May 24, 2008

The 'Astro-Turf' grocery gang campaign

Columnist and former farm boy Alan Guebert pointed his pen this week at the "grocery gang" -- the groups behind the recent anti-ethanol campaign. Read it here.

Guebert said: "The gang — a wealthy lobby of over 300 food and beverage makers and marketers like Kraft Foods, Miller Brewing, Dean Foods and ConAgra — made, then marketed, today’s highly believable, highly fake food vs. fuel debate.
" As fake as Astro-Turf.

The gang hired Glover Park, a Beltway PR firm, which came up with a plan to
sell “a federal agency-level or legislative solution to the economically, environmentally and socially untenable ethanol policies now in place…”

Within weeks, anti-ethanol seeds, bought by GMA and planted by Glover Park, take root. Everyone from the New York Times to World Bank President Robert Zoellick is linking American ethanol to starving Sudanese children or worse.

But wait. Aren’t other, more powerful market forces—global grain demand outpacing production seven of the last nine years, crude oil prices 500 percent taller than 10 years ago, inclement weather—propelling grain prices more than U.S. ethanol?

Sure, but don’t tell the grocery gang.

Falling profit margins, not honesty, is behind their nasty, divisive campaign.

Even worse, these truth-challenged food giants are using the poorest of the poor, “…hunger, food aid, poverty, development, senior, children,” to reclaim their fat margins.

In a town long-known for its shameless demagogues, these folks take the cake.

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