Stop Monsanto's anti-organic propaganda on public radio
Mark Anthony Dingbaum, CREDO Action
Millions of Americans who demand a higher standard of news reporting turn to public radio because it's supposed to present information that isn't bought and paid for by corporate interests.
Unfortunately, American Public Media may be making an exception for GMO giant, Monsanto.
Marketplace, a program of American Public Media, has provided a soapbox to opponents of organics with a recent report titled "The Non-Organic Future." This poisoning of public radio programming — and news that's assumed to be unbiased and fair — aired on a program that has received substantial sponsorship from Monsanto, the corporation responsible for producing roughly 90% of genetically modified seeds around the globe.
In a recent report entitled "The Non-Organic Future" Marketplace featured several outspoken proponents of industrial agriculture who presented as fact the false notion that organics are not a scalable, or even viable option for feeding the planet. Not one counter-argument or undisputed proponent of the organics industry was presented.1
Marketplace's one-sided reporting hasn't gone unnoticed. Renowned author Anna Lappé is quick to point out that Marketplace failed to acknowledge the 2009 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development (IAASTD) Report — a critical study by the U.N. and multiple other international groups that required 400 experts and nearly 5 years to complete.2
The results from the IAASTD study couldn't be farther from what was presented in the Marketplace report.
According to Lappé: "Business as usual is not an option, was the radical consensus. Instead, small-scale and mid-scale agroecological farming holds our best hope for feeding the world safe, healthy food, all without undermining our natural capital."
Marketplace airs on 486 public radio stations nationwide and is no stranger to controversy surrounding its financial ties to Monsanto. Despite the fact that Monsanto is perhaps best known for pesticides and genetically engineered agricultural products, in 2009, the program ran frequent underwriting announcements touting the company as "committed to sustainable agriculture."3
Public media is beholden to serve the public interest, not press for the corporate interests of those who make donations to underwrite their programming. In a media landscape that is dominated by for profit, corporate news, it's vital that we fight to keep public radio free from such clear conflicts of interest. American Public Media has responded to criticism about Monsanto in the past. We need to make sure they know that we're listening and that we will hold them accountable when they uncritically promote anti-organic propaganda.
Thank you for standing up to Monsanto's corporate lies.
Mark Anthony Dingbaum, Campaign Manager
1. "The non-organic future," Adriene Hill, Marketplace, 05-04-2011.
2. "Don't let Monsanto buy out public radio," Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins, Organic Bytes, organicconsumers.org, 05-12-2011
3. "Monsanto pulls public radio into its greenwash," Heidi Siegelbaum, The Greenwash Brigade, American Public Media, 06-26-2009.