Sometimes in unexpected places you stumble across a factoid that makes sense out of a lot of other factoids, turning them into enlightening, and perhaps useful, information.
Among the allegations, that Monsanto aggressively protects its patents on seeds and other products sold to farmers, and that the company may not be above a bit of skullduggery to push farmers and, in this case, milk processors, to use Monsanto products. Watch for Steven Milloy’s name to pop up in the last paragraph. The site quotes a Vanity Fair article on Monsanto from 2008.
Even if Monsanto’s efforts to secure across-the-board labeling changes should fall short, there’s nothing to stop state agriculture departments from restricting labeling on a dairy-by-dairy basis. Beyond that, Monsanto also has allies whose foot soldiers will almost certainly keep up the pressure on dairies that don’t use Monsanto’s artificial hormone. Jeff Kleinpeter knows about them, too.
He got a call one day from the man who prints the labels for his milk cartons, asking if he had seen the attack on Kleinpeter Dairy that had been posted on the Internet. Kleinpeter went online to a site called StopLabelingLies, which claims to “help consumers by publicizing examples of false and misleading food and other product labels.” There, sure enough, Kleinpeter and other dairies that didn’t use Monsanto’s product were being accused of making misleading claims to sell their milk.
There was no address or phone number on the Web site, only a list of groups that apparently contribute to the site and whose issues range from disparaging organic farming to downplaying the impact of global warming. “They were criticizing people like me for doing what we had a right to do, had gone through a government agency to do,” says Kleinpeter. “We never could get to the bottom of that Web site to get that corrected.”
As it turns out, the Web site counts among its contributors Steven Milloy, the “junk science” commentator for FoxNews.com and operator of junkscience.com, which claims to debunk “faulty scientific data and analysis.” It may come as no surprise that earlier in his career, Milloy, who calls himself the “junkman,” was a registered lobbyist for Monsanto.
If accurate, it’s a sort of “origins” story — I don’t think it explains Milloy’s current advocacy of DDT and almost all other things anti-environmentally-wise. Nor does it explain Milloy’s penchant for making things up whole cloth. Does Fox News disclose this anywhere?
It does suggest his dirty tricks chops against environmentalists and scientists get exercised more than I had imagined.
The story is an interesting and odd footnote in the debunking of the unholy War on Science that claims Rachel Carson was wrong, and DDT is harmless and right.
- Kleinpeter Dairy site
- Bartlett and Steele, the two reporters who wrote the article for Vanity Fair
- Milloy unfairly goes after campaigns for clean water