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Our investigation of Big Food and its front groups

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posted on Sep, 11 2015 @ 02:12 PM
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Our Investigation of Big Food and its Front Groups


U.S. Right to Know is conducting an investigation into the collusion between Big Food, its front groups, and university faculty and staff to deliver industry PR to the public. That investigation is ongoing. Thus far, it has been fruitful, as today’s New York Times article shows.


(Link to the New York Times article referred to above: Food Industry Enlisted Academics in G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show)

The original article goes on to explain:


The Times article links to emails obtained via state Freedom of Information Act requests filed by U.S. Right to Know. These emails reveal how Monsanto and its partners use so-called “independent” third-party scientists and professors to deliver their PR messaging. Since the companies themselves are not credible messengers, they use these scientists and professors as sock-puppets to shape the media narrative on food issues, particularly GMOs.



...the biotech industry has published dozens of articles, under the names of prominent academics, that in some cases were drafted by industry consultants.


So the gist of the FOIA dump is that self-proclaimed unbiased and independent experts were not so unbiased and independent, they were being paid/compensated for their public advocacy, and they did in fact let industry PR people put words in their mouths, up to and including signing their name to propaganda written by Big Food.

For example, a Dr. Folta, who claimed:


“Nobody tells me what to say, and nobody tells me what to think,” he said, adding, “Every point I make is based on evidence.”


But the emails tell a different tale:


At best, these statements by Professor Folta are misleading, and some of them are untruthful. Yet, as the emails released today reveal, Folta has been in close contact with Monsanto and the industry’s PR firm Ketchum, recently received a $25,000 unrestricted grant from Monsanto, and even wrote to a Monsanto executive, “I’m glad to sign on to whatever you like, or write whatever you like.”


It seems Dr. Folta didn't stop there. No, not at all. He also played attack dog for Monsanto, going after "The Food Babe," on numerous occasions:


When our movement got big companies to change, Dr. Kevin Folta, from University of Florida appeared on the scene. Every time we made headway on an important issue, Kevin Folta, who claimed to be an unbiased scientist, was there to refute our claims and throw some ad hominem attacks....Folta attempted to derail my speaking event at the University of Florida. He has also been interviewed by major media outlets such as The Atlantic, NPR, and the NY Times acting as an unbiased third party source, telling reporters he has no financial ties to Monsanto or the biotech industry all while acting as the ringleader and chief of my critics.


She provides several examples at the link.

This won't come as a suprise to many here... just confirms what we suspected for a long long time. We'll see how much -- if anything -- changes, but in the meantime, here's a little sumpin to make you smile:

Scientists GONE WILD: Discredited Monsanto shill Kevin Folta unleashes twitter aneurism, accuses Health Ranger of 'violence' and Food Babe of 'terrorism'

Note: In the interests of full disclosure, the organic industry also uses professors and other experts to advocate on their behalf. They may be just as guilty of the same transgressions, but I don't know that.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Further reading:

A Florida Professor Works With the Biotech Industry

Monsanto: The world's poster child for corporate manipulation and deceit

BOMBSHELL: New York Times exposes academic scientists prostituting themselves out to Monsanto and the biotech industry

Document Dump

Hilarious: Someone posted a Craigslist ad exposing Kevin Folta as a Monsanto shill: University of Florida faculty member fast becoming the most discredited scientist in America




posted on Sep, 11 2015 @ 02:45 PM
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This is a lot of info to go through.

But, with all of this coming out after the supreme court shot down any chance of GMO label laws being passed....does it even matter?




posted on Sep, 11 2015 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

The situation with peer reviewed science, academia and journalism is horrible. The US is the worst off. But as bad as you think it is, it will get much worse if TPP/TISA are allowed to happen.

The corporations now understand that the only way to secure future profits is captive customers.
1. Mandatory medicine enforced by an army of mercenaries and bureaucrats. The medicine makes you sick so you need more.
2. Removing or sufficiently disabling food labeling. Putting small farmers and local distribution out of business.
3. Eliminating cash so all transactions will be subject to bank fees and gov snooping.



posted on Sep, 11 2015 @ 03:27 PM
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originally posted by: Iconic
This is a lot of info to go through.
But, with all of this coming out after the supreme court shot down any chance of GMO label laws being passed....does it even matter?


I sure hope it still matters. Maybe not today... maybe not tomorrow... The Supreme Court once ruled slavery A-OK and we know how that works out. It ain't over till we stop trying.
-----------------------------------------



originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
a reply to: Boadicea

The situation with peer reviewed science, academia and journalism is horrible. The US is the worst off. But as bad as you think it is, it will get much worse if TPP/TISA are allowed to happen.


I agree with all you wrote, but you said it much better than I ever could... or I would have
... thank you!

I believe I learned the phrase "regulatory capture" from you also. Sure not the free market folks pretend it is, eh?



posted on Sep, 17 2015 @ 08:38 AM
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Just updating with new information and/or evidence:

Monsanto money letter to Kevin Folta emerges: Discredited Univ. of Florida professor promised 'a solid return on the investment' just two days before receiving $25K from Monsanto


Here's $25,000 to use for whatever you want

The letter is dated August 8, 2014 and confirm that Kevin Folta is receiving an "unrestricted grant" in the amount of $25,000, which "may be used at your discretion... in support of outreach projects." This means the money can be used for travel expenses, trips to Hawaii, luxury hotels or anything else Kevin Folta wants to use it on.


The disgusting and reprehensible part is what Folta promised Monsanto:


"I'm grateful for this opportunity and promise a solid return on investment." The "return on investment," of course, refers to serving as Monsanto's propaganda puppet in exchange for $25,000. This is the very definition of academic corruption. Payola. Bribery. Folta has been caught red-handed taking money from Monsanto and promising results in return! After receiving this money from Monsanto, Kevin Folta went on to viciously smear clean food activists like the Food Babe by lying to media organizations like The Atlantic, loudly proclaiming he had no financial ties to Monsanto even after cashing their check for $25,000 and promising them a "return on investment."


And so it goes...




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