Beware of Astroturf Front Groups That Confuse GMO Issues
By Paul Fassa
Monsanto uses every duplicitous trick in the book to get its way toward owning the food supply, their real mission. One of those tricks is using fake independent front groups that give the impression of being concerned over the future of food.
They often appear to be grass roots groups, but they are not. They are fake grass roots groups created by PR firms and used by Monsanto and others. Thus the term Astroturf.
Usually they come to the forefront during a state’s real grass roots movement to force labeling in that state. Lots of blood, sweat, tears, and money is raised by the real grass roots movements to label GMOs.
But even more money is available for the front groups, without the blood, sweat, or tears, because they have lots of money to burn from industry sources.
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An Example of Front Group Outreach and Duplicity
Julie Freitas, a 66-year-old childbirth educator based in Southern California received a phone survey call about labeling genetically modified foods. Julie expressed her stance on labeling and agreed to answer questions.
Julie didn’t know the details of HR 1599, as most do not. [Editor’s note: HR 1599 is the Safe and Accurate Labeling Act of 2015, AKA “The Dark Act”] She thought HR 1599 was a federal measure to allow labeling of GMOs, which it purports to do on only terms that benefit the GMO industries.
HR 1599 does exclude states’ rights for labeling laws and put labeling solely into the hands of the FDA and USDA only if there is a difference in “functional, nutritional, or compositional characteristics”, including allergenicity, between the GMO and its conventional counterpart.
It “clarifies” that just because something is a GMO, it doesn’t automatically make the food/ingredient/crop materially different. It expressly states that you can’t claim that a product is “better” or “safer” just because it’s a GMO. It also states that you can’t claim that a product is “better” or “safer” if it’s labeled as non-GMO. (Source: biofortified.org – another front group)
The phone surveyor, a member of the Monsanto front group Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, gave every indication he was concerned about food safety and labeling.
The caller attempted to convince Julie of writing a letter to her congressman, Tony Cardenas, supporting HR 1599, but she didn’t want to bother with it. So Julie was conned into agreeing on signing a letter if he or someone at the Coalition drafted it.
Shortly after, Julie received an envelope containing the drafted letter to Tony Cardenas with her name at the bottom and space for her signature. Shortly after the phone survey, Freitas received an envelope in the mail titled “Rush-Priority Express.”
The letter stated that the “FDA was the logical solution to regulating genetically modified foods entering our food supply.” The letter urged Rep. Cardenas to support H.R. 1599, and ended with “Please join me in supporting the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 to make sure groceries remain affordable and to ensure the safety of all Americans.”
That woke her up. “I would never say anything like that,” Julie said. “I didn’t know that he would be endorsing that the FDA be the agency overseeing labeling. I wouldn’t sign or send these papers to Tony Cardenas.”
Julie thought though the whole thing was deceptively clever. “This is how people can do something that they don’t realize at the time they are doing,” she added. And this is also how front groups sway others more ignorant or undecided during real statewide grass roots movements’ labeling legislation pursuits.
The “affordable” button is hot. They lie about how much more food will cost if labeling is legislatively enforced.
Fortunately, Julie knows the FDA or any other government agency shouldn’t be in charge of GMO labeling. The USDA and FDA always use the the “no substantial difference between GMO and non-GMO foods” as their excuse to not label.
There are several other fake grass roots or Astroturf groups that are funded and controlled by the biotech and other processed fake food industries, especially Monsanto. Here’s a list.
And here’s a link for a pdf of the same list you may want to copy and print for future references.
Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com, where this article first appeared. His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia’s control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies’ corruption. Paul’s contributions to the health movement and global paradigm shift are well received by truth seekers. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter here. Like on Facebook