Hijacks and counterattacks against corporate reform (4/11/2005)

excerpts from:
1.Hijacked: Business for Social Responsibility
2.Hijacked: Environmental protection and PBS
3.Counter-attack against corporate reform


Note how Monsanto and trade groups and lobbyists closely associated with it run like a dark thread through these pieces, eg:

*v-Fluence is the firm of Jay Byrne, Monsanto's former Director of Public Affairs and widely seen as the the chief architect of the notorious Monsanto-Bivings "fake persuaders" PR campaign

*CEI take money from Monsanto and co-founded CS Prakash's AgBioWorld which also played a key part in Monsanto's "fake persuaders" campaign

*Steve Milloy, according to federal records, has been a paid lobbyist for Monsanto on "food safety and labeling" (read GM foods)

*Monsanto is a member of the Chemical Manufacturers Association - now called the American Chemistry Council, which has the unwritten mission of ensuring its members profits are not hindered by government regulations

1. EXCERPTS from Hijacked: Business for Social Responsibility
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
CommonDreams.org, November 3, 2005

We've just returned from the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) conference being held here in Washington, D.C.

We picked up maybe five pounds of propaganda being handed out by the sponsors -- ExxonMobil, Chevron, AstraZeneca, Walt Disney, Pfizer, General Electric, Altria/Philip Morris (remember: altriameanstobacco.com), McDonald's, Edison International, Starbucks, Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola, Abbott Labs, Microsoft, Monsanto, KPMG, Chiquita -- among others. The news -- what these giant multinationals don't want you to know -- is that they hijacked Business for Social Responsibility from its founders.

In 1991, the founders, a group of small businesses, wanted to counter the voices of the giant multinationals -- the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable -- in the public policy arena.

Enter Robert Dunn, stage right.

Dunn is now chairman of Business for Social Responsibility.

Dunn said to his colleagues -- the only way we are going to change large multinational corporations is to bring them into this organization.

And the only way they will come into this organization is if we vow never to engage in the public policy arena.

Dunn said that the focus of the organization would be on changing big corporations from within.


No talk about government regulation.

No talk about national health insurance.

No talk about a living wage.

No talk about war and peace.

No talk about law and order -- for corporate criminals.

In 1994, Monsanto, purveyor of genetically engineered foods, wanted into the group.

One member, Gary Hirschberg, chairman of Stoneyfield Farms, said -- wait a second.

Do we want a company that makes pesticides and herbicides and genetically engineered crops to be a member of a socially responsible business organization?

Yes, came back the answer -- how else are they going to get better?

Well what about tobacco companies?

How else are they going to get better?

What about oil and chemical companies?

How else are they going to get better?

What about nuclear companies?

What about military companies?

The reality is that Business for Social Responsibility has become a public relations organization for big corporations.

The only criteria for membership -- you have to be big and loaded.

The hijacking is now complete.

Laury Hammel knows what happened.

He was present at the creation.

Business for Social Responsibility was his idea in the late 1980s...

...The last BSR conference that Hammel attended was in 2001 in Seattle.

This was 10 years after he founded BSR as his dream.

"I sat down at a table and noticed three guys with name tags that said Philip Morris and Company," Hammel said. "I asked these guys -- you are not with the cigarette company, are you? And they said -- 'yes, we are with the holding company.'"

"I said to myself -- these guys are members of BSR? They make products that kill people. What is this?"

That was the last conference he attended.

2.EXCERPT from A Question for Journalists: How Do We Cover Penguins and the Politics of Denial?
by Bill Moyers
Keynote Speech to the Society of Environmental Journalists Convention
Austin, Texas - October 1, 2005

President Bush has turned the agencies charged with environmental protection over to

Go to a Print friendly Page

Email this Article to a Friend

Back to the Archive