It wins first place on our list of Big Business’ Top Five sham “educational” websites.
The public relations departments of Big Biotech, Big Food, and Big Ag have a habit of launching propaganda websites that sell misleading “facts” to concerned citizens. This practice endangers consumers, our food system, and our environment. Here are the biggest offenders:
1. America’s Farmers
When you visit Monsanto’s “America’s Farmers” website, you’re greeted by a large, colorful slideshow inviting you to “Explore the Family Farm” and “Meet the Families.”
The implication? There’s no industrial food system; Monsanto is just a friendly conglomeration of small, family-owned farms. Famers are thriving and well compensated, and the crops they produce are wholesome and healthy. American consumers shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about GMOs, CAFOs, pesticides, or industrial farming practices—your small, local, family-owned farm has it covered.
Ridiculous as it seems, this isn’t a harmless PR stunt: Monsanto is actively distracting consumers from real threats to actual small and family-owned farms. By the time the American public catches on, it may be too late.
Here are some choice lines from Monsanto’s site, together with the truth:
“The majority of US farms are owned and operated by families.” Monsanto derives this claim from the USDA definition of “family farm” where the majority of the business is owned by the operator and individuals related to the operator by blood, marriage, or adoption, whether they live in that household or not. A “farm” is defined as any operation selling at least $1,000 of agricultural products. These definitions, according to the nonprofit organization Farm Aid, “allow for nearly anyone dabbling in growing food for sale…to be classified as a farmer.”
In reality, true family farms are an endangered species: only about 950,000 remain. Currently, just 12% of farms produce 84% of our food—so clearly the industrial model is the dominant one.
“Farmers have been adopting technology and practices that use fewer chemicals.” Although the website conveniently lacks a “GMO” section, Monsanto’s implication here seems to be that “new technology” (read: GMOs) reduces the amount of pesticides farmers use. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
To give just one example, many crops are genetically modified to withstand the use of extremely toxic herbicides like Roundup. However, weeds are becoming increasingly tolerant of Roundup, creating “superweeds” that farmers need more and more chemicals to kill.
“The American agriculture industry supports 23 million jobs…America’s farmers also grow the economy with a trade surplus of 34 billion dollars.” Here, Monsanto hints that America’s family farmers are thriving. This is patently false: according to the USDA, almost 90% of farm income comes from off-farm sources, and “many farm households must rely on off-farm incoming to support farm households because income from the farm operation is insufficient.”
The website also fails to mention that Monsanto went all the way to the Supreme Court for their “right” to sue small farmers.
2. GMO Answers
Last summer, the Council for Biotechnology Information (whose members include BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta) launched the GMO Answers website to soothe the public’s fears about GMOs. Many of its “facts”—like the allegations that GMOs decrease pesticide use, and that GMOs have been extensively tested for human safety—are easily refuted.
The website becomes quite eloquent in its defense of GMOs: “The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we acknowledge that we haven’t done the best job communicating about them—what they are, how they are made, what the safety data says.”
A heartfelt pledge of safety from Monsanto et al.? Clearly the biotech industry’s actions speak much louder than its words.
3. Crop Life
This website—which shares many sponsors with GMO Answers—purports to teach consumers about the “benefits of pesticides and crop protection chemicals.” However, it’s simply a vehicle to confuse consumers on already-established science.
For example, pesticides—particularly, a newer class of pesticides called neonicotinoids—have been definitely linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which honeybees simply disappear from their hives. Since 2006, nearly one third of all honeybee colonies have vanished.
Yet Crop Life claims, “There has been no demonstrated, extraordinary negative effect on bee health associated with use of neonicotinoid-based insecticides.” This is an outright lie.
4. SweetSurprise.com (for HFCS) and Sugar.org
We’ve told you before about the battle between the high-fructose corn syrup and sugar industries, wherein trade groups for sugar and HFCS have traded lawsuits over false advertising. To garner public support for this legal volleyball, each group has launched its own website praising its sweetener while demonizing its competitor.
The Sugar Association webpage features a section entitled “A Balanced Diet,” which includes a picture of an “ideal” grocery bag filled with fruits, vegetables—and Fig Newtons. This page also that argues that, “The simple, irrefutable fact is this: Sugar is a healthy part of a diet.” Irrefutable? Give us a break.
Meanwhile, HFCS’s “Sweet Surprise” website encourages consumers to “see through the media hype,” learn that HFCS doesn’t contribute to obesity, and is, in fact, totally natural. Of course, they simply dismiss the 2010 Princeton study proving that rats fed HFCS gain significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even where their overall caloric intake is identical.
As for the claim that HFCS is natural? Only if your definition of “natural” is “made from GMOs and contaminated with mercury”!
5. Global Dairy Innovation
“Fact: rbST use in dairy cows poses no human health risk,” the website states. “Fact: Drinking milk does not increase breast cancer risk, regardless of whether the milk is organic, rbST-free, or regular.”
Note the website’s deliberate terminology: rbST is a lesser-known synonym for recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rbGH. While a simple Internet search for rbGH turns up hundreds of websites on its harmful health effects, a search for rbST would turn up far fewer references.
rbGH, which is injected into cows to boost their milk production, can raise levels of the powerful hormone IGF-1 in milk up to 70%. This hormone remains in the milk even after pasteurized and is absorbed—not broken down—by the human body. Elevated levels of IGF-1 in the human body are associated with breast cancer in premenopausal women.
Who sponsors this website? Elanco, the branch of Eli Lilly that sells rbGH.
Monsanto’s Latest PR Stunt
It wins first place on our list of Big Business’ Top Five sham “educational” websites.
24 thoughts on “Monsanto’s Latest PR Stunt”
this is propaganda at it’s finest, the poison food industry continues to use the their well monied lobbys to sell their destruction
Disgusting. Boycott all mfrs of their products.
Monsanto wouldn’t be able to get away with these deceptive claims if the public wasn’t mentally handicapped because of toxic injury from the deliberate poisoning campaign by our hidden rulers. This is all about control of the population through toxic injury. This is done through the addition of toxic chemicals and metals in our air, food, water and medicine. This is a theme repeatedly shown on this website.
Toxic Injury has rendered 90% of the population displaying a blind allegiance to the establishment. Monsanto’s site is really unecessariy because the public has already been captured and is busy treating their toxicity-induced anxiety and depression with a steady stream of sitcoms and sports. ANH-USA attracts truth seekers in the equivalent of preaching to the choir. Toxically injured sheeple don’t seek the truth – they only seek comfort from their toxic discomfort. Few sheeple are going to Monsanto’s site because they aren’t seeking truth. Unfortunately they have already been captured.
You are evil, and poisoning those of us not smart enough to realize it. It is such a shame that big money can buy life and death. You COULD do the right thing, and we would all be grateful. It would make for great P.R., which you desperately need right now.Please, start being responsible and do the right thing..
You might want to investigate at the “Genetic Literacy Project,” run by noted corporate propagandist, Jon Entine, and funded by George Mason University, recipient of large funding from the Koch brothers and the Searle Foundation. They run a lot of disinformation, such as the “bee apocalypse” being a myth mixed in with some acceptable science.
These people are money mongers they control from the political end to the small farmer they are liars and crooks don’t buy their chemical laden food as causes cancers very very toxic. Try to buy organic we know it’s more costly but healthier. Thank you!!!!
Misrepresentation is the result of the interaction of greed with lie. This has been one major draw back of humanity since the ancient times. Dealing with healthy food and nutrition, our instinctive search for the truth tells us that the right way of healthy nutrition must “always” flow with the current of nature’s river. GMO’s and pesticides swim against the flow of nature. Nature has its rules, we can graft plants of the same family, we can cross pollinate the same way; which nature accepts. But tempering with the very nature of genes, is not accepted by nature, it is simply unnatural. It took many thousand of years to humans adopt to the fruits of nature as produced. GMOs ignores the voice of nature and contribute to humans harm.
Many of us are fighting for organic food. However, in my latest observations, organic food shows poor quality in the market. They don’t look attractive and lack flavor as non-organics do. I believe, the reason rests probably on the demanded USA rules to certify organic food; which is not to have any additive chemical, such as pesticides or any kind of “chemical fertilizer”. This is in my opinion, a mistake. Let me explain why: Most of the farming soils are literally poor doe to having many farmings over and over in the same soil for hundred of years. Those lands need badly strong additions of many minerals and trace metals badly needed for a nutritional food.
In my opinion, we should look for food that indicates “no GMOs or pesticides” better tha USA organic certified. Unfortunately, adding high quality minerals to the soil will make the products probably very expensive. Hope farmers will find a way around this.
Your comments are very interesting in pointing out the problems in current agriculture. The matter of demineralization of our soils is very true and is one of the root problem of modern agriculture.
However, there are some very interesting products that are being used by those who are seeking solutions. Mostly they are products that use sea water or sea products. Most importantly, they are NOT expensive. Conversely, they save the farmer a lot of money by reducing the amount of pesticides, herbicides, etc. that are needed, produce a far superior product that is what God meant for food to taste like and do not contaminate the soil.
Ther is a very simple solution, my family and even the Amish practice it, comes from the bible. Let 1/7 of you .and lay fallow each year, this doesn’t depele the soil. Oh and plant a cover crop that you’ll till in.
It’s really underhanded that Monsanto is not only poisoning our food supply, but spending even more money telling lies about what they stand for. What they stand for? Money and political gain is what they stand for, certainly not the people. I only buy from individual small farms that are certified. Monsanto, Bayer, BASF, Crop Science, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta – you should all be ashamed of what you’ve become. This country was built on small farmers trying to make a living and here you are trying your best to put them all out of business. And DuPont? We won’t even get into how fair and compassionate your family is.
For a couple of decades now, the pro-GM lobby has been based on lies and spurious `arguments.’ If GM is any good, it’s funny no one can come up with anything better than that in support of it.
umm,,, long ago I realized that that bayer and eli lily are selling both drugs to people and pesticides ,,,,and didn’t I read somewhere a connection between the bayer co. and the ,,,
In 94 Europe put a moratorium on Monsanto’s rBST/rBGH. Recombinant Bovine Somatotriptin/Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone – Moronsanto preferred rBST because of negative connotations regarding hormones from the melatonin controversy of the time.
So being fully supportive of “free markets” as an outstanding capitalist (sarcasm alert there) Monsanto got the US Govt to basically bring a lawsuit against all of Europe to FORCE them to buy Moronsanto’s rBST dairy products. Europe resisted. Monsanto pushed.
WHO (world “health” organization) said – boys, boys, we’ll study this and figure it all out – and they hid in their labs for years. In August 1999 the results came out from WHO – pushed over the top by Canadian researchers who USUALLY act like American slave clones to Big Ag.
They found that rBST increased the risk of prostate, breast and colon cancers by 60%. They found that it increased the pus content of milk (higher mastitis rates from dragging bags) by at least 19% – but really we think it may be higher since the study concerned a small number of cows – and they removed two from the study. Monsanto’s “science” is typically slanted a tad anyhow.
It was also found that the average milk cow lived SIX YEARS LESS than non-rBST “treated” cows. (pretty weird to have to “treat” an animal for being natural – what’s that about?) i suspect that this is the cause: Dairy cattle are pretty inbred and have a “normal” 10-15% sterility rate. When put on rBST the cows have a 45% sterility rate – from 300 to 450% higher levels of sterility. The industry doesn’t say “Nice try, Betsy, we’ll just put you on pasture and let you live out your life.” They kill it for dog food and glue and whatever.
So how does the FDA get away with that stupid label on non-rBST product containers? Because THEY haven’t studied anything in this regard – so of course the FDA has not been able to find any difference in the milk from rBST “treated” and non-rBST “treated” cows. Duh. No tests, no conclusions – but they IMPLY that they are looking out for your safety.
Here’s a good question someone may have an answer to; in stores you hardly EVER find cheeses, butters, creams, or yogurt that is rBST free. There should be a lot of that made from non-rBST cows. Are we being lied to by the dairy industry about the amount of rBST free cows?
Another point – about the time that the FDA was considering the allowance of aspartame to be included in the…
About the time aspartame was being considered by the FDA for inclusion in the “definition of milk” the Lady Lee milk we were economically forced to purchase (can’t afford organic, dammut) started consistently going bad within less than a week. The process of pasteurization has worked for over 50 years, so unless the dairy industry stopped paying their Physics Bill, and the laws of physics were repealed regarding pasteurization – something really hokey is going on in the dairy industry.
Also – with almost all milk saying it is rBST free, how come we can hardly ever find other dairy products that are rBST free? One would think there would at least be a lot of butter and cream even if the yogurts and cheeses needed more of the milk . . . .
I think how apathetic people have become when it comes to issues like food and general good sense that should follow. When fast food is convenient and marketed from TV to bill boards there is a lack of true concern about what we’re really eating. Monsanto is a name that the majority of consumers have heard but don’t know what industry they represent. After watching several heart wrenching videos from independent farmers who have had to take their concerns to court and the struggle and stress they endured I can only hope that Monsanto will crumble.
I only wish that more people would rent the documentary “Food, Inc.” to see what Monsanto is really up to!
We all Agree: They are Evil.
I found out recently that I have no serious digestive reactions to milk and yogurt from 100% grass-fed cows. For year, I have been suffering from reactions to pasturized cows milk, probably because many are being fed soy and corn, the most popular gmo crops being grown for animal feed. These animals are sick and so is their milk!!
I agree with you 100 percent that grass-fed milk is the best. For years we bought organic to avoid the growth hormones, but only recently started buying grass-fed milk, butter and yogurt because of the added benefits of it being a heart-healthier alternative. However, the milk is pasturized (as opposed to raw), since pasturization is used to kill bacteria.
The propaganda they come up with is very laughable! When you the the truth! It is like now that the word gets out about GMO’s, lets talk! Lmfao. They are so trying to cover their asses! This site is only made to try to comfort those who may want to believe there is nothing wrong with GMO’s or anything the Biotech industry tries to spin! That is what it is! It all reminds me of something from Requiem for a Dream!
National Geographic started a series on the Future of Food – the next Green Revolution – this month’s October issue has an article titled the Truth about GMO’s. It took me a couple of days to summon up the courage to read the article, which was full of maybes, perhaps, and pictures of plants growing in petri dishes, a two page diagram of the development of a rice developed to grow in flooded areas, and of course sponsored by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and support from National Geographic. The author Tim Folger says “In Africa, as elsewhere, people fear GM crops, even though there’s little scientific evidence to justify the fear”. I guess he hasn’t read any other reports about the harm GE stuff and the pesticides can cause. Then he goes on to say that in a paper published in March 2013 farmers are reporting that “corn rootworms are evolving resistance to the bacterial toxins in Bt corn” I have cousins who farm big time in Iowa who complained over two years ago that Roundup wasn’t working any more. And Dow is pushing their 2-4D resistant seed to be approved. Has anyone seen the horrific photos of 2nd and 3rd generation Vietnamese whose lands were sprayed with 2-4D and those lands remain more or less barren. What is wrong with these chemical companies and the people who work to develop and sell this stuff to other human beings?
Monsanto has farmers sign an agreement that they – the farmer using their seeds and herbicides take all the fault if there is any problem. So . . . guess that is another way the Monsanto and other chemical companies steal the farmer’s lands.
I read the very same article just a couple of days ago, and immediately noticed the advertisers who bought the first 36 pages are those same companies with an interest in seeing GMOs succeed in the world marketplace. Very disappointing for a publication that many people consider “educational” in nature. Follow the money, as they say.
NOTE: National Geographic doesn’t count advertising in their page count, so pages in this list are counted from inside front cover being page 1. Thus, page this list’s page numbers will not match Nat Geo’s. Sorry for any confusion!
p 14: Bayer
p 24-25-Bristol Myers-Squibb
p 36-Shell Oil (lots of oil involved in industrial farming, and the production of pesticides)
Did you notice that the month after NatGeo ran that article, they no longer had a letters to the editor section?
GMO im not sure yet ? …. Healthy soil is my way of growing a healthy crop . That will provide proper nutrients for a healthy human body …..That means Beneficial Bacteria must ( Sun & Earth Microbiology on face book ) be in the ground in order to have a healthy soil …….. Monsanto could certainly help in that field … Im waiting to hear from them …G vazquez Sun & Earth Microbiology ……we care about YOU ….