo of lies and misinformation.

In this case, it's a new front group. And a new website and forum, introduced by biotech trade groups no doubt with the help of a new PR firm. And a new front group. The freshly launchedGMOAnswers.com is funded by the biotech industry, which claims it just "wants to talk". And the recently formed Alliance to Feed the Future, representing more than 50 multinational food, agribusiness and biotech companies, wants to give us the "real" scoop on our food system.

Monsanto Has All the Answers

Last month the Holmes Report revealed that Monsanto was interviewing public relations firms to spruce up its image. A tall order given Monsanto's status as "most evil corporation in the world." (A google search of "Monsanto most hated corporation" returns over 823,000 results).

This week, the New York Times reported on the launch of GMOAnswers.com, a new website intended to "answer virtually any question posed by consumers about genetically engineered crops." Except, of course, where they're hidden in our food.

You've got to hand it to the PR firm – new, old, Monsanto's or otherwise - that landed that article. Who gets a mention in the Times these days just for launching a website? Organizations that are funded by Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta and BASF, apparently. The Times quoted, extensively, Cathleen Enright, executive director of the Council for Biotechnology Information and also vice president for food and agriculture at another trade group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Enright told the Times that: "We have been accused of purposely hiding information. We haven't done that but now we will open the doors and provide information." Say what? Enright couldn't emphasize enough how this was all a result of the biotech industry being misunderstood by the public, and how Monsanto and the rest of the industry just wants to be open. Whoever registered the website domain name for GMOAnswers.com doesn't share Enright's new touchy-feely enthusiasm for openness and transparency. The domain's ownership is hidden behind Network Solutions LLC. Maybe the new PR firm isn't all that proud of its new clients?

Big Food is Dishing Up the Lies, Too

It isn't just the biotech industry spinning the facts. Big Food is dishing up its share of lies, too.

To counter the steady drumbeat of public relations defeats, damning scientific research and grassroots political pressure, Monsanto and over 50 other multi-national food, agribusiness, and biotech companies created the "Alliance to Feed the Future" (AFF).

The AFF's stated mission? To "balance the public dialogue on modern agriculture and large-scale food production and technology" and to serve as a source for accurate and "real" information about our food system.

In fact, the AFF is nothing more than a few high paid consultants doing the bidding of the American Meat Institute, CropLife America, Grocery Manufacturers Association, United Egg Producers, Biotechnology Industry Organization, and the International Food Additives Council, among others.

Dave Schmidt coordinates the alliance. Schmidt, who is also CEO at the International Food Information Council, recently told Sustainable Food News that "the alliance's aim is to educate who he called 'opinion leaders,' including those in the university sector, professional societies, journalists and government officials." Of course, he said, the group also aims to "inform" consumers, too. But a close look at the AFF reveals all the hallmarks of a typical "astroturf" group. A deceptive-sounding name designed to create a positive public impression. A sophisticated public relations plan designed to control and shape the public discourse. Obfuscation around its main sources of funding. And a tendency to attack industry critics, create the perception of doubt regarding previously accepted science, and exploit consumers legitimate economic fears. And, like most front groups, the AFF's seemingly unlimited resources guarantee it can churn out one lie after another, faster than the independent fact-checkers can debunk them.

Big Food recognizes its stranglehold on our food supply is threatened. A critical mass of educated consumers, food and natural health activists, environmentalists, social justice advocates, and animal cruelty groups are organizing a powerful movement capable of overthrowing North America's trillion-dollar junk food Empire. Consumers are increasingly wary of foods that have been genetically engineered by the same companies that brought us toxic pesticides, DDT, Agent Orange, dangerous pharmaceuticals and PCBs.

Sales of organic foods are projected grow this year at twice the rate of conventional food sales, and exceed $35 billion in 2013. Proof that consumers by the millions are rejecting an industrial food and farming system that relies on toxic pesticides, animal drugs, antibiotics, growth hormones, climate disrupting nitrate fertilizer, and inhumane, polluting, and disease-ridden factory farms.

More and more critics and journalists are exposing the hazards and cruelty of our food supply system. Even the New York Times recently revealed that for decades, processed foods have been diabolically engineered and laced with synthetic chemicals and additives designed to turn consumers and children into obese, cancer- and heart disease-prone junk food addicts.

The writing is on the wall. No amount of industry smoke and mirrors can change the fact that more and more people are looking at food with their eyes wide open.

Will corporations win our hearts and minds with their website propaganda and front groups? We think not.

If we will give the campaign our financial and grassroots support, Washington voters on Nov. 5 will put an end to the force-feeding of unlabeled GMOs to consumers. It's time to stand up to corporate tyranny and regain our right to choose.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

35 Comments

35 Comments


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[-] 1 points by WSmith (2033) from Cornelius, OR 11 months ago
[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Think Monsanto's feeling the heat? Apparently so. So one of their next plans is to apply for patents on organic food:

http://www.naturalnews.com/041485_Monsanto_patents_GMOs.html

Please sign the Avaaz petition to help put a stop to this bullshit:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_nm/?bigwYcb&v=26065

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

TWEET

DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

Monsanto wants to patent our fruits & veggies - Stop the corporate food takeover NOW! @sls_bmj http://www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_nm/?twi

Sign & Share

Please

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Excellent DK. Thanks.

And yes, people. Please sign.

Sneaky fuckers, aren't they? They see their GMO bullshit's getting rejected so now they want to patent organic. This CANNOT be allowed to happen! Hell, it shouldn't even be legal. Hopefully our patent laws don't have similar loopholes as in Europe, but that doesn't mean they won't try to coerce, cajole, and bribe their way into it. I can see the wheels turning in that direction as we speak.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

The Bastards - trying to patent what nature provided. Any judge who even considers such shit should be locked away in an insane asylum as incompetent and a danger to others.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Definitely agree. Monsanto & Co. are going to do whatever they can to maintain, and increase, their monopoly on our food supplies. Sometime in the near future I'm going on their new website and link the OWS Monsanto thread there. Hopefully some of the people that check their site will come here and check ours. I checked their site out a few days ago and there are a number of anti-GMO people commenting there. I get the impression that site's not going to last too long.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

I'm going on their new website and link the OWS Monsanto thread there.

Good One - would be hilarious if the link stayed in place and got popular from being on monsatans site.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Well, I'm thinking if they delete it, we might just have to put it back on there, heheh. All we'd need is to start a new account and link it again.

And again.

And again.

We could make it a team effort. I might start a new Monsanto thread here, not for forum members to comment on, but just have the links from that post on it. That way anyone over there that clicked on it wouldn't have to read thru the whole thread, all the links would be right there for them to click on.

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Well, I'm thinking if they delete it, we might just have to put it back on there, heheh. All we'd need is to start a new account and link it again.

And again.

And again.

Now that is funny - blast the shits using troll tactics - perfect.

And BP and Halliburton and ALEC and Heritage and CATO and and and and and and

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

OOO OOO OOOOO put the comments ( links ) in as a false positive. Only people who go so far as to open a link will see that it is an education as to the horror of monsatan - if then UN-reported to the site.............

Example:

Fossil Fuel The Future.

or

The future GMO

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Hmmm, intriguing idea there, DK. I'll have to give it a thought.

And good fracking link. Just read a few paragraphs so far, but it looks educational. Detonating a nuclear bomb to release natural gas. WTF were they thinking back then? I remember hearing about the plan back in the 50's I think, where the government was considering using a nuclear bomb to blow a hole in the Van Allen Belt. It's a wonder civilization even made it this far, isn't it?

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

BTW - I had ta TWEET this post to get your idea some circulation.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Good idea. The more people that go to that site and voice their opposition, the quicker those sites will get shut down. I'm going to check out that new one in Leo's post tomorrow to see what's going on there. The "Alliance to Feed the Future."

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

The more people that go to that site and voice their opposition

All of the sites - monsatan BP Halliburton etc etc etc

General call to action = Truth in advertizing? If the sites don't go down - perhaps some education will get shared that might not have otherwise.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Damn good point. We should definitely start checking their sites and linking information when we get the chance. No reason to confine it to Monsanto alone.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

This Idea - YOU - should submit to the site to be shared out to all of the other groups that interact with this site ( not forum - Site ). It is a GR8 idea and YOU should get credit for forwarding it.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Well, without going into details, I haven't had much luck getting any response from the admins. But you never know, they might surprise me.

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6250) from St Louis, MO 7 minutes ago

Well, it won't be tonight. I won't be on that much longer. Besides, it usually takes me a bit of thought before I write or send anything to anybody. Except for chit-chat like on the forum, of course.

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

Really would not take that much. A quick run-down of the site commenting idea and attach this thread to be looked at for clarification/consideration.

Anyway - You are correct - It Is Late ( early ? ) - SO - G-night/morning.

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6250) from St Louis, MO 10 minutes ago

Hmmm, that's not a bad idea, DK. I might just do that in the next couple days.

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

Why wait? Strike while the iron is hot.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Well, it won't be tonight. I won't be on that much longer. Besides, it usually takes me a bit of thought before I write or send anything to anybody. Except for chit-chat like on the forum, of course.

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6241) from St Louis, MO 8 minutes ago

Well, without going into details, I haven't had much luck getting any response from the admins. But you never know, they might surprise me.

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

Send it in - you may not here back from them - BUT - they very well might send it out as a news item. Hell - they might even send it out with links attached to send such things to - so all that anyone would have to do would be click on a link and create an account and attach an educational link to a site's comment board.

Hell copy your permalink on your comment and send that to em along with copying the link for this thread for them to check out the conversation.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Hmmm, that's not a bad idea, DK. I might just do that in the next couple days.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

It is insane the idiots and idiotic ideas that actually get consideration. Hell Radon might be considered as like an air freshener after something like " Detonating a nuclear bomb to release natural gas. "

[-] -2 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Yep, and the crazy ideas just keep coming. They won't be satisfied until they totally screw the planet. But hey, they have their . . . bunkers. Short-sighted fools.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Short Sighted? Wow - talk about an understatement - the fuckers are blind.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Yep, that's far closer to the truth.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Blind & with a death wish. But this - death wish - they unfortunately do not want to be greedy with. The unspeakable HORRORs.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Yeah, they're definitely wanting to share that one with all of us. Hopefully that plan backfires big-time. Check this out. I wonder how many cities they were doing this in? I haven't yet checked the girl's material:

http://www.naturalnews.com/041495_US_military_chemical_experiments_American_citizens.html

[-] -2 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6241) from St Louis, MO 0 minutes ago

Amazing. The government and big business have been treating the citizens like guinea pigs for decades. Since the end of WWII it appears. No telling what we were inhaling back in the '60's.

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

The sad news - IS - that the population has always been treated as a material resource to any and every government that has ever existed. A resource to do with that which they please - Democracy has been the only system to divert much of that abuse - but our democracy has been under attack from day 1 - and that fact is more apparent now then ever before.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

That's true, this isn't a recent occurrence. It's been going on thruout history actually. This may be the first generation to change all that, hopefully. I do see a sea change happening right now in the common man as far as awareness goes. OWS is just a small part of this, but a significant part. For all the talk of OWS supposedly being dead, you do hear a lot of references to it in alt media. The concept is still very much alive.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6250) from St Louis, MO 7 minutes ago

That's true, this isn't a recent occurrence. It's been going on thruout history actually. This may be the first generation to change all that, hopefully. I do see a sea change happening right now in the common man as far as awareness goes. OWS is just a small part of this, but a significant part. For all the talk of OWS supposedly being dead, you do hear a lot of references to it in alt media. The concept is still very much alive.

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

The only ones talking about it as being dead are the ones we are slapping down with our presence - The Criminals and their lackeys. MSM being a captured service = disinformation.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Agreed. And of course MSM has a vested interest in making it appear OWS is dead.

Anyway, DK, it's about time for me to log off.

Until tomorrow, then.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

[-] 3 points by gnomunny (6241) from St Louis, MO 8 minutes ago

Yeah, they're definitely wanting to share that one with all of us. Hopefully that plan backfires big-time. Check this out. I wonder how many cities they were doing this in? I haven't yet checked the girl's material:

http://www.naturalnews.com/041495_US_military_chemical_experiments_American_citizens.html

↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

I have not read the article yet - BUT - back in Jr. High School part of our history class was on the fact that USA naval ships conducted biological warfare experiments on USA citizens - one of which was blowing a diluted (?) influenza bug through the San Fransisco Bay area by shooting it out of their smoke stacks. This - to see what kind of spread could be expected from doing the same in like conditions in other bays around the world.

[-] -1 points by gnomunny (6287) from St Louis, MO 11 months ago

Amazing. The government and big business have been treating the citizens like guinea pigs for decades. Since the end of WWII it appears. No telling what we were inhaling back in the '60's.

[-] -3 points by DKAtoday (27542) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

TWEET

DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

Winning Our Hearts and Minds? Monsanto and Big Food Pull Out the Big Guns http://occupywallst.org/forum/winning-our-hearts-and-minds-monsanto-and-big-food/#.UgCEoia6Rok.twitter

Dis the Criminals on their own sites.

????