Gary Ruskin

U.S. Right to Know released a new report today on Big Food’s PR campaign to defend GMOs: how it manipulated the media, public opinion and politics with sleazy tactics, bought science and PR spin.
Since 2012, the agrichemical and food industries have mounted a complex, multifaceted public relations, advertising, lobbying and political campaign in the United States, costing more than $100 million, to defend genetically engineered food and crops and the pesticides that accompany them. The purpose of this campaign is to deceive the public, to deflect efforts to win the right to know what is in our food via labeling that is already required in 64 countries, and ultimately, to extend their profit stream for as long as possible.
This campaign has greatly influenced how U.S. media covers GMOs. The industry’s PR firm, Ketchum, even boasted that “positive media coverage has doubled” on GMOs.

3 thoughts on “Gary Ruskin

  1. shinichi Post author

    Seedy Business: What Big Food is Hiding with Its Slick PR Campaign on GMOs

    by Gary Ruskin

    U.S. Right to Know

    http://usrtk.org/gmo/seedy-business/

    Download report at http://usrtk.org/seedybusiness.pdf

    U.S. Right to Know – a new nonprofit organization — released a new report today on Big Food’s PR campaign to defend GMOs: how it manipulated the media, public opinion and politics with sleazy tactics, bought science and PR spin.

    Since 2012, the agrichemical and food industries have mounted a complex, multifaceted public relations, advertising, lobbying and political campaign in the United States, costing more than $100 million, to defend genetically engineered food and crops and the pesticides that accompany them. KetchumThe purpose of this campaign is to deceive the public, to deflect efforts to win the right to know what is in our food via labeling that is already required in 64 countries, and ultimately, to extend their profit stream for as long as possible.

    This campaign has greatly influenced how U.S. media covers GMOs. The industry’s PR firm, Ketchum, even boasted that “positive media coverage has doubled” on GMOs.

    The report outlines fifteen things that Big Food is hiding with its artful PR campaign on GMOs.

    #1: The agrichemical companies have a history of concealing health risks from the public. Time and again, the companies that produce GMOs have hidden from consumers and workers the truth about the dangers of their products and operations. So how can we trust them to tell us the truth about their GMOs?

    #2: The FDA does not test whether GMOs are safe. It merely reviews information submitted by the agrichemical companies.

    #3: Our nation’s lax policy on GMOs is the work of former Vice President Dan Quayle’s anti-regulatory crusade. It was designed and delivered as a political favor to Monsanto.

    #4: What the agrichemical and tobacco industries have in common: PR firms, operatives, tactics. The agrichemical industry’s recent PR campaign is similar in some ways to the most infamous industry PR campaign ever – the tobacco industry’s effort to evade responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.

    #5: Russia’s PR firm runs the agrichemical industry’s big PR salvo on GMOs. We don’t trust the PR firm Ketchum when it spins for Russia and President Putin. Why should we trust its spin on GMOs?

    #6: The agrichemical industry’s key front groups and shills aren’t trustworthy. Many of the industry’s leading advocates have records of defending the indefensible, or other scandals and conduct that inspires no confidence.

    #7: The agrichemical companies have employed repugnant PR tactics. These tactics include attacks on scientists and journalists, and brainwashing children.

    #8: The agrichemical companies have a potent, sleazy political machine. They have allies in high places, and employ their power vigorously – and sometimes corruptly — to protect and expand their markets and their profits from GMOs.

    #9: Half of the Big Six agrichemical firms can’t even grow their GMOs in their own home countries. Because of the health and environmental risks of GMOs, citizens of Germany and Switzerland won’t allow farming of BASF, Bayer and Syngenta’s GMO seeds.

    #10: Monsanto supported GMO labeling in the UK but opposes it in the USA. Although Monsanto is based in St. Louis, Missouri, Monsanto believes that British citizens deserve stronger consumer rights than Americans do.

    #11: The pesticide treadmill breeds profits, so it will likely intensify. It is in the financial interest of the agrichemical companies to promote the evolution and spread of the most pestilential superweeds and superpests, because these will spur the sale of the greatest quantities of the most expensive pesticides.

    #12: GMO science is for sale. Science can be swayed, bought or biased by the agrichemical industry in many ways, such as suppressing adverse findings, harming the careers of scientists who produce such findings, controlling the funding that shapes what research is conducted, the lack of independent U.S.-based testing of health and environmental risks of GMOs, and tainting scientific reviews of GMOs by conflicts of interest.

    #13: There are nearly no consumer benefits of GMOs. The GMOs that Americans eat are not healthier, safer or more nutritious than conventional foods. They do not look better, nor do they taste better. By any measure that consumers actually care about, they are not in any way an improvement. Profits from GMOs accrue to the agrichemical companies, while health risks are borne by consumers.

    #14: The FDA and food companies have been wrong before: they have assured us of the safety of products that were not safe. Many drugs and food additives that the FDA allowed on the market have subsequently been banned because they were toxic or dangerous.

    #15: A few other things the agrichemical industry doesn’t want you to know about them: crimes, scandals and other wrongdoing. The agrichemical industry’s six major firms — Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, DuPont, Bayer and BASF — have been involved in so many reprehensible activities that documenting them would require at least an entire book.

    U.S. Right to Know is a new nonprofit food organization. We expose what food companies don’t want us to know about our food. We stand up for the right to know what’s in our food. We bring accountability to Big Food and its compliant politicians. For more information, please see our website at usrtk.org.

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  2. shinichi Post author

    Genetically modified organism

    Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism

    A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (i.e. genetically engineered organism). GMOs are the source of medicines and genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce other goods.The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, ‘living modified organism’, defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”).

    A more specifically defined type of GMO is a “Transgenic Organism”. This is an organism whose genetic makeup has been altered by the addition of genetic material from another, unrelated organism. This should not be confused with the more general way in which “GMO” is used to classify genetically altered organisms, as typically GMOs are organisms whose genetic makeup has been altered without the addition of genetic material from an unrelated organism.

    The first genetically modified mouse was in 1981, the first plant was produced in 1983 and the first genetically modified human (modified mitochondrial DNA) was born on July 21, 1997.

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  3. shinichi Post author

    GMO1


    Genetic modification can improve the nutritional profile of food and therefore serves as a key element in reducing global rates of malnutrition. For instance, golden rice is enhanced with beta-carotene and therefore provides a dose of vitamin A, a nutrient lacking in many diets around the world. Vitamin A deficiency leads to the death of nearly 700,000 children each year, so golden rice is a crucial initiative in reducing malnutrition.



    GMO2


    There is a lot of debate on whether or not organically grown food is better for our bodies or not. Being a nutrition major, we tackle and learn some of the most interesting things in the field. The topic that has touched me the most by far is the debate of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) vs. Organic. Coming into my freshman year as a nutrition major, I firmly believed that organic was NOT better for you. But after learning about GMOs in class and conducting my own research, I now stand on the opposite side of the debate.



    GMO3


    Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs.



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