Get ready America.
Starting this fall, you are about to see a massive propaganda war hitting all forms of multimedia.
The Financial Times reported (free registration may be required) that a new organization called the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance will be spending $30M a year to “clarify perceptions about how industrial farmers treat animals and and the impact of hormones and antibiotics on the food that they eat.”
In the article, Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said that “consumers are confused. There is a huge knowledge gap out there and we want people to know that farmers and ranchers are committed to providing healthy choices.”
Unfortunately, the only huge knowledge gap is that more of America does not know about the incredible abuse going on at the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Animals are treated in the worst imaginable conditions and are given antibiotics because farm (factory) owners know that the animals will get sick by walking around in their own feces all day.
Movies such as Food, Inc. and Farmageddon have exposed the real truth as to what is going on with industrial agriculture in the U.S. and how the USDA is complicit in serving Americans the most food unhealthy food possible.
As such, many states are trying to enact laws that would prohibit the videotaping of animals at farms. If Big Ag were so confident about its farming practices, then why would it need to push for laws such as these?
Answer: They wouldn’t.
Big Ag has a lot to hide (horrible treatment of animals, genetically-modified food, animals pumped with artificial hormones and antibiotics) and the organic movement is making some in-roads with American consumers.
We have a long, long way to go but the fact that the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance is funding such a big propaganda campaign means that we are making some headway, creating problems for Big Ag and exposing the truth to all of America.
This announcement by the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance brings up two important questions.
Q: Why isn’t the organic food industry doing its own branding or media campaign?
A: When I was at the Deepak Chopra GMO Event in NYC several months ago, I asked Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of Stonyfield, this exact question. His response was to “hold on. You’ll be seeing something in a few weeks.”
I have yet to see anything but am really hoping that it is coming sometime soon.
Q: How can organic consumers band together to combat the propaganda by the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance?
A: We can do many things.
First, be ready for this campaign and get educated as to what is really going on in this country. Here are a few good resources.
Third, participate in the upcoming Right2Know March.
Fourth, and most importantly, get involved. We need every single person’s help. Thank you for reading this post and for spreading the word about the importance of organic food.