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The Battle to Control What We Think About Food

SpinningFood

Touch the Soil News #219

We’ve all heard the expression putting a “Spin” on information or truth. The “spin” essentially means that by turning and twisting information, you can drop the truth and add false ingredients. We were particularly interested in a report that just came out called “Spinning Food.” The upshot of the report is that Industrial food companies create “Front Groups” that look like legitimate enterprises, but are used to put a “Spin” on the story of food. The authors of the report include Kari Hamerschlag, Anna Lappe and Stacy Malkan with support from Friends of the Earth.

Cover of the special Spinning Food report (courtesy of Friends of the Earth)

SpinningFood

The report is quite revealing for the individual striving to make independent food decisions. You can download the report at: http://www.foe.org/publications/reports

From the report, here is an excerpt of the top 10 “front groups” with summary information on each:

  1. U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. Spending 2009-2014 – $28,677,666. Leading board members and donors – Monsanto, Dow Chemical, DuPont. Issue focus: Defend GMOs, pesticides, routine antibiotic use in livestock.
  2. International Food Information Council. Spending 2009-2014 – $24,167,350. Leading board members and donors – Coca-Cola, Pfizer Animal Health, Kraft Foods, the Hershey Company. Issue focus: Defends GMOs, processed foods, BPA, sugar, additives, routine antibiotic use in animals.
  3. Center for Food Integrity. Spending 2009-2013 – $20,988,003. Leading board members and donors – Monsanto, National Restaurant Association, United Soybean Board. Issue focus: Defends pesticides, routine antibiotic use in livestock and GMOs.
  4. Council for Biotechnology Information. Spending 2009-2013 – $16,729,325. Leading board member and donors – Monsanto, BASF, Dow, Bayer, Dupont, Sygenta. Issue focus: Promotes safety and necessity of GMOs.
  5. Center for Consumer Freedom. Spending 2009-2013 – $15,880,295. Leading board members and donors – Coca Cola, Tyson Foods, Arby’s, Hooters. Issue focus: Attacks against minimum wage, Humane Society, organics and sugar-sweetened beverage regulation.
  6. American Council on Science and Health. Spending 2009-2013 – $9,107,245. Leading board members and donors – Chevron, Coca Cola, McDonalds. Issue focus: Defends soda, BPA, GMOs, processed foods, attacks organics.
  7. Global Harvest Initiative. Spending 2009-2013 – $4,904,123. Leading board members and donors – Monsanto, Elanco, DuPont, IBM, John Deere. Issue focus: Promotes GMOs as solution to feeding the world.
  8. Animal Agriculture Alliance. Spending 2009-2013 – $2,686,713. Leading board members and donors – National Pork Board, Bayer, Elanco, American Feed Industry Assn. Issue focus: Defends routine antibiotic use in livestock and other industrial livestock practices.
  9. Protect the Harvest. Spending 2009-2013 – $1,371,941. Leading board members and donors – Lucas Oil and Lucas Cattle Company. Issue focus: Attacks the Humane Society, defends industrial farming practices.
  10. Alliance for Food and Farming. Spending 2009-2013 – $1,205,218. Leading board members and donors – California Farm Bureau Federation, Western Growers, Produce Marketing Association. Issue focus: Defends pesticides and disparages organics.

Following is a short video clip by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance – can you figure out what this guy is trying to say?

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