Beware of the Hired Front-Groups
In a recent Huffington Post article (19), public health lawyer Michelle Simone warns that many former tobacco industry consultants are now hard at work devising battle plans for the food industry against California’s Proposition 37. She writes:
“…Another tactic honed by Big Tobacco is to form a front group that appears to be made up of small businesses and others, in order to give the impression of a grassroots campaign, but which is really funded by large corporations. This tactic, known as Astroturfing, is alive and well with ‘No on 37,’ which describes itself as a ‘broad coalition of family farmers, scientists, doctors, taxpayers, small businesses, labor, food companies, biotechnology companies and grocers.’
Small farmers and small businesses? I don’t see any listed on the ‘Who We Are’ page. I do see many not-so-small trade groups representing numerous not-so-small corporations, some of them from outside California, including CropLife America, which is a trade group for the biotech and pesticide industry.
…Another group with Big Tobacco origins now spreading lies about the GMO labeling initiative is the unsubtle front group California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, whose executive director recently warned us to ‘beware of trial lawyers lurking in your food.’ (It seems lawyers are scarier than altering the genetic code of the food supply.) …In sum the food industry, to oppose a simple labeling law, is hiring lawyers and consultants with ties to the tobacco industry, to deploy stealth tactics such as creating front groups, digging up dirt on opponents, and spreading outright lies.
For decades the tobacco industry and its shills hid the truth by deploying its most effective weapon: manufacturing doubt about the health hazards of smoking. How many millions of Americans died as a result of Big Tobacco’s deceptive and cynical campaign? Why would we trust these same operators now?”
The Final Hope for Americans to Achieve Basic GMO Labeling
As we are only weeks away before voting begins, this is our final push to raise funding and awareness for the Proposition 37 campaign.
There may never be another chance to achieve labeling in the United States.