With a field this rich with options, it's oh so hard to find the egregious examples that, shall we say, rise to the top. But, for the sake of our loyal visitors, we took it upon ourselves to clench our noses, hold our breath and plunge into the mire. And this is what we dug up. Pity us. A 5-hour long hot shower with loofah and soap, not to mention a cleansing sage burning ceremony, could not wipe the stench of corporate ickiness from our pores. See what we're willing to do for you? We're all about love, people. Shall we proceed?
So here we go, in no particular order...
1. ABC News and John Stossel. Mr. Stossel, I have a question for you... What starts with an H, rhymes with flack, and is a four letter word? No, John, 'apple' doesn't start with an H, it doesn't rhyme with fl - oh, never mind. The word is HACK. As in, "My cat hacked something up" but worse. According to my Oxford Concise English Dictionary, a hack is a person hired to do dull routine work. As an addendum to my friends at Oxford, I will add that a hack is a person hired to do dull routine work, and get paid large amounts of money to make inflammatory, shrill and ultimately bogus reports that benefit corporate interests whilst posing as a "contrarian" and a "voice of the people". And when ABC did not demand your resignation after your "exposé" (who was truly exposed, John?) against organic foods, they reinforced shoddy journalism and journalists everywhere. ABC's reputation is diminished, Stossel's reputation as transparent corporate shill has been buffed and shined, and - oh - what's that sound? Edward R. Murrow is spinning in his grave. To read about the Stossel debacle (hey, it's a rhyme! well, sort of), click here. Or here. Or here.
2. Monsanto et al. What would a list of this nature be without our esteemed friends who want to turn the whole world into one giant corporate-owned petrie dish? Why, not much of a list, that's for sure. Monsanto and the rest of the industry giants are slowly coming to the realization that WE. DON'T. WANT. THEIR. FOOD. How many countries will it take to ban U.S. exports of genetically engineered products and seeds until they realize that they are not wanted? It's almost like some poor, pathetic creature that didn't get invited to the party but keeps pounding on the door trying to get in. Except this poor, pathetic creature is in fact a massive corporate beast bent on trademarking life itself, making farmers indentured servants and consumers their science experiment. Well, it's all backfiring. Across the world, anti-biotech sentiment has reached a fever pitch and unified people of many backgrounds and nationalities against the corporate seed pushers. And Monsanto: it's not simply because of your, er, "enthusiasm" for biotech. Try marketing it any way you want and the answer will be the same: we don't want it. Period. To read about Monsanto and company's marketing machinations, click here.
3. The USDA. Technically not a corporation, but, really, who are they kidding? With the rotating door between the USDA, Monsanto and the FDA, it's really one big happy family anyway. Imagine their summer picnics! Anyway, after all their years of bowing to corporate interests and treating consumer protection as though it's a poker card they desperately want to get rid of, we hereby decree that the USDA is an honorary corporation (perhaps USDA, Inc.?) Congratulations, guys! This year the USDA displayed their obvious contempt and disregard for human health by approving meat with cancers, tumor and open sores for consumption. Dee-lish! Those who crave cancer, tumor, and sore-laden meat shan't be discriminated against, after all. And guess what, kids... You get to savor disease-ridden meat just like grown-ups do in your very own school cafeteria. That's right! The USDA decided that our nation's chicken-eating children are no longer too good for eating nuggets with sores, scabs, tumors and bruises. Double dee-lish!
4. Fox News and Monsanto. It is with unbridled glee that we mention Monsanto again! Those guys were busier than heck this year. Kids, gather around the computer and we'll tell you a little story. Once upon a time, there were two esteemed reporters who worked for Fox news in Florida. They wanted to tell the story about how rBGH - a growth hormone injected into cows - made the cows sick, the farmers poor, and consumers worried about the effects of all those growth hormone's they and their loved ones were ingesting. The problem is that when Monsanto, the manufacturer of rBGH, got wind of the story, they warned the news director to put the kibosh on it or suffer serious repercussions. After months of wrangling, maneuvering and rejected rewrites, the reporters were unceremoniously fired. The reporters sued. Read about their trials and tribulations here, and about one reporter's landmark settlement here.
5. StarLink corn and Aventis. StarLink, oh how we love you. It was the biggest public embarrassment for both the biotech industry and the government agency that supposed to be protecting our food supply. Hello FDA! First, the illegal biotech corn showed up in some Taco Bell shells. Next it was found in some store brands at Safeway. In all, about 300 products had to be recalled, and that's not counting the mysterious secret recall of a bunch of Kellogg's cereals ("they're GR-RRR-OSS!!). Aventis lost millions of dollars, and the biotech industry ended up with a well-deserved black eye. This one rated five stories: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
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