Agriculture

Reading, Writing and Roundup Ready

The agribusiness giant Monsanto will donate $50,000 to the Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Consortium. AITC is a "grassroots program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture," designed "to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture ... so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies," according to AITC's website.

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America, Eat Your Fries!

The U.S. Potato Board is facing a crisis stemming from the decline in french fries sales, O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. So, they've enlisted the creative powers of the St. Louis-based firm Osborn & Barr, whose clients have included the Cattlemen's Beef Board, National Pork Board and United Soybean Board. The Potato Board is looking for "concepts aimed at opinion leaders and consumers" to be part of a $1 million campaign (run by food industry PR giant Fleishman-Hillard) to get Americans to eat more french fries.

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Tobacco Lobbyist Talks Turkey, Shoots Messengers

A food industry website reports that lobbyist Rick Berman addressed Tuesday's annual meeting of the National Turkey Association. "What many of you don't understand is just how many different ways this industry is being attacked by groups. They are coming at you all from the animal rights side, as well as biotechnology, antibiotics hysteria, anti-corporate, labor and the factory farms angle. ...

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A Teflon Correspondent

ABC News correspondent John Stossel comes under harsh scrutiny in a January 7, 2002 Nation article. Journalist Mark Dowie looks into Stossel's rise from humble consumer-interest reporter to million-dollar network star. As network news divisions were forced to become profit centers in early 90s, network executives wanted "talent" to sell the new news product. "Professional attention-grabbers ... became free-market winners. By cleverly blending blue-collar social values with Wall Street economic values, they got rich," writes Dowie.

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Idaho Officials Cancel Speech Fearing Anti-Ag Message

MeatingPlace.com, which describes itself as "the premiere information provider for the red meat and poultry industries," reports that "An Oct. 3 'Success Breakfast,' sponsored by the College of Southern Idaho and the Twin Falls, Idaho, Chamber of Commerce and featuring activist Jeremy Rifkin, has been cancelled after officials became worried he might make negative comments about beef and milk, according to The Associated Press.

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Price Fixer to the World Seeks New Image

Archer Daniels Midland Company, seeking a more wholesome image, replaced its longtime slogan "Supermarket to the World" with the touchingly eco-friendly tag "The Nature of What's to Come." ADM has reason to be concerned about its public profile; the feds have convicted the agri-business giant of multiple counts of price-fixing, multiple states have taken it to court for pollution-related issues, and political reformers say ADM has reaped massive government pork from heavy soft money donations.

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