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Farm Life: "Consumer Groups" for Starbucks use of GMOs

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Santa Barbara, CA

March 25, 2001
3:50 PM

Post #2811

The following item is a wonderful source to identify the organizations fronting the fight against anti-gmo efforts. Note also the main "players" and their associations. Know your enemies (or know your friends if you disagree with me).


We posted this background piece from Robert Vint of GFA (see reply to adde) the other day but the formatting went awry. We're reposting it because it provides some very useful resources on the corporate lobbyists behind much of the biotech disinfo campaign, including:
TO: Neil Butler, Organic Trade Services.

Dear Neil,

The letter from so-called "Consumer Groups" attacking the 'Starbucks Campaign' for FairTrade Organic coffee and rBST-free milk published in the previous Organic Newsline is deceptive. These organisations are "Front Organisations" for corporate lobbyists and have nothing whatsoever to do with consumers. The true agenda of each of the
signatories may easily be discerned simply by visiting their websites, as follows:

1. Steven J. Milloy, Citizens for the Integrity of Science and
2. Elizabeth M. Whelan, American Council on Science and Health
3. Alex Avery, Center for Global Food Issues
4. Gregory Conko, Competitive Enterprise Institute
5. Fran Smith, Consumer Alert
6. John Carlisle, National Center for Public Policy Analysis

The links pages on these sites reveal that these groups, and others listed below, work closely together and to a common end.

7. National Consumer Coalition
8. International Consumers for a Civil Society (see their links page)
9. The Heritage Foundation
(Their Deregulation Site)
10. National Center for Food and Agriculture Policy
11. Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise / Wise Use Movement
12. The Hudson Institute
13. Capital Research Center Green-Watch Site
14. Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
15. Institute of Economic Affairs (UK)
16. Lyndon LaRouche's anti-semitic 21st Century Science & Technology
17. The Institute of Public Affairs (Australia)
18. ProBiotech (Rejects GM, Global Warming, Rainforest & DDT concerns)

These all have, in general, a broad pro-corporate anti-green agenda which, as a visit to each site reveals, includes:

a. Support for unregulated global free trade and the World Trade Organisation.
b. Opposition to environmental, gun, health and safety, and food labelling regulations and to the Precautionary Principle.
c. Denial of environmental problems such as global warming, rainforest destruction, DDT and agrochemicals.
d. Support for the oil and nuclear industries and for the unregulated use of fossil fuels.
e. Support of biotechnology and transnational corporations and opposition to organic farming and small-scale agriculture.
f. Attempts to present environmental and safety concerns as mere marketing stunts by organic and green businesses.
g. It is also clear that several groups have links to the Tobacco Industry (see below) and the Religious Right.

The following additional information about the signatories was supplied by Norfolk Genetic Information Network:

Stephen Milloy (1), of "Junk Science" and "No More Scares" web fame, is a former tobacco industry lobbyist as well as a former executive director of TASSC, a front organisation created by tobacco giant Philip Morris.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (4) and Consumer Alert (5) are also recipients of Big Tobacco funding. [PRWatch investigates 'No More Scares' ]

Alex Avery (3) is, of course, son of Dennis T. Avery
(, both of the
biotech-industry funded Hudson Institute (donors have included: AgrEvo, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, Novartis, Zeneca). Both are at the heart of the attacks on organic agriculture.

The American Council on Science and Health (2) also has big agro-chemical funding (e.g. Monsanto, Dow, Cyanamid) and controversy has raged throughout ACSH's over twenty-year history over the linkage between its extensive corporate backing and Whelan's (2) tireless crusading against
"health scares" and the "toxic terrorists" who promote them.

Finally, The National Center for Public Policy Research (6) is perhaps the most curious 'consumer group' of them all, having been formed in the 1980s to support Reagan's military adventures in Central America! Its projects include Project 21 funded by R.J. Reynolds while a 1995 memo
from a Philip Morris staffer describes the NCPPR president as "a willing ally"!

It is encouraging but unsurprising that no genuine alliance of consumers seems to support their agenda.

Yours sincerely,

Monsanto's rBGH (aka BST) hormone is banned in Canada because of animal welfare concerns - and throughout the EU because of concern about animal welfare and human health problems.

Starbucks campaign: or
On the Starbucks campaign see an excellent article at:
On Starbuck's Response to the campaign see:
Pics of pro-corporate demonstrators with 'organic bad for the environment'/etc. placards can be seen protesting at Starbuck's decision at:

To find out more about the groups and individuals spinning the pro-GM
story visit
And for those attacking Organic farming go to
Also see Public Eye's Expose of the Wise Use Movement
And the Center for Media and Democracy's PRWatch Site (search their site for the names above)

*Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism. Sharon Beder. Chelsea Green. ISBN 1-890132-12-8 $19.95
*Green Backlash : Global Subversion of the Environmental Movement. Andrew Rowell. Routledge; ISBN: 0415128285 $22.99
*The War Against the Greens : The 'Wise-Use' Movement, the New Right, and Anti-Environmental Violence. David Helvarg. Sierra Club Books; ISBN: 0871569078 $16.00
*Betrayal of Science and Reason : How Anti-Environment Rhetoric Threatens
Our Future. Paul & Anne Ehrlich. Island Press; ISBN: 1559634847 $13.56


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